FIRE & STEAM: BIKELIGHTS 2019 comprised twin inclusive illuminated bicycle-based events in October 2019, linking the towns of Wadebridge and Bodmin for the first time ever through the theme of their shared railway heritage.
As part of the lead-up to the two events, a host of heritage- & arts-based schools residencies, community and elderly people’s workshops, and intergenerational activities, engaged an incredible number of participants of all ages, sharing this fascinating heritage with all the participant groups. These groups then created an amazing range of themed, illuminated builds and creations to appear alongside the professional artist commissions during the events and exhibitions.
Magical echoes of the old rail line were traced in light when the cycle-based Coasters Camel ‘steam locomotive’ actually followed in the footsteps of the first ‘Camel’ engine, journeying from Wadebridge to Bodmin on what is now the Camel Trail to link the two town-centre events in an extra addition to the normal BikeLights processions.
During both events, community members of all ages came out onto the streets with their own bike-based, scooter and wheelchair based creations, in a shared celebration of their towns and heritage, accompanying the professional artist commissions in a circular route and with a special music and pyrotechnic finale in each setting.
During the Wadebridge event, the ‘Coasters Camel’ also halted at the Sir John Betjeman Centre, which, for one magical night, became Wadebridge Railway station once more: brought alive through the installation of beautiful themed light boxes, created by some of the community groups and artists, and showing stunning archive photographs of the town’s thriving heyday in the age of steam that have been kindly shared with the project by Wadebridge and District Museum and its contributors.