We’ve absolutely loved receiving people’s memories and reflections of the Clay Country Kemeneth (community), contributed through the story-sharing packs we sent out last year, and have now finished putting together this special community book. These books have been posted out to everyone who contributed and we have been delighted to hear how well received these have been. Contributors have been proud to see their stories in print, joyed by the stories of others and reminded of more of their own memories.
As this is our first book, it’s been a really good learning curve for Storylines and another things we can now confidently incorporate into future projects. Thank you again to everyone who shared with us and to Feast and the Big Lottery Fund for funding this project.
We sure have missed sitting down with people to record their memories, but what a delight it was to spend time listening to Malcolm’s childhood spent living on various lighthouses and his fathers stint on the Longships Lighthouse off Lands End. Combining some of this conversation with some of Malcolm’s photos we’ve put together this digital story to share this fascinating insight into a very different way of life.
We thought it would be nice to make a little film to share some of the children’s responses to the Kemeneth project packs we delivered to Sennen School in winter 2020. We’ve loved going through children’s responses and it’s been brilliant to be able to collaborate with PK Porthcurno and learn more about the local history of the cables at Porthcurno and Sennen.
This project was funded by Feast and the National Lottery Fund.
Laying the cable in Sennen
It’s not that long ago that people communicated via telegram to countries around the world via submarine cables that landed in at Porthcurno and Sennen that would revolutionise global communication. It’s staggering to think about how fast our means of communication have changed and the perfect time to reflect on this as the pandemic forces us to find new ways of connecting.
These changes were one of the themes that children at Sennen School explored as part of our collaborative project with PK Porthcurno. Delving into their local history, children learned about the laying of the cable into Sennen, constructing stories that imagined what this event must have been like through creative writing and weaving words along colourful wool cables.
Of course, telegrams still needed delivering, which is where the Messenger Boys and Girls came in. Dressed in smart uniforms and often straddling a bicycle, these Messengers delivered the telegrams to people’s homes. For this project children became Messengers themselves, writing telegrams and thank you letters to family members, friends and the community.
As part of the project children also explored the theme of kindness, writing and drawing on cheerful yellow parcel labels to share their stories. It’s been heart-warming to read about the gestures that children recognise as kindness, as well as read their thank you letters. It’s so important to take stock of what we’re thankful for and what kindness we have been shown, especially right now.
If you’d like to share with us your stories of kindness or community, we’d love to hear from you by post or email on email@example.com.
Thank you to PK Porthcurno, staff and children at Sennen School and to Feast and the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund who helped fund the wider Kemeneth Project.
Over the past year Storylines have been working with the Hypatia Trust as part of the Women of Cornish Music- Past and Present project, which is uncovering and celebrating the contributions of women to Cornwall’s musical heritage. As a team of passionate women we were delighted to be involved in a project that will rebalance the awareness of women’s roles in Cornish music-making past and present.
We started off with an oral history training session that took place in Spring 2020 just prior to the first lockdown. Sharing food, stories and gathered in a intimate circle (something we can only dream about for now) the group were introduced to the basics of oral history and guided through a practical session which aimed to equip them all with the confidence and skills to conduct oral histories as part of the ‘Women of Cornish Music’ project. Then lockdown hit, scuppering any chances of face-to-face oral histories for the foreseeable and leaving many of us with little headspace for anything other than getting by.
Despite this we adapted the training sessions, with zoom meetings, tutorial videos and bespoke creative packs, and a small group managing to conduct oral histories and create artworks to accompany these for the project’s book. These stories include one that explores how Covid has impacted the life of a Cornish musician, which feels very fitting for the book that’s been created through this challenging time.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered on this project, it’s been a pleasure and the stories you have created are very touching. We hope you continue using these skills into the future.
This project has been supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Cornwall Heritage Trust, Feast and Screen Cornwall.
Since the first lockdown in Spring 2020 we have had the joy of collaborating with the Penlee Family Project, a fabulous intergenerational community support group based in Pool. To help the project continue to engage with their community remotely, and with thanks to additional funding from the Cornwall Community Foundation, Storylines created a series of 100 creative, story-sharing packs as part of the Library of Us project. These packs were bursting with resources, prompts and activities that enabled people of all ages to contribute towards a book to document personal experiences of the pandemic. This process provided families with a framework for reflection and healing and gave those who are isolated an opportunity to connect with others and engage with something creative.
We have been bowled over by the responses we’ve since received and there is so much material that we have created 3 beautiful books to share them. These books document many aspects of life over 2020: including what we have missed; what we’ve been doing; our daily walks; how communities have pulled together; acts of kindness; what we’ve eaten; what belongings have helped us through; what reflections we’ve had; what advice we’d give and what dreams we’ve had. From aged 2 to aged 92, new parents to those isolated at home, we’ve captured a wide range of voices and experiences of this past challenging year. Putting the books together we have experienced many different emotions. We have laughed and we have cried. Some of the stories were heart breaking to read, and others warmed our hearts and gave us hope.
We have been sharing some of these responses on our social media (we’re relatively new to Instagram, so if you can follow us here), and we will continue to share them through our website. Here is a couple of short films showing the books-
We’ll end with a lovely quote from Terry Reynard and Kim Parker, Penlee Family Project Directors…
Hope can never be taken away. We can be sad at what has been lost and taken from us but we can also rejoice at all we have come through and the beautiful lessons we have learned. Here in our book about the Covid 19 experience in our community, we capture the stories of everyday lives in everyday places across all generations. We thank everyone for their contributions to this testimony of our shared experience.
During this challenging time we have been very blessed to have had continuous collaboration with Penlee Family Project in Pool who have asked us to further contribute to their Library of Us project. This time we made very different books and POCKETS was the name of the game! Everyone loves delving into a pocket to find out what’s inside and these pockets came in all shapes and sizes and colours and textures. The one thing they had in common though was that they would contain very special messages and pictures between people of different ages. Once COVID allows for it, the Penlee Family Project is hoping that these books will form an exchange pathway between older members of the community in local care homes and local school children. Hopefully these will build some very special lasting relationships.
Cloth pocket story exchange book
There were 2 types of pocket books. 2 made from card, paper and collage and 2 made entirely from cloth. Sarah scrabbled through her extensive archive of recycled decorative papers to collage upcycled children’s board books and create beautiful monthly pocket pages complete with vibrant envelopes. Storylines is proud of its use of recycled materials and using what we have available, so this was the perfect solution. Ali on the other hand was toiling behind her trusty workhorse sewing machine, delving into her extensive stash of fabrics to choose the right cloth for the perfect monthly seasonal pockets. We hope these stunning books will inspire their users to fill the pockets with precious keepsakes.
Storylines is delighted to be collaborating with PK Porthcurno to deliver an off- shoot of the Kemeneth project to children from year 2, 3 and 4 at Sennen School.
Using some of the fascinating archival objects and documents from PK Porthcurno as a starting point, Storylines have been busy creating some very special packs, which will soon be winging their way to Sennen School. Inspired by the uniformed Messenger Boys, who delivered telegrams by bicycle or foot, children will become ‘Messengers,’ sharing their own stories and collecting stories from their families and friends. Children will explore themes such as belonging, kindness, community, communication and connection, as well as learning about local history of the cables that travelled around the world from Porthcurno and Sennen.
When we come to put together the community book in Sennen, it’ll be lovely to have children’s responses sit alongside some of the memories that we hope will be contributed by the wider community through the Kemeneth story-sharing packs. On this note there are still a few packs left so if you, or someone you know would be interested in getting one, please do get in touch and we can deliver it to you.
Storylines would like to thank PK Porthcurno for supporting this project and Sennen School for their enthusiasm and willingness to get involved.
The wider Kemeneth Project is funded by FEAST and the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Storylines are delighted to share that we have received funding for the Kemeneth Project from FEAST and the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. Kemeneth, which means community in Cornish, began in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, inspired by stories of communities pulling together. The project will correspond with people by post, phone and online to gather and share personal stories that explore and celebrate community, past and present.
Do you have memories of Sennen or the Clay Country you’d like to share?
Over autumn/winter 2020, Kemeneth will be focusing on gathering stories from two very different communities in Cornwall; Sennen near Lands End and the Clay Country. We will be delivering 100 story-sharing packs within each area to help people share their memories, experiences and reflections of their community. These packs are free and will help people contribute their memories and experiences, past and present, to two community books.
If you know someone who would like to receive a pack then please do get in touch so we can arrange this via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07767382552
Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate and remember the positive ways that communities can pull together and support each other.