Visiting Chelmsford Ideas Festival on a Monday evening…
To Chelmsford on Monday evening, 24th October, for the formal launch of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival at the Anglia Ruskin University campus in the city, in the presence of Councillor Patricia Hughes – Mayor of Chelmsford.
The assembled audience were warmly welcomed by Professor David Humber, Provost of Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford Campus, who went on to give a brief history of the University’s association with the Festival over the last five years.
Professor Humber also gave us news of the development of new Life Science courses and infrastructure as well as the imminent plans to open a new Medical School on the campus in 2018.
We learned from Prof. Humber that the city was host to some 93 events this Festival season, of which 20 events will take place on the University campus.
In response the Festival Chair, Malcolm Noble FRSA, spoke in thanks for the contribution the city makes to the Ideas Festival and how the city’s support, made manifest by the presence of Her Worship the Mayor, was most gratefully and vitally received each year.
Malcolm spoke also of a change of inflection for the Festival programme this year, involving children and families directly and threading practical arts and community focused events through the programme.
You can discover the Ideas Festival on-line here, and see how the original socio-cultural research, which triggered the creation of the Changing Chelmsford Festival team, has attempted to fill gaps in artistic provision and increase community engagement across the city and its hinterland.
They have been successful without doubt.
The launch gathering was followed by a lecture on ESA’S COPERNICUS PROGRAMME: How is E2V protecting Planet earth? – featuring the work of Chelmsford company e2v – ‘…providing world-class image sensors and detection subsystems that can help solve the mysteries of the Universe, understand climate change on Earth and much more…‘
Source: Festival Programme.
Our featured Festival event for this week:
27th October 2016 Somme 100 Film Chelmsford Cathedral, 53 New St, Chelmsford CM1 1TY 20.00 to 22.00
‘Live Cinema performance with Cambridge Concert Orchestra to mark the centenary of the First World War Battle of the Somme: lasting from 1st July to 18th November 1916. We will use the acclaimed score by composer Laura Rossi as commissioned by the Imperial War Museum. Laura Rossi and the Imperial War Museum Senior Curator Dr. Tony Haggath will introduce the film‘.
It’s that time of year again. We are packing our notebooks, pencils and cameras for a series of editorial visits, as usual, to the Chelmsford Ideas Festival 2016.
22nd October till the 12th November 2016.
”The Chelmsford Ideas Festival aims to stimulate and inspire people through a set of innovative events, talks and workshops”.
With a much improved web site this year, you can find a range of activities and interests to stimulate the intellect across a variety of themes. Each category of event has its own diary section. See below for what might interest you most.
To book individual workshops and events simply open the calendar entry on the web page to get full details of the event and how to book.
Highlights from the programme? We liked…
Rooted Art – Public Art Workshops 25th October, 2016 10.00 to 12.00
‘Let’s make history! Join Artist Nick Haydon (known for his large scale printmaking) and Artist Victoria Button in creating a massive historic mural in Chelmsford city centre, depicting stories of the city’s heritage. Funded by Essex County Council’.
Chat About the Old Days – 27th October and 27th November, 2016 – 14.00 to 16.30
‘Come along to this free session – enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and a cake for just £1 and join us in reminiscing about the ‘old days’. (Don’t forget: even teenagers have an ‘old days’ – what do you remember about times past?)
Our idea is to have a jolly good nostalgic chat session over a cup of tea and then for some of the memories and stories that come out to form the basis of a new community artwork to be displayed at the Ideas Hub. Maybe it will be the start of a series of artworks…who knows?’
ESA’S COPERNICUS PROGRAMME: How is E2V protecting Planet earth? 24th October 19:00 – 21:00
‘Paul Jerram is Chief Engineer for Space Imaging at e2v, Chelmsford. Headquartered in Chelmsford, e2v is bringing life to technology and employs 1750 people globally. e2v partners with customers to provide world-class image sensors and detection subsystems that can help solve the mysteries of the Universe, understand climate change on Earth and much, much more…’
Event follows the Festival launch at Anglia Ruskin University.
The Ideas Festival Chelmsford, 22nd October till the 12th November 2016, is certainly now a premier intellectual and cultural landmark in the regional festival landscape. Visit the web site and book to join in the work. You will not be disappointed.
Benedict Dellot of The RSA has recently authored a new report on the growing phenomenom of Maker Spaces. There’s one near you…did you know?
The report defines MakerSpaces as ‘…open access workshops, hosting a variety of tools, from 3D printers and laser cutters through to sewing machines and soldering irons’.
These unique spaces attract hackers, roboticists, traditional engineering and technical enthusiasts, along with a variety of arts and craft specialists. There is something of a William Morris, Arts and Crafts revolutionary aspect to their public face. Offering as they do, spaces for making and experimentation in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.
Morris would have it that you should ‘…have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’. Perhaps in the 21st Century, in a MakerSpace context, their motto should be ‘…beautiful, useful and technically collaborative’. (…great sign over every MakerSpace door?…Ed.)
As part of the RSA report (Ours to Master…)a survey finds that people, when asked, express an interest in Maker philosophy and practice, and would be interested in accessing such facilities. The survey found…
26 percent of people regularly make things for their own use, 49 percent fix things that are broken and 21 percent modify products to better suit their own needs
57 percent would like to learn how to make more things they and their families could use
61 percent would like to have a better understanding of how the things they use work
78 percent think our society is too materialistic and our economy too dependent on consumption
43 percent often feel confused by the pace of technological change and struggle to keep up
24 percent would be interested in using a makerspace in the future
‘Ipswich Makerspace is a Suffolk based group of like minded makers who get together to learn, build and experiment with a huge variety of hardware, software, and technology in general’. (Source: Ipswich Makerspace, December 2015) See more here.
‘Chelmsford Makerspace is a non-profit, community of makers in Chelmsford. We are a group of makers and hackers that get together to share tools and knowledge’. (Source: Chelmsford Makerspace, December 2015). See more here…
‘We are developing a maker workshop offering affordable access to basic equipment such as workbenches, pillar drills, soldering irons, sewing machines and saws etc’. (Source: Colchester Makerspace, December 2015). See more here…
‘Hitchin Hackspace is a community organisation devoted to providing everyone with a place to explore all kinds of creative technologies and crafts’. (Source: Hitchin Hacspace, December 2015). See more here…
Thank you to Benedict Dellot for another interesting and cutting edge report. It is interesting to see old concepts of craft and sharing being developed in contemporary communities, to deliver accessible, technology related products and learning. ‘Social engineering’ in its purest form perhaps?
We are surprised, in our brief survey of MakerSpaces in the East, to find no representative group for Norwich. If you know of one, use our contact form and let us know. We’ll run a supplementary piece to spread the word about them, if we missed an opportunity to do so here. Happy making! Ed.
The Chair of Changing Chelmsford Malcolm Noble and Ideas Festival Director Leonie Ramondt , and their teams, have put together a well designed and informative Festival programme – with the creative input of the Anglia Ruskin University Design Collective. (Thanks go to Jeff Bray, Becky Lockwood and Daniel Tubl).
Robotics…. Be part of world level engineering breakthroughs, achievements, and products being designed and developed in Chelmsford and Essex. You will have the opportunity to take control and get involved in various activities such as engineering design, 3D printing, using advanced computer models, robotics, aerodynamics, medical engineering, Raspberry Pi and many more. Learn about the change and impact that engineering in Chelmsford and Essex makes nationally and internationally.
Extra Information: Booking required: www.anglia.ac.uk/ community or call 01245684723
Essex Police is 175 years old this year. Nick Alston CBE was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex in 2012. He is currently Chair of the Board of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and Chair of the Police ICT Company Board. He will give us an overview of his experience as Commissioner, reflect on policing in Essex and provide some pointers on the police service of the future.
A strong theme of the Festival this year is the notion of Creating the City of the Future. Ideas for city change, walks through the concept of change in Chelmsford and harnessing the power to create – a three part, multi-location event.
Matthew Taylor of the RSA will be exploring the Power to Create the City, harnessing the thematic concepts enagaged in the Society’sChange Aims.
Enlightened City Making
Host: The Royal Society of Arts Venue: Chelmsford Cathedral Date: 21st October, 2015 – 10.00am to 2.30pm
Session One – ENLIGHTENED CITY MAKING
Creativity is at the heart of innovation, enterprise and good places to live. But we are increasingly expected to be resourceful and self-reliant to shape our communities, with the help of amazing digital tools. The RSA says everyone has the power to create and to stival play a role in enlightened, active communities. Using the RSA ‘Change Aims’ we will look at the power to create the city with Matthew Taylor, head of the RSA.
The Fling Festival is taking place today on Saturday 4th July at Hylands Park in Chelmsford.
‘An abundance of local talent across four music stages, including Paolo Morena, Little Donkey, The Midnight Barbers,Secret Company, Stealing Signs, The Kubricks, Creme de Chevre, ukulele group D’Ukes, Band of Fools, Tall Dark Friend, Ady Johnson, Animal Noise, Papa Shango, Bakerside and 12 piece group Nat & The Noise Brigade, who will be bringing their eclectic mix of brass, wind, strings and more to Hylands Park…’
However, there is talk set amongst all the music and song.
This month’s conversationsEAST sponsored Coffee with My Councillor session will be held in Chelmsford. It is an opportunity for Fellows to meet and talk directly with their Fellowship Councillor in the East of England.
Tim reports that conversations he has had, so far, have fallen on stony ground in his search for female Fellows to champion a new Female Fellows group in our region.
Why not come along to the Ideas Hub, a great open and friendly venue, see below, on the 18th and explore the starting of this new group. Designed to support and promote female Fellow led research, social and community business projects or to lobby for family friendly services at our meetings, conferences and get-togethers.
Vikki Heywood, Chair of the RSA, will be giving a presentation at Chelmsford’s Anglia Ruskin University on Wednesday 22nd October.
Her topic is the cultural aspects of First World War centenary commemorations. She chairs 14-19 Now, an organisation funded by the Heritage Lottery and Arts Council England, to produce a programme of commissions relating to the centenary.
Essex County Council has arranged a weekend of events for Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.
On the Sunday between 10.00 and 16.00 there will be enactments and exhibitions at Hylands Park in Chelmsford.
There will be a conference on the Sunday focused on the impact of war on Essex held in Hylands House lasting from 10.30 until 15.00, Paul Rusiecki, author of The Impact of Catastrophe: The People of Essex And The First World War will be the opening speaker and Malcolm Noble RSA Regional Chair, conference chairman.
The Fellow led Chelmsford Remembers project team will be present in Hylands House.
They will explain to Chelmsford residents and other attendees how the project will unfold over the next two years and the ways in which the general public can contribute. Fellows living anywhere in Essex will be particularly welcome. If you are able to join us even for a short time, please introduce yourself to members of the team.
The team will include Frederick Slater, Project Co-ordinator, Annabel Brown FRSA, from the Young Explorers Group, Mick McDonagh FRSA, Manager of the High Chelmer Shopping Centre, Andrew Begent, Manager of the City War Memorial Website, plus representatives from the Marconi Heritage Group and the Chelmsford Civic Society.
The weekend of June 28th 2014 marked the centenary of the death of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, at the hands of Gavrilo Princip. Arguably sparking the events that put in train the First World War.
This reflection revealed a surprising and diverse range of resources about the Great Conflict. Many, perhaps, at odds with the perceived understanding of the war and its consequences. Remarkable in as much that so much is yet to be discovered, even after a century has passed…
His ambitions were arguably localised, national, but the outcome of his act was trans-continental. With the destruction to come, the terrible devastation of war, linked to and having an unfortunate long echo back to the previous tumultuous tragedies in France during the 15th Century. The anguish is contemporary still.
Allas! what peple hathe your werre slayne!
What cornes wastede, and doune trode and shent!
How many a wyfe and maide hathe be forlayne,
Castrels doune bete, and tymbered houses brent
And drawen doune, and alle tortore and rent!
The harme ne may not rekened be ne tolde;
This werre wexethe all to hore and olde…
Thomas Hoccleve, Poet & Clerk, London
‘An appeal for Peace in France’ (1412)
Princip, part of a team of six Bosnian-Serb radicals dedicated to their plan, was standing outside a cafe in Franz Josef Street, reflecting on an earlier failed assassination attempt upon the Austrian Archduke by a co-conspirator that day. When, seeing the royal vehicle, engine stalled after taking a wrong turn, he leapt forward with his revolver, and from a distance of five feet, changed history.
This story of ‘cataclysm by happenstance’ continues to provoke debate and divide about how the next few months saw progress into war, but also about the wider legacy of Princip’s actions, even after a hundred years has passed. The narratives still differ, both historic and contemporary, often in surprising ways.
Modern Sarajevo remains a divided city, politically and culturally, to this day. With Princip seen as hero or devil depending upon the view of historical events taken from the city centre. To mark the Sarajevan centenary Andrew MacDowall, in The Guardian newspaper, has written an interesting and insightful article on how stands the political front-line concerning Princip.
In Eastern Sarajevo, from the view point of the Serb Republic, Princip is a national hero,. His actions freeing the city from Austrian dominance. However, for the Bosnian Muslim population Princip’s actions bought about an end to a golden era of Austrian administration. The Muslim population look to the grand edifices of civil society, schools and railways of the Austrian Empire as evidence of their argument.
Even after a hundred years, residents of a strife torn city cannot agree on a single, conciliatory view of their history. This set us thinking about that sunny day in 1914. What were, or what did, contemporaries to Princip think about the coming events and their out turn?
We turned to the Project Gutenberg on-line library. Looking through the project’s World War 1 bookshelf we discovered, amongst the usual, deeply moving and contemporary military narratives, a surprising and very different view of events and understanding of the ‘culture’ of war, particularly of conflict in other places.
This writer did not know of a Mills and Boon, Kiplingesque literary oeuvre developed around events of the war. Deeply at odds with the first person narrative of other, military writers, but perhaps born of a then contemporary optimism for Empire, incomplete knowledge and the heady ‘home by Christmas’ approach.
The Gutenberg archive also makes available to the general reader a selection of European political writing on the Great War. We found the account of pre-war diplomacy and events from Viscount Haldane both disturbing and revealing about political attitudes and actions towards European conflict. See more here…
Margaret Vandercook in her The Red Cross Girls with the Russian Army, (John Winston Co., Philadelphia, 1916) writes about war and combat as a sort of Mills & Boon romance adventure. Dashing young men in foreign places, capturing the swooning hearts of kindly young women. Published in 1916, it arguably represents a canon of juvenile fiction, that was blind to, or unknowing of the true horror of warfare at any front-line.
There is a sort of breathless, adventure story pace to the book, at odds with the newsreel and written narratives we have come to know about the Great War and other conflicts in the 20th and 21st centuries.
There is in this bookshelf collection a fascinating insight into the power of Empire and the loyalty created in military service.
In Talbot Munday’s Hira Singh – When India Came to Fight in Flanders lies the fictionalised story of a group of Sikh soldiers captured by the German army in Flanders and transported back to ‘Constantinople’, who then escaped and marched overland to Kabul in Afghanistan to rejoin the British Army in their fight in Europe again.
One hundred Indian troops of the British Army have arrived at Kabul, Afghanistan, after a four months’ march from Constantinople. The men were captured in Flanders by the Germans and were sent to Turkey in the hope that…they might join the Turks. But they remained loyal to Great Britain and finally escaped, heading for Afghanistan. They now intend to join their regimental depot in India, so it is reported.
New York Times, July, 1915 (Talbot Munday)
Although fiction, with some of the language jarring by modern cultural norms, and being written by a European, the story none the less provides insights into the nature of leadership, how men who were accomplished warriors from another culture, might have seen the conflict in Europe with empathetic eyes.
The archive does not contain any reflection from Indian sources, but when looking at the contribution of the Indian Army and Marine service to the conflict, there is little doubt that support there was.
How profound, prompted a look at the detail of the contribution of the Indian Army in the Great War? Details of the 1 million Indian troops who served in France, Mesopotamia and other battle zones can be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web pages. See more here…
Closer to home are a range of projects and community activities to remember the Great War in detail. One such is the work done by Fellows in Chelmsford, as part of a Heritage Lottery funded project – Chelmsford Remembers, and which will be launched as part of the Essex Remembers event, which involves both Essex County Council and Chelmsford City Council, to held at Hylands House on the weekend of 13th/14th September.
We look forward to supporting Fellows in the project by delivering a ‘web special feature’ about this exciting social history journey of discovery. (You can find the Chelmsford War Memorial web site here – this is a wonderful resource, with images and detailed biographies of the 359 men commemorated on the Great War Memorial in Chelmsford, Ed.)
Even after one hundred years, the local and social is as telling and moving as ever. Princip would probably still recognise the physical landscape old Sarajevo, if not the political one, whilst great new discoveries and insights lay waiting in the family archives of Chelmsford we suspect.
A new web resource, dedicated to the art, politics and history of the great conflict. Referencing major UK museum collections, but also providing insights into history from a surprising variety of sources.
A new resource offering insights into how ‘… it was the ordinary men and women who were affected the most. This exhibition gives those personal accounts from across Europe for the first time, based on stories and items contributed by the public’.
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