October 21st saw the Millenium Rooms in St Mawes decked out in celebratory style for the culmination of a year’s work between Storylines and The St.Just and St.Mawes Heritage Group. The screening of the 2 films which we made using much of the oral history material gathered during the year was to take place and the space was vibrant with colour and expectant chatter. There were displays of archive photographs and new, exciting information that had come to light during the year and the walls were festooned with colourful bunting made by children during sessions with artist Jane Nicholls at St Mawes Primary School. There was also the hand drawn wall piece we created with collaged memories which had been added to by community members as well as a sumptuous afternoon tea of scones and sandwiches. So the scene was set for a truly momentous celebration.
As the starting time crept up it was great to see the room filling with many familiar faces and the opportunity to make contact once again with some of the participants who had agreed to be interviewed or had been on the Memory Walks. It ended up being a full house with an audience of all ages and it was a delight to see smiling faces of recognition as yet another fascinating archive image appeared on the screen. There were gasps of surprise as long forgotten characters emerged in front of their eyes, heartfelt sighs at long lost traditions and hearty chuckles at some of the many mischievous stories that were told. These were beautifully illustrated with the inclusion of an incredible number of archive photographs, some dating back over 100 years and diligently searched for, collected and scanned by participants and members of the Heritage Group. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in this huge task as it brought all the stories we collected come to life. The films were enthusiastically received and enjoyed by everyone in the room and the exhibition and films continued to be enjoyed over the following week in both the Millennium rooms and later the village Institute in St.Just.
From Storylines view it was an absolute pleasure to work alongside the Heritage Group who worked tirelessly arranging interviews, contributing to artwork, organising events and tracking down images. We hope that you will be able to carry on collecting stories from your villages and adding to your archive for future generations. You have made a splendid start.
All participants will receive a DVD recording of the films and there will be an opportunity to buy further copies at a cost of £10 each. Please contact Chris Williams of the Heritage group if you would like to buy a copy by emailing her on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project was made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.