Great War MK Finale – ‘thought provoking’ and ‘moving’

On 6th November, the Great War MK project partners came together to deliver ‘Great War MK Remembered’ our finale event at The Venue MK.  Produced by Full House, this event was designed to be a showcase of the different elements of the project and a fitting commemoration for the WW1 centenary.

With dance, performance, film and live music, ‘Great War MK Remembered’ was a varied and moving event.

GWMK Rem all last post

“I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed last night. It was very professionally put together, very entertaining, and made us really think about the affect the war had on our local area.”

“The dancing was thought provoking and a unlike anything I have seen previously, ballet, national and folk. It was a cross between street and gymnastics but at the same time graceful and eloquent and really encouraged your imagination…”

GWMK poppies throw

“A remarkable feat and at times poignant tribute to those that served in the Great War…The Last Post said it all with hardly a dry eye in the house.”

“The closing scene was moving and beautiful, with an excellent rendition of the Last Post.”

“A thoughtful & fitting finale to a wonderful project.”

GWMK Rem Arwell Last post

“The readings and poems were well chosen and emotionally moving. The excerpt from Nellie was both poignant and amusing – just the right balance.”

“All the animations were good but the one that will really stick in my memory was Lego in the trenches by the Great Linford Scouts. I think this could, and should be entered in both national and even international competitions.”

 

The Arts and Heritage Alliance would like to thank everyone who was involved in the project, and everyone who joined us for the finale on 6th November.

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Great War MK Remembered

On 6th November 2015, the Great War MK partners are presenting the finale to their WW1 centenary project – a powerful performance of dance, drama, poetry, music and film.  Drawing on the different elements produced over the last two years, Great War MK Remembered will provide a poignant evening for all.

This showcase will bring together a patchwork of creative responses to WW1 in an evening of entertainment, commemoration and reflection.  The evening will celebrate the talent and achievements of the Milton Keynes arts and heritage community and will include performances of original music composed by young people, moving dramatic performances from Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company, haunting poetry, and breath-taking choreography with dancers from Shenley Retirement Village and Initiate Youth Dance Company.  There’s also a rare chance to see the spectacular replica of a WW1 tank created by carnival company Festive Road and animations made by children working with Independent Cinema MK, in what promises to be an uplifting and poignant finale of the Great War MK project.Tank at Station Square

Great War MK Remembered is a unique opportunity to see the work of eleven fantastic organisations from the Milton Keynes region on one night, in one spectacular showcase performance. 

Great War MK Remembered will take place at 7.30pm on 6th November at The Venue MK, Walton High.  The show is being produced by local production company, Full House.

Tickets are £3 each or £10 for a family of four, available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/eventsmk

Manny Ademolu, Young Singer/Songwriter for Great War MK said:

This project has been great … it has challenged my skills as a songwriter to create a new piece of work that conveys a matter that still affects us to date. And working with a passionate and talented group of musicians is a constant reminder of the beauty and power that music holds.’ 

Euan Henderson, Chair of AHA-MK said:

‘This is the culmination of two years’ planning, researching, creating and delivering new ways of looking at the First World War 100 years ago as experienced in the area now transformed by the Metropolitan Borough and New City of Milton Keynes.’

For the Fallen Banners Preview

A preview of banners that will be used in For the Fallen at Campbell Park this sunday.  These beautiful hand-made banners, and many more, will be installed in the park to create a backdrop for a large-scale commemorative dance – join us 5th July, performances at 3pm and 5pm.

These banners will also be installed at Westbury Arts Centre from 11th – 31st July for members of the public to enjoy.

Simpson Commemorates Christopher Baker

Today is the centenary of the death of Christopher Baker at Plougsteert Wood.
Christopher Baker
Following recent practice, a copy of the Christopher Baker Tribute was placed on the Simpson War Memorial this morning, together with a posy of flowers prepared by Pamela Lambourne from the Simpson Britain in Bloom group.

The text of the tribute can also be found on the Simpson & Ashland Parish website: www.simpsonandashland.co.uk/lest-we-forget.html

A fuller account of Christopher Baker and his family will be added to the website shortly.  I am very grateful to Ruth McCracken and Shirley Jones for their help in researching the details of his short life.

Simpson war memorial - plaque detail 2014.07.07

For the Fallen Banners

Here is a gallery of yet more poignant and beautiful Great War MK banners produced by MK College students working with textile artist Vinny Stapley and Westbury Arts Centre.

The final collection of over 500 banners will be installed in Campbell Park for their large-scale ‘For the Fallen’ dance performance on 5th July and at Westbury Arts Centre on 11th July.

If you would like to be part of this project we are looking for people to create and donate poppies to be added to our banners.  You can find out more here.

Simpson commemorates Private Frederick Nicholls

Peter Barnes writes…

100 years ago, on 13 March 1915, Private Frederick Nicholls of the 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment (Service number 10250) died at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, ten miles to the south-west of Lille. He was 21 years old, one of the nine children of Frederick and Mary Nicholls, who lived at 182 Simpson Road.

Frederick Nicholls was commemorated this morning at the war memorial at Simpson which bears his name. A brief Biography (FN) was placed on the memorial for those who pass by to read.  It also appears on the ‘Lest we forget’ page on the Simpson & Ashland Parish website.
Simpson Commemoration - F NIchollsLena Bates, from the Simpson Britain in Bloom group, placed a beautiful posy of flowers on the memorial, following the practice instituted in November 2014.
Simpson Commemorates F Nicholls 2I am very grateful to the members of the group who prepare these posies and also liaise with Milton Keynes Council over the planting and maintenance of the memorial. Their work on behalf of the community in honouring those who served and died in both World Wars and, more widely, ensuring that Simpson is an attractive and cared-for environment is widely appreciated. It will feature in the Heritage section of Simpson’s submission to the Britain in Bloom awards this summer.

Beautiful Commemorative Banners

Westbury Arts Centre’s Banner Project aims to produce over 500 commemorative banners to be included in a large-scale dance piece entitled ‘For the Fallen’ taking place in Campbell Park.  Textile artist Vinny Stapley has been working with groups to create these banners – the dance project is being choreographed by Helen Parlor, Effie McGuire-Ward and Chris Bradley.

Here are some examples of the beautiful banners being produced…

If you are interested in getting involved in this project you can either attend a public banner workshop, or if you are part of a group, speak to Westbury Arts Centre directly about running a workshop: caroline@westburyartscentre.co.uk / 01908 501214

If you are part of a dance group, Westbury Arts Centre are also looking for more dancers to be part of the final dance piece – more info can be found on the Dance Great War Flyer.

We are also looking for people to create and donate poppies to be included on banners – more info here.