Project marks rebirth of town hall

Bourne Town Hall.
Bourne Town Hall.

An arts installation put together by pupils from seven of the schools in the Bourne area will run this week to represent the rebirth of Bourne Town Hall.

The Bourne Schools Arts Collaboration, which was officially opened on Wednesday night, is an art installation comprising of more than 2,000 butterflies - individually created by pupils from Bourne Westfield, Bourne Abbey, Bourne Elsea Park, Edenham, Morton and Baston, along with secondary school Bourne Academy.

Artist Helen Graham, who lives in the town, collaborated with Rebecca Beavis, Bourne Westfield’s arts director, and Bourne Academy art teacher Lucie Lawson.

Helen visited all the schools involved in the project and worked with each child to create their butterfly, which were then displayed in the upstairs room of Bourne Town Hall.

The ground floor also has an exhibition of art work from all of the schools involved, while the winning poems from a poetry competition which ran simultaneously are also displayed alongside a pictorial depiction of how the project came together.

Helen said the butterflies symbolised the rebirth of the town hall - which currently stands empty but is the subject of an ongoing project to be turned into an arts centre.

She said: “This project brings together the three things I love the most - children, community and creativity - and it’s been really rewarding for me as an artist to see our vision come to life.

“I’m so proud of all the children involved.”

Helen added that in her many years as an artist, the Rebirth project was the work she was most proud of to date.

Rebecca said she was proud that the team had followed through on their commitment “to do something amazing for the community”.

“When we came in, it had the feel of a building that had been empty for a really long time so it’s amazing to see so many people here tonight [at the launch].

“The engagement in the project has been wonderful - everyone I’ve approached for help has just been amazing in saying yes.”

During the launch event, Bourne Grammar School pupil Molly Welling played cello while food and drinks were provided by local businesses. Mayor Paul Fellows ran a charity raffle in aid of his charities - one of which is the Bourne Town Hall 
project.

There were also 31 awards given out to pupils for either poetry or their creativity in the Rebirth project.

Nine-year-old Ellie Bannister, a pupil at Bourne Westfield, also read out her poem ‘If I was a Butterfly’ to the packed crowd and Stamford’s poet laureate Emma Cuddeford was there to hand out poetry awards.

Mr Fellows, who was there with his wife Judith, said: “This is just the kind of event that we want to run as the project develops and it’s absolutely wonderful to see all the work of the children on display. The installation looks really fantastic.

“It’s great to get this project, which is important, for the town moving.”

Chairman of the Bourne Town Hall Management Committee David Brailsford was also there. He said he was pleased to see so many people in the town hall. A charity is currently being formed which will eventually take over responsibility for the building from Lincolnshire County Council.

The arts project will remain on display on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm in Bourne Town Hall and it is hoped as many people as possible will go along.