The FIRE & STEAM arts and heritage project from Wadebridge Creative Hub, which is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and FEAST along with local partners, celebrates the unique railway heritage of Wadebridge & Bodmin – which boasted one of the earliest steam railways in the UK, linking the two towns from 1834 until 1978.
The wider project incorporates twin inclusive, illuminated, bicycle-based BikeLights events for 2019. Magical echoes of the old railway will be traced in light, when cycle-based ‘steam locomotive’ the Coasters Camel follows in the footsteps of its namesake, the first ‘Camel’ engine, journeying up the old line from Wadebridge to Bodmin to link the two events, while the old railway station in Wadebridge – the John Betjeman Centre – will once more come alive with light installations and heritage photographs on magical themed light boxes recreating its heyday in the age of steam.
Leading up to these events are a whole host of heritage- & arts-based schools, community and elderly people’s workshops and activities, many helping to create builds for each procession to appear alongside professional artist commissions, and all inspiring participants of all ages to learn more about their fascinating local heritage.
The wider ongoing project, which runs until summer 2020 working with a wide range of partner organisations, offers further exciting supported heritage visits, creative activities and engagements for college students, schools and the community, while also working to create exciting new public assets and celebratory outcomes that will share this unique heritage with new and wider audiences.
Partner organisations include Wadebridge & District Museum, Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Concern Wadebridge, Bodmin College FdA Digital Media Unit, Wadebridge Dementia Action Alliance and IntoBodmin CIC.