The BAM festival is almost here!

After months of preparation the Bridging Art Murals (BAM) Youth Cultural Festival is almost here!

This exciting collaboration between Huntingdon & Godmanchester Twinning Association and The Commemoration Hall will create a visual story of how our towns are linked with our European Friends.

Young artists from our European Twin Towns will be arriving on 21st September to join others from Huntingdon & Godmanchester in painting murals at the Commemoration Hall in Huntingdon and the Skatepark in Godmanchester. The murals will each be a montage of designs featuring landmarks in our twin towns, Wertheim, Szentendre, Gubbio & Salon de Provence, as well as Huntingdon & Godmanchester. Each young artist who created the winning design will be part of the groups painting and enjoying the week-end activities.

Over the week-end of 22nd to 24th September the Programme includes art-based workshops – Street Art led by Nathan Murdoch who created the murals in Literary Walk, and Fantasy Maps, based on our towns, led by professional illustrator Katie Bass – together with social events and activities in Huntingdon and Godmanchester.  Our European student guests will be staying at Buckden Towers, where the week-end will finish with a celebratory hog roast and entertainment by Huntingdon Youth Theatre, featuring an unexpected guest!

Preparations start on the week-end of 9th/10th September when some of the background design and outline drawing of the individual town section designs will be transferred, beginning a new chapter in the ‘story’ of the Commemoration Hall wall.  The original mural was designed and painted by Brian Barnes and a team of St. Peters school students back in the 1987.

The next step is preparation at the Skatepark in Judith’s Field, Godmanchester over the week-end of 16th/17th September.  This will see transfer of designs onto the facing wall of the Skatepark ramp, ready to transform a ‘blank canvas’ into something vibrant and exciting.

As well as the Festival Programme, civic representatives from our twin towns and members of their twinning associations with travel with the students to attend the annual Twinning Business Meeting, hosted this year by Huntingdon & Godmanchester Twinning Association.  Delegates will come together with the Mayors of Huntingdon & Godmanchester to discuss the four-year plan of work to support each town’s Charter responsibilities.

The whole event is being organized and run by volunteers from the partner organisations, and would not be possible without the amazing help and support of HGTA members, Commemoration Hall volunteers, Huntingdon & Godmanchester Town Councils, local artists and art groups, Huntingdon Youth Theatre members, schools, the Claretian Centre at Buckden Towers and all the many friends of HGTA.  We will be creating opportunities for our young people to form new friendships, promote further understanding of each others’ cultures for the future and provide a colourful and educational legacy that will enhance both towns.


Additional information about Buckden Towers

Buckden Towers dates from 1186 when it was the residence of Bishop Hugh of Lincoln.  He was a well-loved figure who rooted out corruption and opposed nepotism in his appointments and began the rebuilding of Lincoln Cathedral after damage caused by an earthquake in 1185.  With some interludes in private ownership, in 1957 Buckden Tower’s religious connection was renewed when the Claretian Missionaries took possession. Many notable people visited Buckden during its heyday, including King Henry III, Edward I and Thomas Wolsey.  Probably the most important was Catherine of Aragon, sent here by order of Henry VIII after the annulment of their marriage.  The ordinary people of England had deep sympathy for Catherine and she was very popular with the villagers of Buckden.  Henry tried to move her out in 1533 but was defeated in his attempt by local support. Catherine eventually moved to Kimbolton where she lived until her death in 1536.  Henry VIII went on to visit Buckden with later wives. There is also history associated with the ‘Witches of Warboys’, and in the 17th century it was the site of many grand theatrical performances. Much restoration has taken place over the years and Buckden Towers is now a retreat and centre for Catholic life in the district. The Towers welcomes visitors, both local and from farther afield, especially young people.


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