Rain doesn’t stop WW1 commemoration dance

Release Date: 26 July 2017

Rain did not dampen this weekend’s special dance performance, celebrating the history of the Belgian refugees who lived and worked in Richmond upon Thames during the First World War.

On Saturday residents turned out despite the weather to view a number of pop-up- dance performances on Cambridge Gardens, in Twickenham, close to the location of the former Pelabon Munitions Works where many of the refugees worked.

The performance Memories flow through me like a boat flows down the river was inspired by the unique stories of the Belgian refugees who, having been displaced from their country by invading German forces at the beginning of the First World War, eventually settled across East Twickenham and St Margarets.

The piece was choreographed by Jennifer Irons, who works internationally in film, theatre and outdoor performance. Her dance team included students from Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and the University Of Roehampton.

Cllr David Linnette, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Arts, said:

“This was a particularly emotional performance, helping to remember the important role that the Belgian community played in our past. It really did capture the journey that many of these families went through when leaving their homes and resettling in our borough.

“It is important that we remember all aspects of WW1, and this event is part of a whole programme of activities commemorating those who lost their lives or family members.”


Notes for editors

With special thanks to: Arts Council England, All In One Events Ltd (Steve O’Neill & Natalie Subeathar), Dr Helen Baker, East Twickenham Centennial Group, Isabel Holton, Jamie McCarthy, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Nicholas Lawson, Richmond Boat Hire, Richmond Local Studies Library & Archive, The Twickenham Museum

If you are a journalist and would like high resolution images or further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P350/17

Updated: 31 July 2017