The Trench at Bodmin: Exciting First World War Project Just Announced

We’ve started digging…” Exciting First World War project ‘The Trench at Bodmin’ just announced.


Bodmin is set to be at the heart of Cornwall’s First World War commemorations in 2018 thanks to an exciting project which will connect people with Cornwall’s World War One story and involve the local and wider community.  The Trench at Bodmin sees Cornwall’s Regimental Museum working in partnership with acclaimed Cornish theatre company Collective Arts, known for their creation of large scale, outdoor, epic theatrical experiences.  Having successfully secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Feast, the project also sees a collaboration with Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway and students from Bodmin College, who will be working alongside community and professional actors to bring the event to life.A year of research, writing, development and rehearsal will culminate in a run of performances in June and July 2018. Audiences will follow in the footsteps of men from Bodmin who fought in the war, specifically the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, enlisting at The Keep, home of the Regimental Museum, before being transported by steam train from Bodmin General off to the trenches on the Lanhydrock Estate. On returning back to the Regimental Museum audiences will find out their fate, visiting the Museum’s new exhibition that details their past.

Jason Squibb, Collective Arts, said “After the success of the Levant commemorations in 2016 we wanted to ramp this up further the dramatic scale by working with Cornwall’s Regimental Museum. This was the actual place where these men would have enlisted, then travelled from Bodmin General just across the road for what perhaps might have been their last sight of Bodmin and home. That in itself makes it hugely poignant, but also exciting to be working with several community groups from across Bodmin to tell these stories. We have also commissioned four different plays that happen separately to the main trench experience, that focus on various aspects of Bodmin during WW1, so there is a great deal of opportunity for the local community to get involved whether with the research or performances.”

Mary Godwin, Director of the Museum, said “This project is part of the museum’s commitment to bring Bodmin’s superb military heritage to life for the local community and visitors alike. We hope that it will make a big contribution to Cornwall’s First World War commemorations and to the new spirit of collaboration and ambition for the town that’s really starting to take off.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project, including registering their interest in tickets, getting involved in the researching World War One soldiers or in taking part in the performance, should visit

The Trench at Bodmin - Cornwall's Regimental MuseumAbout The Trench at Bodmin

A major commemoration of the centenary of the First World War in Cornwall, The Trench at Bodmin will connect people with Cornwall’s World War One story and involve the local and wider community. The project sees an exciting collaboration between theatre company Collective Arts, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum and Bodmin & Wenford Railway, working alongside key funders, other partner organisations and local and community groups.

The idea for the project grew from the success of The Trench staged at Levant Mine in 2016, which received huge acclaim. The 2018 project will develop and extend The Trench, taking audiences on a participatory and immersive journey that allows them to enlist at the Museum and travel on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, arriving at the trenches which will be sited on the Lanhydrock Estate, a location provided by kind permission of Lanhydrock Estate Company and Andrew Williams.

The project will connect people with Cornwall’s military heritage and will develop access and interpretation for the important collections housed at the iconic Regimental Museum.

The Trench at Bodmin - Cornwall's Regimental Museum


Cornwall's Regimental Museum LogoAbout Cornwall’s Regimental Museum

The museum and its collections have been developed over many years by dedicated people with a love of Cornwall’s own regiment, the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (DCLI) and military history. It stands as a testament to the soldiers who have served over the centuries. Looking to the future, the vision is to take the museum onto even greater things and make it a great place for learning about our military heritage. The museum’s aim is to educate, entertain and inspire a broad range of people of all ages and to make a real contribution to the local community and county.


Collective Arts

About Collective Arts

Cornwall Theatre company Collective Arts has an excellent reputation in delivering large-scale outdoor epic theatrical experiences, alongside its touring theatre. The company prides itself in acting as a catalyst for communities to explore their own artistic endeavours. It works with freelance performers and practitioners, with relevant project knowledge and experience relating to specific productions. One of our main aims is to promote Cornish culture and heritage. We aim to increase awareness and appreciation of Cornish culture and heritage by celebrating and interpreting our past.
Collective Arts began life as The Cornish Theatre Collective. The company was founded by visionary director Dominic Knutton. He was a highly respected all-rounder in the world of theatre, directing productions throughout the UK. Although he had great success touring a wide variety of plays, his greatest achievements will probably be the UK premiere and five subsequent tours of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and directing the Ordinalia Miracle play cycles in St Just-in-Penwith between 2000-2004. Phil Innes took over the reins following Dom’s death, and Jason Squibb is the current Artistic Director.

The Company objectives are:

• To educate the public in the arts of theatre and drama of all kinds.

• To bring high quality productions to the public using all means of theatrical, film and other recorded media.

• To devise and deliver educational workshops to accompany said productions.

• To provide a forum within which professional artists can practice and develop their skills.

• To promote Cornish culture and other relevant contemporary issues through said arts for the people of Cornwall and beyond. Visit the Collective Arts website.



About Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Discover the excitement and nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Cornwall’s only full size railway still operated by steam locomotives.

Relax in style and enjoy a leisurely 13 mile round trip through beautiful countryside, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone age, as the era of a Cornish branch line in the 1950s reveals itself during the course of your journey.

Trains operate from Bodmin General, the principal station where free coach and car parking is available, to both Bodmin Parkway station – where connections can be made directly with main line railway services – and Boscarne Junction, which is situated directly adjacent to the Camel Trail recreational footpath and cycle way.

Passenger train services operate throughout the year, and daily from late May to early October. A varied and interesting programme of special events and special trains are also an important part of the Railway’s calendar.

Come and discover Cornwall’s railway heritage at its best. Visit the Bodmin Railway website.



Our Funders



Heritage Lottery Fund

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks we love, from precious

memories to rare wildlife… we use money raised by National Lottery players to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.


Largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK

Leading advocate for the value of heritage

£7.7billion awarded to over 42,000 projects since 1994

Offices across the UK

Grants from £3,000

Visit the Heritage Lottery Fund website.




Arts Council England

We believe that great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.

We champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Between 2015 and 2018, we will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create art and culture experiences for everyone, everywhere.

Visit the Arts Council Website.



Feast logo at Cornwall's Regimental Museum

FEAST is a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall.

FEAST harnesses the talents and energy of Cornwall’s artists and communities, generating new opportunities for everyone to enjoy the arts. The focus is on bringing

people together to share experiences as audiences or participants, and on animating local celebrations and cultural life.

Investment for FEAST comes from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council. The programme is managed by Cornwall Arts Centre Trust.

Visit the Feast website.




The Trench, Bodmin | June & July 2018 |

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