It's been an amazing summer, the kind of summer you always imaged summers were always like when you were young. This July culminated in Westerham's Summer 1914 on the Green to mark the last weekend of peace for those that lived in the town a hundred years ago. It's the start of a vast array of events up and down the country and around the globe marking the start of the first world war. On 12th we had a family day at St Barnabas school. Families dropped in throughout the day to help with making or contributing to exhibits for the up coming gallery, which will itself be part exhibition and workshop. Each gallery exhibit will be designed for the visitor to interact with. The workshop had people designing and making shadow puppets, camera obscures, strips for zoetrope, shadow puppets, and illustrated envelopes. The next day we ran a performance workshop in creating live, interactive problem pictures. Problem pictures we very popular in Edwardian Times and up to and through the first world war, not only in art galleries but magazines and newspapers. The problem picture invites the gallery visitors or readers to interpret what the pictures are about: who are protagonists in the picture, what's happening to them, what is their relationships, and what they are thinking, feeling or saying ? Our inactive live pictures use real actors so the audience can ask them to speak, move into the next frame of the story and so forth; it's an exciting way of building stories. Over O19th On 19th and 20th Alison and Ken McKenzie hosted a choir weekend in their house and garden. Tom Caradine was MD and ran a sequence of singing session covering popular Songs/Hymns, soldier's parodies and Edwardian part-songs. Tom is an inspiring teacher, and instils his enthusiasm in others. There was a barbecue on the Saturday night and a Nose in a Book Night with people reading poems, prose and diary's reflecting the Edwardian age and the war. Following a Sunday Morning brunch singing sessions continued with Music Hall and Community Songs. The whole weekend was a fabulous social event and gave the choir the opportunity to get to know each other a bit more socially. They're such a great group of people.
The final weekend of July saw Westerham Summer 1914 with events on the Green and around the Town. Claque set up a tent making war horse hats and the Westerham Play committee ran a tombola, both of which raised funds and importantly further interest and support for the play. The weather was everything you would wish for. On the Sunday a parade included Shire horses, a Kent re-enactment regiment, suffragettes, VAD Nurses, the Churchill school and Claque's life sized metal war horse dressed in flags. Alison McKenzie gave a stirring votes for women speech and it was great to see the Create choir in their Edwardian costumes for the first time. for more and a link to some great pictures go to the Westerham Town Website.