We are delighted to have support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and FEAST this year as well as our valued local funders to deliver FIRE & STEAM – an exciting extended wrap-around heritage project for BikeLights, celebrating the unique history of our local railway.
The FIRE & STEAM project not only provides this year’s BikeLights with its inspiring 2019 theme, it also forms a natural link between Wadebridge and Bodmin where for the first time we’re planning a twin BikeLights procession, along with a series of heritage & creative activities and outcomes in schools and community groups, in collaboration with local partners.
The original ‘Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway’ linking our two North Cornwall towns opened in 1834 thanks to the innovative thinking of a small group of local people – in particular Pencarrow’s Eighth Baronet, Sir William Molesworth – and was one of the earliest UK steam railways in operation, before London could boast its own line and when local engineers were also winning prizes at the Great Exhibitions of the day.
Beyond our inclusive celebratory, processive, bicycle-based (as well as scooter-, pram- and wheelchair-based) twin BikeLights workshops and events – which bring together hundreds of local people, no matter their age, ability or background – further FIRE & STEAM themed heritage activities over the coming 10-12 months are also planned with a host of partners, who will be working closely with Wadebridge Creative Hub to bring the railway’s heritage to life for a new generation through a series of arts and heritage workshops and experiences.
FIRE & STEAM partners include IntoBodmin CIC, Bodmin College’s FdA Digital Media Unit, Wadebridge Dementia Action Alliance, Concern Wadebridge and Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Wadebridge & District Museum, Pencarrow Estate archivists, Bodmin Town Museum, Bodmin Town Council and hopefully Camelford Town Council and new Cornwall archives Kresen Kernow will also be linking with the Creative Hub over the coming months to help this project happen, and thanks to the project some of these partners will also benefit from new heritage assets such as specially-produced printed materials and displays, as well as website- and film-based heritage materials.
We are working with even more schools and community groups than ever before, so please get in touch if you would like to be involved, there is still time! Weather permitting, our BikeLights FIRE & STEAM 2019 events will take place at dusk in Wadebridge on Saturday 12thOctober, and in Bodmin on Sunday 13thOctober, with extreme weather fallbacks pencilled for the following weekend just in case! More information as we release it.
BIG thanks to our funders and supporters who also include St Breock Windfarm Community Fund & WREN, Wadebridge Town Council, ASDA Foundation, Coop Community Fund’s Good Causes, C&H Crane Hire, Verfacil Ltd & Wadebridge Coasters. Thanks also to LIDL Wadebridge, Camel Trail Cycle Hire, Kernow Fireworks, Wadebridge Bike Shop, Bridge Bike Hire and Wild Bake.