The Orange Lilies textile banner

We’ve had a sneak preview of the nearly finished textile banner we’ve been working on for The Orange Lilies project with artist Rosie James and young people in Brighton and Hove, through a series of workshops with young people at Jubilee Library in March 2017.

It’s looking great! We’ll be collecting it in two weeks time as there is still some final stitching to do, but it’s looks amazing and we’re really pleased with it. It measures 2 metres long by 1 metre wide.

When finished this will be installed at Jubilee Library in the city as part of the annual youth festival B fest from 24th May – 4th July 2017 for everyone to view, alongside a series of short films we’ve made with young filmmakers, facilitated by Tracey Gue.

We urge you to come and view it, and find out more about Brighton and Hove history during the Somme, the Home Front, and the lives of The Royal Sussex Regiment in France from 30th June -18th November 1916.

Thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries Service for hosting this exhibition

Free workshop – The Orange Lilies Film Project

We have spaces available on this free workshop this Sunday 26th February at Fabrica gallery.
If you know anyone in Brighton who might be interested, please email
This is for ages 15-24

Open Call for emerging Film makers aged 16 – 24


tol-posterThe Orange Lilies Film Project – Call out for youth submissions

Deadline: Sunday 9th October 2016

Strike a Light are working in partnership with Brighton & Hove Library and Information Service, Gateways to the First Wold War, and Fabrica gallery on The Orange Lilies – Brighton and Hove Soldiers in the Somme project, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We are looking for young film makers aged 16-24 who would like to make a short film as part of The Orange Lilies film project strand – We seek creative and motivated people who would like the opportunity to make a short film in a supported environment, working with artists, researchers and project participants.

Four individuals or ‘film crews’ will work on an original idea, based on research undertaken in the project. Facilitated by the film project co-ordinator, you will access equipment and resources, and be invited to workshops to develop skills and creative ideas. You will have the full support of The Orange Lilies project researchers, and attend information days, events and workshops.

The project will offer an opportunity to add to your portfolio and gain experience of responding to a professional brief whilst working in a supportive environment that opens up networks for your future practice. You will also have the opportunity to reach large audiences with your film profiled online and screened at B.fest 2017 at Jubilee Library, Brighton.

The Orange Lilies project is currently underway and continues until June 2017. Film makers will be required to commit to working with the film project co-ordinator, and aspects of the project they wish to highlight in their films.

It is envisaged that some participants will produce their film in a 4-6-week timescale, focusing their ideas on a particular aspect, object or individual important to the project. Others may benefit by being involved with the project workshops, researchers and mentors over the full term of the project. We are open to alternative interpretations of the film making brief, and encourage creativity and experimentation.

This is a free opportunity for young filmmakers aged 16-24 who are able to get to Brighton & Hove for the project

The Film makers will receive support and training to:

  • Work with a film making mentor to research and create four short films about The Orange Lilies project
  • Attend training and project sessions to create these films
  • Attend archives, events, exhibitions and outings related to the project
  • Complete short films and share these with the project

Skills Required:

  • An interest in film making, and willingness to learn new skills
  • Use and think creatively about material in archives for film
  • A positive and imaginative approach to volunteering
  • Good interpersonal and team working skills

About The Orange Lilies project

Strike a Light will be working with young people to commemorate the effects of the Battle of the Somme and an earlier event The Battle of the Boar’s Head (30th June -18th November 1916) on the city, uncovering Brighton’s Great War heritage for future generations.

Using archives and artefacts to inform creative learning, our unique approach involves young people researching and producing a series of short films to share this WWI centenary theme; creating textile interpretations of significant battles; and attending talks and study days; whilst receiving support from local historians, including a local Royal Sussex Regimental military expert.

The Royal Sussex Regiment acquired The Orange Lilies tag after receiving permission from William of Orange to bear orange facings on uniforms. This regimental nickname continued into the 20th century, hence our project title.

Who can apply?

Young people 16-24 currently living or studying in Brighton and Hove.

(Individuals or crews/teams will be considered equally. All applicants need to display some previous film making experience.)

How to apply

Applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest in the project either in writing (no more than 1 side of A4) or a video (no more than 3 mins) explaining why they want to be part of the project and any previous experience. Please include links to films.

Deadline for applications is 12th October 2016 and applicants will be notified of selection by 19th October.


This project is coordinated by Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage, a Brighton based organisation which uses people’s life stories and memories to engage a wide range of groups in creative and heritage activities, and making art to transform public and private spaces.

Who to contact?

Contact Tracey Gue – Film Coordinator for more information



Seeking volunteer film makers!

The Orange Lilies Project – Volunteer Roles: Film makers (Ages 15-25)

We aim to find creative ways to commemorate soldiers through the medium of film and textiles, created by young people (age 15-25), showing their creative heritage response to the events of the centenary in Brighton.

We will create four short films to document and share the project as it progresses. Made by young people, this heritage subject will be given an accessible and fresh vision that other young people can enjoy, as well as general audiences, who will be better informed as the project develops.

Each of the films will give the project a tangible legacy after it’s end. The Orange Lilies project will culminate with a fifth, evaluatory final short film about the achievements, experiences and discoveries made during the project. The films will be made accessible to project partners for further reach as well as having an online presence on the project blog and screened where possible at project events, such as the Fabrica film screening.

The short films produced will be made available for local schools, partners, relevant projects and organisations to use throughout the WWI centenary.

LITA Palace Pier.jpgThe Film makers will receive support and training to:

  • Work with a film making mentor to research and create five short films about The Orange Lilies project
  • Attend training and project sessions to create these films
  • Visit The Keep archive and other related venues
  • Attend events, exhibitions and outings related to project
  • Complete short films and share these with the project

Skills Required:

  • Learn new skills about film making
  • Use and think creatively about material in archives for film
  • An interest in film making
  • A positive and imaginative approach to volunteering
  • Good interpersonal and team working skills

For more information, please contact:

Nicola Benge

The Orange Lilies Project Manager

Tel: 07727 006538


Thanks to QueenSpark Books and its’ Letter in the Attic project for use of this image.

Seeking project participants!

postcard from F stoner to sister France 1916Get involved with our new The Orange Lilies project which has just begun and which is researching and commemorating the role of Brighton and Hove born Royal Sussex Regiment soldiers in the battle of the Somme in 1916.

We’re seeking volunteer researchers, project participants, young people who are interested in learning about making short films, and creative young people to participate in a series of free textile workshops between June 2016 and June 2017. If you would like to find out more, then have a look at our new project website here or email to participate in the project.

We’d love to hear your stories, find out about family history, uncover information about Brighton and Hove at home during the battle of the Somme, and those city soldiers abroad who served on the battlefields and what happened to them.

We’ve started to uncover stories about soldiers like Private Frederick George Stoner who died on 28th October 1916 and who’s name is engraved on the memorial at Thiepval in the Somme, France. Here he writes a postcard is to his sister Ellen (‘Nellie’) Elizabeth Stoner (later Simmons) in 1916. The front of the postcard shows ‘Inside of the church’ at Eclusier-Vaux in the Somme.

church in the Somme - lita.jpg

Images both with kind permission of the Letter in the Attic project from QueenSpark Books.

Introducing … The Orange Lilies

Sussex in the Somme

On 1st July 1916, the commencement of the battle of the Somme, it was said you could hear the cannons from France at a cricket match in Brighton.  At a key battle taking place on the eve of the Somme, that of the Battle of Boar’s Head, it quickly became known as ‘The Day that Sussex died’, due to the huge amount of fatalities sustained on the battlefield.

The men of the 11th, 12th and 13th Southdowns Battalions (all Sussex regiments) leading the fighting were unaware that their assault was a diversionary raid. Their objective was the nearby salient, a bulge in the line, known as ‘The Boar’s Head’ and it was to be ‘bitten out’.

Southdowns Battalions suffered 366 killed and over 1000 wounded or taken prisoner. Around 70% of those that died came from Sussex with estimates including up to 12 sets of brothers.

We plan to commemorate these epic events; the anniversary of the Somme,  Sussex lives lost at war and subsequent  changes on the homefront from this epic six month battle. Through this moving new project, we will create and install a new WWI commemorative plaque in Brighton and Hove to remember those lost at the Battle of Boar’s head. The plaque would memorialise soldiers from Brighton & Hove who fought and fell during this particular part of the Great War. These men are the ordinary, forgotten heroes of WWI, also known as Lowther’s Lambs.

From June 2016 – June 2017 we will discover the effects of the Somme on the city of Brighton and Hove, including the impact of this significant part of WWI on local soldiers, their families and wider community. We will connect this tangible heritage with the present, linking the stories of lost soldiers, those left on the home front, and the city – with participants and volunteers, new and established audiences and project partners, with young and older people.

Through partnership with Fabrica gallery, Brighton and Hove Libraries, Gateways to WWI and existing archives, we plan to create a project about the role of Sussex in the battlefields of the Somme and the impact of this epic, life shattering battle in the city of Brighton and Hove. We will do this through:

  • A series of short film about the Somme in Sussex created by young local filmmakers, mentored by a professional filmmaker with input from a respected local historian
  • A series of six WWI themed outings to local and regional places of relevance to the Somme, an Armistice event in 2016 Two film Great War themed film events at Fabrica
  • Two historian talks about our theme at different venues
  • A partnered study day with Gateways to WWI project
  • Ten historic and creative WWI postcards to be disseminated to local organisations and schools
  • A Brighton and Hove libraries young people research group compiling information about the battle of Boar’s Head and the Somme, collaborating with our volunteer filmmakers, and mentored by Fabrica gallery staff.
  • Meeting with a now retired 1st Battalion, Sussex Regiment member who will advise on military matters.

The Orange Lilies project is delivered by


In Partnership with the following organisations:

Brighton and hove libraries logo (1) Fablogo GFWW

with support from