This month we’d like to celebrate Fin and Hannah Irwin as our cultural ambassadors of the month for April. Since 2017, Fin and Hannah have helped to develop two of Cornwall’s cultural organisations – intoBodmin and Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Through their jobs they both promote and support culture in Bodmin, engaging residents with their heritage and the arts and establishing the town as a top tourist destination. Read on to find out more about their work in Bodmin and what they love about Cornwall…
intoBodmin (Fin) based at The Old Library, and Bodmin & Wenford Railway (Hannah) – both in Bodmin.
intoBodmin were founded in 2017 to promote culture and create opportunities for people to engage with culture. We have done this through events (large and small), festivals and by taking over the old library building to turn into an arts cafe and community space. We have regular live performance happening here. In the last year, through support from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council we have been able to put on three large concerts in St Petroc’s Church including the Cuban Brothers and Penguin Cafe; a large-scale community project culminating in a video mapping and projection onto a building in Bodmin and, at the end of April, the inaugural Words in Woods festival, a storytelling and literature festival for families.
Being able to engage with people across Cornwall and with people visiting the county through the print brochure and online What’s On platform. And it’s always our go to place to find the best of what’s on across the county.
The thing we talk about most was Strangers on a Train – the Stranger Collective’s event on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway in November 2018. It combined good food, nice cocktails, great company, entertainment and learning, in an unusual setting, all in one evening!
Assuming the weather has been taken care of too then it will begin with fresh homemade bread rolls and marmalade in the garden. Then we walk down through Cardinham Woods to the Woods Cafe for coffee and cake before walking up through the Glynn Valley to Colesloggett Halt Station and jumping on a steam train up to Bodmin Parkway. We then walk up through the Lanhydrock Estate and have a late lunch at the estate cafe. Continuing our adventure on foot we walk back to Bodmin Parkway and get the steam train back into Bodmin General. A quick look around Cornwall’s Regimental Museum followed by a walk into town and down to the Jail for a wander around their exhibition before an early dinner at the newly opened Flory on Mount Folly. We then head up to The Old Library for a bit of evening theatre and finish of the day with a post-show cocktail at The Beehive.
It would have to be some theatre that makes you think, something different like Ontroerend Goed’s new show Loopstation at Plymouth Theatre Royal. And we’d take a group, so that we can get some stimulating post-show discussion happening after. It would include David Bowie, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood and Berthold Brecht.
Nikesh Shukla’s Salt in the Sugar Jar in somebody’s home kitchen in North Devon (and the potato and pea shak he cooked up and served at the end of the show was delicious!).
It has to be St Petroc’s Church. A beautiful 15th Century building with amazing acoustics. It’s a unique setting and the perfect home for our Sessions.
The loop from Padstow out to the headland and back past Prideaux Place.
There’s so many! We love Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen and Fifteen for fancy occasions. The Globe in Lostwithiel and the Crown in Lanlivery for pubs and BeginV in Bodmin is a regular haunt for a delicious vegan lunch.
Go and see where all rubbish goes and what’s done with it. Get another 29 people together and go and see the Suez energy recovery centre in St Dennis.
We love going to our family’s cottage in southern Normandy and exploring the countryside around Mayenne. If we could find a way to make a living there, and hadn’t settled with our family in Bodmin, then that’s where we’d go.