What the Community Has to Say About Maker Heights...
Please tell us about your experiences with Maker Heights...
Maker Heights has around 1,219 Likes on facebook and a petition gained around 1500 signatures and comments that expressed heartfelt emotions from people living locally, nationally, and throughout the world to save the Barack Block & Maker Heights, here are just a few...
Music Production at Maker Heights by Jon Tye.
I’ve been working at Maker Heights off and on for around 10 years and have had a full time studio in the Guard House for just over two years. In that time I’ve had the pleasure to work with many local musicians. The level of musicianship is truly outstanding and I seriously doubt if there’s another area in the country with a better range of talent. This coupled with the sense of space at Maker makes it a truly unique and valuable place.
I’ve also worked with musicians from around the country and abroad and all have been truly amazed at the location and the creative feel of Maker. Musicians include John Fairhurst, Ed Macfarlane (Friendly Fires), Ruf Dug, Pete Fowler, Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Jeremy Gentle.
Recordings made at the studio have been used as production music all over the world and released by labels in New York, Copenhagen, Norway, Australia, UK and beyond so in effect Maker is already part of an international music scene. As well as the recording and production resources in Maker and the surrounding area there is of course the live music scene which continues to grow and to attract musicians from all over the globe. Given the development it deserves there is no reason why Maker shouldn’t become an amazingly successful and inspirational centre for music production for years to come.
Jon Tye - Centre Of Sound Studios, The Guard House, Maker Heights.
Why is the Random so Random by Laura Bates?
The Random Arm is more than just a pub; it has a heartbeat, which has grown stronger in so many people’s lives over time. The walls hold memoires which create an atmosphere unique to this special place; it’s a feeling that I cannot find the words for..... It is, just the Random.
It is a place that opens its arms to the community; it’s a place to springboard the abounded amount of talent that surrounds it. Music, poetry, drama, art..... each could not live without the other, and the Random Arms is at the very heart of it.
A random place that you can be yourself, enjoy yourself and express yourself, all adding to the memoires that build to make this place as special as it is.
I have seen people come and go, and artist of every kind in owe of the magic that is made here. I seen bands push their set list aside and just enjoy playing music again, instead of just performing it.
The Random Arms is so important, and close to our hearts because it is so random that a building, a place, a bar, a community space can hold, retain and share such magic that we are so lucky to have made there.
Making People - Sophie Galleymore Bird...
Maker Heights has meant many things to me since I first went to meetings that were to formalise into the Rame Conservation Trust. I was proud of being part of a local community active enough to take matters out of the grasping hands of developers, and take measures to protect its own integrity, history and landscape. When the Random Arms opened it was like having an extension to my living room up on the hill, full of friends and fantastic live music, and I enjoyed the place purely as a social space for years. In that time I watched my friends’ children growing up - and getting sent home when they crashed gigs when underage - keeping an eye on them when they were old enough to be let in, watching as they flourished under the care of Pete, Frodo and Will, and developed into amazing young people it is a privilege to know (and taking over much of the running of the place). Without Maker and the opportunities it offers, it is hard to see what will keep the young adults of Rame from leaving.
As my social and environmental awareness grew Maker gave me the space and opportunity to develop new interests. The first meeting of the first iteration of Transition Rame was held in the Random Arms, and subsequent events and talks were also hosted there. Space was found for community allotments, which are still on site, and every Friday I could visit the bar and be confident that everyone I needed to speak to would be there at some point in the evening.
Five years ago events dictated that I move away from Rame, and I left for Totnes. I now work part time for Transition Town Totnes, something that would never have happened but for Maker Heights. I left sure that the place would remain, if not the same, then at least changing in accord with the wishes of the community that holds it dear. To hear that it is now under the threat of the same sort of development that is blighting Totnes - unaffordable piles of dross designed to part fools from their money and giving nothing to the communities they are damaging - is heart breaking. I hope that the Rame Conservation Trust can step back from the ultimate folly of gifting the barrack block to Evolving Places, and that both can bring themselves to fully engage with the community and Rame CIC, and work together to safeguard the heritage and the future of an amazing set of buildings that has given a whole new lease of life to Rame.
I haven’t even touched on the brilliant, safe, creative festivals or the camping. Or the Pantomimes, or the music and art studios fostering talent. Maker has given so much to its community since being taken into public ownership. For that to be given away to developers, so they can capitalise on the spirit of the place to build soulless housing, or holiday lets, is a crime.
A message from a volunteer that fell in love with Maker - Noria Lemrini...
I was 22 years old and it was my first time volunteering. They said I would have to stay there for a week to paint the building and do some gardening. I was with Paloma and Laszlo and we were all very excited to spend some time in the sun and getting to know each other as we were about to spend a year living together. I remember when we first walked up the hill and hit the views over the beautiful hills, Cawsand and the sea. It was unreal. I felt straight away that this was a nest of inspiration and I wasn’t wrong. I didn’t know anything about this place or Maker or the Random Arms but I could feel that souls were meeting up there and were creating a sustainable, creative, loving future.
During this week of volunteering everything that had always mattered to me became true. We didn’t exchange with money but we were trading. I spent some hours cooking and had free pottery classes in exchange. I learned and taught with anything else but trust. This is where I started to understand that this place was unique and had to be protected. I started to feel the meaning of humanity and community. So many people have asked me why I came to Cornwall in the first place and why I stayed. I won’t be able to explain to anyone the exact reason as I don’t even know myself, apart from the fact that it was meant to be.
This place healed me, supported me, and carried my dreams, my project as no one and nothing did before. I left France very sad losing my friend that had been fighting his cancer. During that time, I was drinking every day and didn’t really trust life anymore. My friend was so strong and amazing that I never allowed myself to feel terrible about it. At 22 years old, behind my smile, I was an alcoholic who had lost faith in life and me. Besides, I didn’t really enjoy France both because the racism was getting on my nerves and people weren’t especially nice to each other being corrupted by the vice of money and greed. I guess I wanted to take a year away from it and volunteer to meet true values.
In that sense, the community of the Rame Peninsula has helped me to find my light again and to trust others and myself. I believe that the people that have helped me have been helped too before by the spirit of Maker that truly exists. I remember thinking that this place was the future and I was stunned by the reality of it and how much people cooperate and give a true meaning to solidarity and generosity. Everyone was so caring, interesting and I felt safe. I opened up myself a little bit more and started believing that maybe my dream of community can be true. And if a community can be true, then no one would feel alone and lost again but would feel protected and look after to be able to fly again. Maybe money doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day we all leave skins on the ground so we better enjoy the time that we don’t hold and create places that soften the pain of our bounds.
Maker has seen so many volunteers from all over the world that actually have enjoyed spending some time there which has changed their lives forever. The Random Arm is not just a pub. The Random Arms is a dream place where you know that if you need anything, someone would help you. The Random Arms is the place where people got over their stress to jump on the stage for a jam night and gain confidence and have fun. The Random Arms is this place where the judgement doesn’t exist and we can truly be ourselves and dance for hours, even in the rain.
The Random Arms is also this place where I had the chance to realise my dream, getting locals to offer different skills to strengthen the community and to experience the gift economy. The Random Arms is also this place where people actually question their health and do things about it such as hosting a community food garden. The Random Arms is the place where authenticity, health, solidarity, resilience, art, hope, and generosity come together to give us more courage and reason to embrace life. Every day I’m feeling grateful because I’ve had the chance to experience this, to heal myself, to become a passionate and driven woman because my environment allowed me to do so. I used to be very upset asking myself what to do with my life and what I am good at? And now, three years later, Maker hosted my first event of what is now the mission of my life which is to work for a sustainable and healthy world based on a social and local economy with communities.
I feel like whatever I want to do is possible and Maker has been the ground that supported what was already within me that I couldn’t see: confidence and trust. Thanks to all the people that came to Maker to share their passion and talent, their craziness and their intelligence inspired me to express myself too in a creative way. Instead of going to the pub when down, I decided to go back to my pen and write, draw and I even joined a dance company last year and pushed myself to participate to contest about local project and social economy, things that I would probably never do if I was in my touristic boring village in France .
We all need a creative atmosphere to allow ourselves to dream and to make those dreams happen. Maker is the chance of this entire community and I have come all the way from France to tell you that it has to remain this unique and creative place it is today. Maker is not just a building; it’s the home to so many heart and souls. And money cannot take this away because money is the dream of the one that doesn’t have any.
I am a member the RCT and a supporter of the Maker with Rame CIC...
I feel very passionately that the Barrack Block should not be privatized but instead retained by the RCT.
This is because when we talk about sustainability for me that means sustaining community as well as buildings. I have witnessed a community grow here, a community that has young people at its heart.
In terms of community Maker is important to me for several reasons. In the 1980s I was involved with Virginia House Settlement based in Plymouth. In 1925 the settlement raised the funds through country fairs and events to set up Maker Camp. It was for children and young people who were experiencing post war austerity to experience the beauty and peace of Cornwall, and have a holiday. I have spoken to many people who came to Maker Camp, and realize how very important this was to people from all backgrounds.
In 2001 I played a small part in helping to support youth workers in putting together a Cornish Youth Music Action Zone bid – from this some very successful music work developed. This evolved into Maker Music and Arts CIC which is non-profit making. Many young people (and older folk too) have benefited from this in terms of employability skills, performance skills, peer support and having a good time – and in making a very special community.
I have seen how this has fully enriched the lives of young people and how Maker has significant meaning for them. One young musician wrote his undergraduate thesis on the Importance of Maker as a place of Community Belonging. My son Phoenix wrote that:
Maker has been an integral part of my life and of all the people that I have grown up with, as well as being the music centre of my life, and without the nurturing environment it provides I would never have become involved in music as part of a group. It is the most important place in my life.
Corinna, my daughter wrote:
Maker is the most important place to me. I grew up here, the wide open space was my playground. The community is at the heart of everything Maker does, and growing up immersed in this loving, generous and highly talented community of people helped raise me into the person I am now.
My son Josh has performed here and has a recording studio and maker is very important to him. I hope that the opportunities they have had will also exist for their younger brother Elffin and his friends Daisy, Lawton, Rowan and co.
And it’s not just my children – I know how much Maker means to their friends. The family of Olly Giles held his wake at Maker because it meant so much to him, Ross Edwards was married here on the weekend. And there are the artists too – Heath, Katy, Nic White, Niehls and others – Sally the potter, woodworkers and so forth. And the dog walkers, blackberry pickers and so on …
There is a unique community of belonging and the attachment that people have for Maker and that needs to be sustained as well as the buildings. I am very grateful to the RCT as without the efforts of many Trustees this place of community would not have been possible. But in order for this to continue to happen I think the RCT needs to have a strong stake in what’s left of Maker.
I was alarmed when I read the RCTs proposal to transfer the freehold of the BB to developers. What would be the implications for the community if the BB was transferred and the RCT left with no freehold assets?
Hundreds of people had similar concerns; a petition gained around 1500 signatures and comments that expressed heartfelt emotions from people living locally, nationally, and throughout the world. I urge you all to read the comments. We had letters about the importance of Maker, and understood that our concerns were also shared by former and current Trustees.
Community really matters when it comes to Maker. If the land is fully privatized what future can we guarantee for sustaining this community? Can we trust this essence of community will continue in the hands of Evolving Places?
Given the importance of this place I don’t want the community to fracture but to work together and look at how the RCT can retain the freehold of the Barracks as in the initial proposal and keep it in community hands, work positively with Rame CIC and exploring how to secure Heritage Lottery and other funding. I have confidence that we can do this. I beg the RCT to keep the BB in community hands, work positively with Rame CIC – and then we can work with others as partners – EP, Heritage England and other public bodies.
You as trustees have the potential to leave a legacy that you can be proud of – recent events have generated a lot of interest in Maker and revealed it’s importance to people. If it is fully privatized that’s the end of the chapter of a community stake in Maker and possibly the end of the book. I doubt a legacy of privatization sits comfortably with you all. Together, we can put aside differences and work to achieve a place we are proud of that continues to expand on a sense of community.