Celebration Community Club Festival Heritage Stories History Town Hall Truro

Truro Peace Day Celebrations, 1919

Truro Peace Day Celebrations, 1919

By Daisy Roberts

Peace Day celebrations took place in Truro on the 18th and 19th of July, 1919, marking the formal end to the First World War. Although the conflict on the Western Front had ceased when the armistice was reached on 11th of November, 1918, a formal peace was not agreed until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28th of June, 1919. This official end to the war was celebrated throughout the United Kingdom. As the image shows, King George V declared that a religious thanksgiving be held throughout the British Isles and Empire on 6th of July. In Truro, a service was held in the cathedral. This was followed up by the Peace Day celebrations on the 18th and 19th. London led the celebrations. A large victory parade made its way through the city and the first cenotaph was unveiled in Whitehall. (This temporary structure was so well received that the following year it was replaced with a permanent structure).

In Truro, celebrations spanning the 18th and 19th of July, were attended by the general public, local school children and former soldiers who had served in the war. These celebrations intended to remember the lost, commemorate their sacrifices and celebrate peace. Festivities included speeches, music, food, fancy dress, sports competition, a bonfire and carnival. Events on the 18th were primarily directed at local school children. The postcard shows their attendance at a religious service, delivered from a platform erected outside what is now the Hall for Cornwall building on Boscawen Street. This was followed by sports competition in Boscawen Park in the afternoon.

On the evening of the 18th, at least 500 ex-servicemen were entertained with dinner and a smoking (men-only) concert. Both were held in what is now the Hall for Cornwall building. The Saturday celebrations, on the 19th, began with bell-ringing from both Kenwyn Church and Truro Cathedral. Stood outside of the City Hall on Boscawen Street, the Mayor then read the proclamation of peace. After which, the festivities got into full swing, the parade and adult’s sports competitions began, followed by music in the evening.

These celebrations were enjoyed by all members of the Truro community. Truro City Hall building provided the perfect centre for these festivities, both public and private. A tradition Hall for Cornwall aims to continue on the same site today and in the future.

Images courtesy of the Cornwall Records Office, with thanks to Courtney Library of the Royal Institution of Cornwall for access to local newspaper archives.

Community Club

Banging the Drum for Creativity and Community

Banging the Drum for Creativity and Community

Guest post by Sophie Baker (Muddy Cornwall)

There is so much more to Hall For Cornwall than I realised as an occasional theatregoer. From the youth companies and artists’ support programme to the Community Club, supported by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the theatre is a champion for the performing arts in this exciting, creative region.

Over the past five years the Community Club has enabled 6,000 people, of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, to enjoy the magic of theatre with free tickets, workshops and special ticket prices. And to celebrate the Club’s successes and mark #lovetheatreday, Hall For Cornwall opened its doors for a full day of free workshops, performances and activities this month.

I joined for the day-time workshops, which were all fully booked and had the pleasure of chatting to lots of the Community Club members who were there for the day – from groups supporting people with disabilities, to school drama clubs and home-schooled children and their parents. There were local visitors too, including a group of amazing seniors, who came into town on the bus, attended every workshop and staunchly refused to let me sit and watch from the side-lines.

The day kicked off with a stage-makeup workshop, with everyone, from beardy blokes to schoolgirls, being made up to look like vengeful fairy, Maleficent.  Taiko drumming was next, which was as therapeutic and primal a musical experience as I’ve ever had, combining shouts and big rhythmic beats. This was led by the fabulous Jane from Cymaz Music, who credits Kagemusha Taiko for this accessible and powerful drumming style.

Next up was Bollywood Dance and again, a front row of kids was backed up by age and experience (though not in Bollywood dancing). Charlotte from InspirAsian Dance taught some simple routines to familiar bangra tracks as well as some beautiful mudras (Indian hand gestures) used a lot in this style of dance. Finally, and busiest of all, was the ‘introduction to jive’ session – could it be the Strictly effect? Whatever, Muddy’s got some new moves just in time for the festive season!

In the evening around 300 people attended the showcase, that featured performances from professional and community performers and companies who have supported or taken part in Community Club activities over the years. Canvas Theatre, performed an excerpt from their amazing touring show, The Coastguard’s Daughter, along with performances from Shallal Dance Company, Truro Learning Academy, Continuum Dance Company and InspirAsian.

Thanks so much to Hall For Cornwall for getting me out from behind the laptop for the day – I loved it. So great to try something new, in inspiring company young and old.