Kemeneth Project story-sharing packs

Posted on: 11th August 2020 No Comments

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 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.

Story-Sharing Packs for all ages

Posted on: 3rd August 2020 No Comments

In these times of Covid-19 we have all had to adapt and restructure our lives. Storylines has been no different, so instead of doing face to face interviews and intimate creative workshops to gather stories we have had to explore new avenues of working.

We were introduced to Terry of the fantastic Penlee Family Project in Pool and have since been working in collaboration with them to document the stories of the myriad of participants belonging to groups run by the project. From nursery children, new parents, the Friday Friendship group, sewing circle and local care home residents; the whole age range was there… the true essence of a Family project.

After much discussion it was decided that the best thing to do was to focus on the situation that we all found ourselves in… lockdown, and to gather stories from participants of all ages about their experiences of this challenging time. With thanks to additional finding from the Cornwall Community Foundation we have been able to produce a series of 100 colourful story-sharing packs to help achieve this. The responses from the packs will be collated and presented in a large book, which will remain in the setting as a constant reminder of these unprecedented times.

Over the past couple of months we’ve had our heads down and created an impressive production line that involved folding intricate bespoke booklets, drawing annotated ribbon maps and thinking of interesting prompts to illicit lots of stories. Activities in the packs explore such topics as how we inhabited our spaces during lockdown, what were our experiences around food and what was going on in our heads! Brightly coloured envelopes were filled with exciting goodies such as watercolour pencils, glue sticks, pens and drawing pencils, alongside luscious decorative papers for collage, providing people with a variety of ways to contribute.


Young People at the Penlee Family Project working on their packs

It has been a huge but very enjoyable experiment and we hope that people are enjoying beavering away at our challenges. We are now starting to see some of the responses, which is very exciting and feedback from participants about their experiences of using these packs will be really valuable to shape our future work. Storylines is not sure when it will resume its usual ways of gathering stories, so, this may be the way forward for some time.

After the last pack returns at the end of the summer then the mammoth task of collating all the responses will begin and we will create a large book that will remain at Penlee Family Project for years to come as a reminder of these very strange times.


Kemeneth Covid Stories

Posted on: 25th May 2020 No Comments

The Kemeneth project was inspired by the stories of community and kindness we are hearing as we adapt to life with Covid-19. Here are a couple of lovely stories that people shared with us which we hope you enjoy…


A Community of Stars

I met my Cornish husband online some 16 years ago… he’d been exiled in North Wales for 30 years, and with children and a job which were keeping him up there… so I moved up there to join him, and after 8 years, was finally able to draw him back to Cornwall in 2013, to my house in St Just, which I had left tenanted.

I’d bought the house in 1995, following my parent’s death, and by the time I moved up to Wales in 2005, had already got to know many of the residents. There are so many community groups and events, from the annual Cape School Art Exhibition, to Lafrowda Day, Cape Players pantos… Since we returned, Chris has been very actively involved in the community as Secretary of the Friends of St Just Library, and singing regularly with local group the Land and Sea Singers, which he loves. We’ve also acquired a succession of rescue dogs, but as I have become somewhat incapacitated, their regular daily walks have been Chris’s province.

Since the start of the pandemic, both Chris and I have been self-isolating. I’m 70, with COPD, Diabetes, Hypothyroid and generally immuno-challenged – I’m dependent on Chris for most things, so obviously he has to stay safe too.

From the very start of this awful period, we’ve been overwhelmed with the ways in which this community in St Just and Pendeen copes so supremely well in a crisis – our recently-elected local councillor Daisy, together with our tireless local County Councillor Sue James, immediately got to work setting up an online support group for the area, and have been doing everything in their power to disseminate information as to what, where and how help is available for those locked up in their homes. Volunteer helpers have been appointed to every street, and I don’t think there’s a house anywhere which hasn’t been included in the safety net.

We’ve been able to make use of a host of local businesses – which we’re so pleased to do, as they all need help to keep going, as well. We get our Sunday lunches from the Kings Arms, and have had meals delivered from The Commercial and The Square; deliveries of dog food also from Clemos, of fruit and veg from Stones, groceries from Premier Stores, cakes from The Cook Book and The Dog & Rabbit. Our neighbour’s daughter – one of Daisy’s small army of volunteers – has been a total godsend in running errands for us to the Post Office, collecting pasties from MacFaddens and more – she’s even power-hosed and painted our back yard! Another great friend is walking our two dogs every evening, to save Chris – who walks them early each morning to avoid encountering others – from chance meetings.

That the aerial view of St Just is star-shaped is no coincidence – it’s a community of stars… and with kind and caring neighbours like these, a lockdown is no serious hardship!

Sue Ellery-Hill


The things people tell you…

The pandemic is a terrible thing, and so is the lockdown, but in west Cornwall at the moment it’s sometimes hard to remember this, because despite the problems about fear of infection and difficulties with getting food, the weather is so beautiful, and the residents in my town are all helping each other and going out of their way to be kind, to neighbours and customers and anybody who needs help.   Many things are being organised, and we are all getting stuff to each other one way and another – I’ve twice opened my front door to find a bag of things on the steps: a box of paracetamol, a bag of fleece fabric, books, a packet of soap…

As well as that, a couple of other heartwarming things happened.

A lady I used to sing with, and who had been especially nice to me when I was ill a few years ago, moved back upcountry when her family circumstances changed.  We usually only communicated with each other at Christmas, but she rang me up the other day to see how I was, which I thought was very nice of her.  While we were chatting she told me several interesting stories about her late mother-in-law, who used to be a midwife and delivered hundreds of babies – people were always running up to her in the park and thanking her for delivering their first, second or third babies.  The midwife had twin boys of her own (one of them my friend’s husband), and the little boys used to have to go with their mum on calls.  They found out a lot about precisely where babies come from, and as well as that, they got a great deal of extra pocket money and sweeties from the nervous expectant dads with whom they had to keep company while their own mum and the new mum were busy.

And the second one was a story told to me by a local lady, who also rang up unexpectedly.  She said she had been out for a walk for her daily exercise, and paused for a while beside a river, where it flows into the sea at one of the beaches near here.  She had thought that there was nobody about, and was surprised to hear a young man calling out to her.

‘Wait there,’ said the young man,and I’ll put stepping stones for you so that you can cross the river.’

She stood there astonished, and the young man did just as he had said, and brought several flat stones and placed them neatly in the river so that she could cross.  Like a fairy princess…..

In difficult times, you never know who you’re going to speak to next, and what they might tell you!

Kate Mole


We are welcoming personal stories or reflections on the theme of community, so please do get in touch if you’d like to share something with us at This can be in whatever format you choose, for example writing, a film, audio, artwork or poem. Ideally you’d also include a photo or image to illustrate your story.

We are very grateful for Feast for funding this project.

Revealing City Hall Digital Stories

Posted on: 8th January 2020 No Comments

As part of our recent partnership with the Hall for Cornwall for the Revealing City Hall project, Storylines have have learnt a lot about the City Hall building, exploring the buildings history through the stories of people who have lived, loved and laughed within these walls. Storylines had the pleasure of conducting a series of oral histories with people with personal memories of the building and we are delighted to share the digital stories we have created.



Through the ‘Revealing City Hall’ project, Hall for Cornwall are hosting a programme of events and activities that share and celebrate the building’s rich history. The beating heart of Cornwall for over 170 years, Hall for Cornwall call Truro’s old City Hall their home. Built back in 1847, the building is Grade II* listed and full of secrets waiting to be shared. In 2018 HFC won a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to do just that.

To find out more about the ‘Revealing City Hall’ project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, visit:

A Celebration and Screening of Stories in St Mawes

Posted on: 31st October 2019 No Comments

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.

screening st mawes31 screening st mawes32 screening st mawes33 screening st mawes38 screening st mawes39 screening st mawes42 screening st mawes44 screening st mawes47 screening st mawes49 screening st mawes36 screening st mawes30

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.

We really hope the films are enjoyed far and wide-


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

This project was made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Film Screenings on the Roseland

Posted on: 16th October 2019 No Comments

Over the past year we have had the pleasure of working with the St.Just and St.Mawes Heritage Group on the Heritage Lottery Funded Project, ‘A Window in Time- Roseland Remembers’. Using the buildings at the heart of St.Mawes and St.Just as a starting point we have uncovered some wonderful stories about village life and the characters that lived here.

Using both oral history interviews conducted in peoples homes and video recordings captured by volunteer filmmaker Tim Lowe through a series of Memory Walks, we have now woven together some of these tales to make 2 films. Fascinating archive photographs from the Heritage Group collections span back over 100 years and further help illustrate some of the memories.


The films cover a range of themes including the past use of buildings, the characters who lived and worked in and around them, storms, village celebrations like carnival and regattas and changes to village life. Jam packed with stories that are colourful, humorous, moving and thought provoking, the films are well worth a watch… even if we do say so ourselves!


These films will be shown at a series of celebratory events, alongsidean exhibition of photos and artwork produced by local young people and school children who worked with artist Jane Nicholls. The exhibition will be open to everyone on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday October 2019 (23rd, 24th and 25th) at The Millennium Rooms St. Mawes from 10 am -4pm. The exhibition and film then moves to St Just and will be open to the public on Tuesday 29th October 2019 at The Institute from 10am – 4pm.


We look forward to seeing you there!

Remembering Roseland- Memory Walks in St.Mawes & St.Just

Posted on: 3rd July 2019 1 Comment

To build on the oral histories we had collected in St Mawes and St Just for the A Window in Time: Roseland Remembers Project, we arranged 2 days of Memory Walks where we guided local people around the historic square of St Just and the seafront parade of shops and dwellings in St Mawes. Memory Walks are a great way of triggering memories as there will always be some sign or landmark that will catch someone’s attention and out will pour a story. In this case actually being in front of many of the historic and iconic buildings in these two beautiful villages brought forth fascinating narratives that had been hidden behind facades for decades.

The 2 days we had earmarked for the walks provided us with beautiful weather, perfect for dawdling along pavements and relaxing together in detailed conversations. We were very fortunate to have Tim, a local volunteer for the Heritage group as our film maker and he politely herded us around so that he could get the best shots whilst stories were being recounted.

We started with the village of St Just and its quaint square. This walk was always going to be challenging due to the noise of passing traffic. However we managed and Peter, Rosemary and Sheila rose to the occasion despite the difficulties and shared some fabulous anecdotes. Peter and Rosemary had had a milk round since their early married days and so they filled us in on all the families who lived around the square and how the houses had changed. We heard about the day when services like water and electricity were finally installed in the village and what a massive difference this made to people’s lives. Everyone had firm memories of the blacksmith’s shop as children and the evocative smells and sounds that came from it. We learned about Bertha Pasco’s shop where you could buy anything and the changing position of the Post Office. Sheila was the only person to have been at the village school so she recounted those days and took us to see the Peace tree still growing behind the school building. One special delight was visiting the local Institute building which prided itself in being the village hall with the best view ever… and what a view it was overlooking the estuary!

In St Mawes we conducted 2 walks and we found the perfect location on the edge of the quay so we were able to face the row of buildings and shops we wanted to concentrate on. Local deliveries and construction work went on around us but this didn’t dampen the stories which came fast. What quickly became apparent from everyone was the changing nature of the sea front and the actual pavement that we were standing on. Over the years this pavement had morphed from a beach with the lapping waves to the quaysidewe were standing on. These descriptions brought frightening tales of bad weather and its consequences to the village. One familiar trope our 6 participants referred to were the characters that could be found around this seafront. We heard about Brenda Pye the artist who had a flat above Pomery’s Garage, about Mr Mosely who it seems virtually owned the village, Mr Chester who bought the first television sets into the village and Peter the Viking who ferried people to films across in Falmouth. At one time it seemed that St Mawes was the drinking capital of all Cornwall so of course we had lots of pub and drinking stories which were hilarious. One very fascinating and sobering topic that arose naturally due to the fact we were concentrating on a row of shops, was the changing nature of

consumerism. What was sold decades past bears no resemblance to what is on offer now.

The stories and footage we gathered on these 2 days will contribute to the films that will be made shortly. These films will be used with local school children and the youth club in a series of workshops and will also be screened for the final celebratory events for this project. These will take place at the Millennium Rooms in St.Mawes on Monday 21st October and at the Institute in St.Just on Monday 28th October 2019.

Thank you to Peter, Rosemary, Sheila, Alan, David, Judith, Jenny, Rob and Kevin who gave up their time and shared their fantastic recollections of these two fascinating locations. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope you did too. See you at the screenings in the autumn.

A Window in Time‘ is a partnership project with the St.Just and St.Mawes Heritage Group, kindly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Heritage Group.

Stitching Stories in Four Lanes

Posted on: 7th February 2019 No Comments

Creatively interpreting a collection of gathered stories is always an exciting part of the work we do at Storylines. It’s a way of making stories accessible to many more people, instigating new conversations and providing opportunities for contributors to have fun and explore unexpected ways of documenting their memories.

Stitching Stories

Our recent workshops with the Starlings of Four Lanes saw the Methodist Chapel filled with tables, each bearing a cloth figure that would need decorating before being sandwiched between the Perspex figures that had recently been used in the Remembrance celebrations. They were all arranged in themes and coincided with the stories we had heard. So for example we had one about Sunday School, one about harvest, one about celebrations and so on. Our gathered Starlings set to work creating embroideries and adornments to the colourful digitally printed text and archive photos that told their stories, adding vibrancy to the figures. Thank you Father Peter for a very life – like interpretation of a Marigold bus that would have been used to transport ‘tea treaters’ to the seaside.

A Flock of Stories- Four Lanes

This communal artwork celebrating the stories of church and chapel in Four Lanes will be shared within the community and will live between these venues.

A Flock of Stories Education Resources

It will also be accompanied by a resource pack which will contain information about the figures and suggestions of activities and follow up work that can be used by schools and other groups.

Thank you to all who have taken part in this very rewarding project, it is truly a ‘flock of stories.’ Thank you also to the Cornwall Heritage Trust for making the project possible.

Capturing Oral Histories on the Roseland

Posted on: 21st December 2018 No Comments

It’s been all hands to the deck, or should we say all ears to the walls, as we launched into the ‘A Window in Time’ project in St.Mawes and St.Just on the Roseland this month.

We started by delivering a very enjoyable training session to members of the St.Just and St.Mawes Heritage Group, arming them with all the skills they need to conduct oral history interviews into the future. Whilst practising what they had learned in pairs, the memories flowed and it became clear that this group contains many voices that also need capturing as part of the project. So armed with their notes and with a new audio recorder on order, we hope the people who attended will enjoy spending more time with each other doing just this.

We have also begun our own recordings, visiting people in their homes to capture their memories of the buildings at the heart of St.Mawes and St.Just and in turn capturing a snapshot of life on the Roseland peninsula over the past century. As always it’s such a privilege to spend time with people listening to their memories, and the variety of stories have been fascinating to hear.


Here are a few of the lovely characters we have had the pleasure in recording so far.

A Window in Time’ is being delivered in partnership with the St.Just and St.Mawes Heritage Group and is possible with thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Starling Gatherings in Four Lanes

Posted on: 17th December 2018 No Comments

To honour the stories we have been collecting from the starlings of Four Lanes we wanted to involve the participants in the making of a communal artwork, which would celebrate their memories and could be shared amongst the congregations. With this in mind we arranged a series of sessions in Four Lanes Methodist Chapel and invited all the interviewees to come and help shape the next part of the project.


The recordings had given us a wealth of material and so we transcribed many quotes to encourage memory sharing within the group. Reading the quotes aloud jogged many more memories and more stories emerged and were shared with the group. It was lovely to see people who had not spoken for a long time reconnect through sharing stories and photographs.


To help decide how best to transform these wonderful stories into a lasting piece of artwork we introduced the group to other examples of ways of interpreting and representing stories in a creative way. After a clever suggestion from Father Peter, it was decided that the group will repurpose the perspex figures issued by the British Legion for Remembrance Sunday as objects that could trap images, photos and text and be mobile enough to live in both the church and the chapel; our own crowd, or congregation of stories.

Working as a group we whittled down quotes and photographs under a series of key themes that had emerged. To add extra interest we also asked the group to identify any images or colours that could go alongside the text and photos, for example a bottle of pop for Tea Treats. This brought up lots of interesting ideas and the stitchers of the group went away with lists of what to make over the holiday period. Even Father Peter went home with a task! … stitch a Marigold coach that would take them to Tea Treats.


We really look forward to the next workshop in the New Year (Tuesday 15th January 2019- 10:30am-4pm- drop in anytime- everyone welcome) when we will be assembling the figures and adding more embellishment. There was talk of a celebration and procession of the figures when they are complete in the spring of 2019. Watch this space!!!


These sessions were part of the ‘A Flock of Stories project which is kindly funded by the Cornwall Heritage Trust.