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A case of life imitating art reflecting life

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 22, 2013

By SIMON PARKER

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A theatre production in Truro this week will be used by members of the Workers' Educational Association to promote the huge variety of courses available to people throughout Cornwall.

The Pitman Painters tells the story of a group of Northumberland miners who, in 1934, decided to further their studies by joining an art appreciation class run by their local branch of the WEA. The course soon took a practical turn, when the miners started to create their own works of art and the students evolved into the now well known Ashington Group of artists. Their paintings remain highly regarded today.

Also still going strong is the WEA itself, with an active branch in Cornwall offering classes ranging from British Sign Language and lip-reading to Makaton and Braille, DH Lawrence in Cornwall to Pre-Raphaelite Antics, Dowsing King Arthur's Country to Permaculture.

Founded in 1903 to encourage working men to gain education, the WEA organised and paid for visiting lecturers and classes to assist people who would otherwise have had no access to education. Today it continues to offer learning and training opportunities across the UK.

Staff and volunteers at Cornwall WEA, which is based in Lemon Street, Truro, are using the opportunity of The Pitman Painters production in the city this week to highlight its activities. They will be manning an information stall in the foyer of the Hall for Cornwall before each show.

Paddy Scott, a volunteer from Liskeard, said: "I've been to some excellent classes over the years. We'll be manning a stall in the foyer and we're hoping lots of people take the opportunity to find out more about the work of the WEA."

WEA Cornwall learning manager, Heather White, said: "Volunteers can contribute to the work of the WEA in Cornwall in a variety of roles, which can enable them to develop their own skills and interests, establish long-standing friendships, broaden social participation and, for some volunteers, can even lead to employment."

For information on courses or volunteering opportunities, contact the WEA office on 01872-320036 or email cornwalloffice@wea.org.uk

Bill Kenwright's production of The Pitman Painters, written by Lee Hall and directed by Max Roberts, is at the Hall for Cornwall every evening this week, with matinees on Thursday and Saturday.

OTHER EVENTS THIS WEEK

ALTARNON

Church Hall: Light lunches and teas, Thursday from 10.30am.

BIDEFORD

Bideford College, Abbotsham Road: Bideford Keyboard and Organ Club present Byron Jones and Dirkjan Ranzijn. Sunday 3.30pm and 7.30pm. Admission £12 for visitors. Full Devon tea included between concerts.

BLACK TORRINGTON

Playing Fields: Black Torrington Summer Fete, Saturday 2pm; also Annual Dog Show, Saturday 1.30pm.

BODMIN

St Lawrence's Community Church: Cornish Coffee morning, refreshments, stalls etc. Saturday.

BRANSCOMBE

Village: Branscombe Festival, Friday-Sunday: Carducci String Quartet, Village Hall, Fri 7.30pm; Philip Higham, cello, Church, Saturday 12pm; Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello, soprano and tenor, Saturday 7.30pm and The Leo Green Experience, jazz, 10.30pm both in the Village Hall culminating Trelights Brass Quintet, Branscombe Beach, Sunday 12pm. Free.

BRENDON

Village Hall: Car park 764481: North Devon Ramblers Malmsmead Hill, Tippacott Ridge. optional pub lunch. About six miles. Sunday 10.30am.

BUDE

The Triangle: Table top Sales, Book, cake stall etc. Tuesday 10am-4pm.

BUGLE

Village Hall: Monday night Bingo in aid of the Bugle Silver Band Supporters Committee eyes down 7.30pm.

CALLINGTON

Sevenstones: Charity car boot every Saturday from 10am, every Sunday from 1pm. Weather permitting.

CRACKINGTON HAVEN

Institute Hall: Traditional cream tea and cakes, sale of plants, second hand books in aid of Cornwall Air Ambulance. Sunday 2-6pm.

CREDITON

Band Stand, Newcombes Meadow: Crediton Town, Sunday 3pm.

DARTINGTON

The Great Hall: Ensemble Meridiana. Saturday 7.45pm; Mbira Music of Zimbabwe and Voices of Ancestors Concert, Sunday 10pm.

Playford Centre: Dartington Country Dance club meet Friday 8.00pm.

DARTMOUTH

Flavel: Pianists Katrin Irvine and Rowena Marshall (duets), Nicolette Coward (flute), Jessica Heywood (cello) and Helen Deakin (Piano, coffee and cake, all for a five. Saturday 10.30am.

FEOCK

Large Marquee: Concert by Camborne Youth Band , Tickets £5. Thurs 7.30pm; Village Fete, Stalls, sideshows, teas etc Saturday 2pm, Concert by ROAST Singers. Tickets £5. Saturday 7.30pm. Details 021872 864236.

FOWEY

Churchyard: Fowey Hospital fete raffle tickets and a plant stall will be in the churchyard on Friday.

Primary School: Fowey Hospital Day Fete, side shows and stalls, Pimms Tent, WI , Cream teas etc. Saturday 2pm.

HALWILL

Parish Hall: Whist Drive, Thursday 8pm. Proceeds for Halwill Primary School.

HAYLE

Hayle Day Care Centre: Hayle Flower Club meet for demonstration by Elaine Reynolds on Inspirations of Summer. Wheelchair friendly. Mew members and visitors welcome.Wednesday 7.30pm.

HOLDSTONE HILL

Car park east of the Hill 625476: North Devon Ramblers Holdstone Hill, Trentishoe Down. About three miles. Wednesday 6.30pm.

ILFRACOMBE

Emmanuel Church, Seatfront: Cedars Big Band in concert. Wednesday 8.15pm.

ILLOGAN

Paynter's Lane End Hall: Country Market Tuesday 9.15-11am.

LATCHLEY, CHILDSWORTHY AND COX PARK

Field: Show day attractions include a dog and a pony show, Vintage vehicles, Punch and Judge etc. Saturday 1pm.

LAUNCESTON

Eagle House Hotel: Launceston Electronic Organ Club presents Nicholas Martin from Markfield Leicestershire. Admission £6 non members. Tuesday 7.30pm. Wheelchair access.

LEWDOWN

Cricket Club: Car boot sale. Sun 10am-1pm.No cars before 9am, sellers £5.

LISKEARD

Boconnoc House: 2013 Boconnoc Music Award in partnership with the Royal College of Music. Cataleya Quintet. Recitals followed by dinner, Tuesday and Thurs . Tickets £35; OR Concert in Boconnoc Church on Friday Tickets £12 each.

Long Room: Liskeard Country Market. Friday 8.30am-12noon.

MEMBURY, AXMINSTER

Membury Village Hall: Flower Show, vegetables, fruit, handicrafts etc followed by Grand Auction. 50p, children free for S W Childrens Hospice and Water Aid. Saturday 2pm.

NEWQUAY

Fistral Beach Hotel: Newquay Pentire Probus Club lunch, with guest speaker from the Classic Air Force. Wed 11.30am for 12noon. New members welcome. Details 01637 878990.

NEWTON ABBOT

Courtenay Centre, Kingsteignton Road: Rebel Country presents The Westons, Friday 8pm-11pm. Admission £6. BYO drinks.

OKEHAMPTON

Charter Hall: Stalls holders 8am, proceeds to Okehampton museum of Dartmoor Life. Stalls and vintage clothes . Saturday 9am-12.30pm.

PAR GREEN

In and Around the Gott Hall: Parish Fete and Bar-B-Q. games, plants, etc. All welcome. Wheelchair facilities at hall. Proceeds to Parish church maintenance. Saturday 11am-2pm.

The Gott Hall: Coffee and Craft Group meet Thursday 10.30am-12.30pm. New members welcome.

PENZANCE

Minack Theatre, Porthcurno: Anne Boleyn presented by Stamford Shoestring Theatre Company, Monday-Friday.

PERRANPORTH

St Piran's Oratory, Penhale Sands: Outdoor BCP Evening Prayer with shortened HC Sunday 3-4pm.

PLYMOUTH

Devonport Park Bandstand: Charles Cross Concert Band, with Matt Potts. Sunday 2.30pm.

Trinity United Reformed Church, Hartley: Plymouth and District Organists Association AGM and entertainment with organ recital by Kate Rodgers. Tuesday 7.30pm.

POLPERRO

Lansallos, Old Rectory Garden (next to the church): A traditional village fete with something for all the family, plenty of parking. Saturday 2.30-4pm.

PORTSCATHO

United Church, The Retreat: Cream teas every Monday in July and August 2pm-5pm. Also open daily for hot drinks and a rest.

POUGHILL nr BUDE

Methodist Church: Coffee morning every Tuesday from 10.30am-noon.

RILLA MILL

Village Hall: Whist drive Tuesday 7.30pm.

ROCHE

Victory Hall: Whist Drive. Friday 7.30pm.

SALTASH

Wesley Methodist Church: Saltash Foodbank Drop-in Centre. Every Monday, Wed and Friday 2-4pm.

SOUTH MOLTON

Day Room, Community Hospital: South Molton League of Friends 25 years - Open Day. All welcome. Thursday 10am-4pm.

ST AGNES

Parish Hall: Cornish Postcard, Postal History and Book Fair. Saturday 10am-4pm.

ST AUSTELL

Heavy Transport Social Club, Par Moor Road: Reunion of all ex Heavy Transport (ECC() employees. Friday July 26, 7.30pm. Details 01726 817802.

ST BREOKE, WADEBRIDGE

ST BREOKE Church: The Parish of St Breoke and Egloshayle is presenting displays by local organisations Saturday 11am-4pm. There will be a concert by Celtic Voices, a Cornish Chamber Choir, Saturday 7.30pm in the church, doors open Saturday 6.30pm. Tickets £5.

ST BURYAN

Village Hall: Farmers Market. Saturday 9.30-12.30pm.

ST GENNYS

Legion Hall: St Gennys and District Horticultural Society 83rd Annual Exhibition to be opened on Friday 3.30pm.

TAVISTOCK

The Wharf: Music with Cream of Clapton Friday 8pm, Saturday Mostly Autumn Saturday 8pm.

Bedford Hotel: Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir. Thurs 7.30pm.

TORQUAY

Babbacombe Theatre: Jethro 2013 UK tour, Saturday, 7.30pm.

Furrough Cross Church Hall, St Marychurch: Torbay Guild of Artists 46th Annual Exhibition. Saturday until August 4 from 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission is free.

TRURO

Hall for Cornwall: Truro Country Market. Tuesday 9.15-3pm.

VENTERDON, STOKE CLIMSLAND

Village: A Celebration of Pastimes, with stalls and refreshments. Saturday 2pm-7pm; Rev Howard and Anne Curnow, Sunday 11am; Display and refreshments 2.30-7pm; Cafe Church led by Rev Martyn Smith. Sunday 5pm. All welcome.

WADEBRIDGE

Egloshayle Village Hall: Garden Show. Saturday 2.15pm.

WARBSTOW

Church: Flower Festival featuring local crafts. Refreshments on the 27th. Running from Saturday through to July 31, 11am-4pm daily.

WITHERIDGE

Village Hall: North Devon Archaeological Society, Exhibition of the Finds from the West Yeo Project. No charge, Saturday 11am-3pm; Also from 3.30pm cream teas and a farm walk at West Yeo Farm.

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