Praise from Town Mayor for First World War Project

‘Always Remembered’, a First World War commemoration project delivered by Music at the Heart of Teesdale (M@HoT), has been praised by Cllr John Blissett, the Town Mayor, following its completion.  He said, “The Town Council was delighted to support this project and has been impressed by the contribution of Cream Tees and the dancers of the Longsword dance team to its success. We continue to be reminded of the sacrifices of our forebears in the First World War, as successive centenaries pass. This project has made a fantastic contribution to keeping those memories real and alive, through the involvement of Teesdale’s young people.”

Cream Tees at the cemetery in Bowes village

Members of Cream Tees with Mike Bettison and Rupert Philbrick visiting the cemetery with its WW1 gravestones in Bowes village.
(Photo by Neil Diment)

Through the first half of 2016 leading up to the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, M@HoT’s Mike Bettison and Rupert Philbrick researched the sites of each war memorial in the Heart of Teesdale landscape partnership area, uncovering the stories that lie written in each stone or plaque. As part of their work, M@HoT’s youth folk band Cream Tees learnt a number of tunes contemporary to the First World War, as well as composing their own pieces of music reflecting their learning and emotions as they uncovered the hidden history of Teesdale’s First World War. The Teesdale Longsword Dance team also learnt a new dance, under the guidance of tutor Patrick Langdon. Both were performed at a special ‘Tunes from the Trenches’ concert with John Kirkpatrick concert at The Witham in Barnard Castle in July, 2016.

WW1 memorial plaque in Bowes village hall

Plaque in Bowes village hall commemorating the lives of the 15 men “from
this district who died serving their country” in WW1.
(Photo by Neil Diment)

“Now, based on Mike’s research and thanks to local artist and musician’s Rupert Philbrick’s film making and inspirational work with our young musicians, we have a fine filmed record of the First World War memorials in the Heart of Teesdale area centred on Barnard Castle,” said project co-ordinator, Neil Diment. “You can click on our website for links to a video record of each of the memorials in the town and surrounding villages. They all include original music created by Cream Tees’ young musicians working with Rupert.”

Rupert Philbrick working with Matthew Hendry and Joe Sammut of Cream Tees

Rupert Philbrick working with Cream Tees’ Matthew Hendry and Joe Sammut at the Bowes Museum to turn their emotions into music following their visit to some of Teesdale’s WW1 memorials.
(Photo by Neil Diment)

Former Cream Tees fiddler and Teesdale School student, Edward Hart-Davis, built the M@HoT website with a bit of help from his Dad, Guy, but put together the ‘Always Remembered’ web pages, complete with an interactive map, by himself. “It’s given me lots of really good experience,” he said. “With both my fiddling and through my work on the M@HoT website, I have enjoyed bringing old traditions of Teesdale to the digital age, and sharing the legacy with anyone who might be interested.”

Rupert Philbrick leads a Cream Tees workshop at Bowes village hall

Rupert Philbrick leading an “Always Remembered” WW1 workshop session for Cream Tees at Bowes village hall.
(Photo by Neil Diment)

For more information about M@HoT’s ‘Always Remembered’ project, contact Neil Diment on 01833 638263 or email: neil@ndiment.co.uk. For more information about the project and to view each of the video records of the First World War memorials, just click on: www.musicattheheartofteesdale.com/always-remembered.

Cream Tees young musicians at the Barnard Castle war memorial

Cream Tees young musicians recording their thoughts and feelings inspired by their visit to the Barnard Castle war memorial at the Bowes Museum.
(Photo by Neil Diment)