What an incredible night!
In the Spring of last year I was approached by Brian Barnes to work with fellow songwriters Gary Miller and Sara Dennis to work with the young people of Hartlepool Holocaust Memorial Group. With the help of the amazing Sarah McCluskey, the kids put together a night of commemoration and remembrance, and wanted to compose a song on the subject especially for the occasion. So off-and-on for the last few months we’ve been working together to co-write a song called ‘Through The Wire‘ telling the story of a Durham-born soldier who helped liberate Bergen-Belsen in April 1945, and a young girl imprisoned in the camp.
We performed it on Monday January 25th, with the youngsters as our backing choir, to around 200 people at Hartlepool College. It was a part of a stunning programme the group had put together comprising poetry, plays, speeches and a very moving film of an interview members of the group did with Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines who escaped occupied Czechoslovakia on one of the trains organised by Sir Nicholas Winton, whose efforts saved the lives of 669 children. I was still busy pretending I had something in my eye when the lights came on.
It has been an honour, pleasure and privilege to meet such amazing young people, so dedicated to remembering the past and quick to speak of the modern parallels as they warned against mistreatment of refugees and pleaded with us DON’T STAND BY.
Perhaps their spirit is best summed up by the famous words of Sir Nicholas himself:
“If it’s not impossible, then get on and do it.”
Incredible night. Inspiring.