Communities

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Sometimes the hardest pieces of writing or blogging are the articles that matter the most to you.

To say I was delighted to find out on 2nd January that my blog was shortlisted for an award was an understatement, a complete surprise, a shock even.

When the UK Blogging Awards contacted me to write an article for their website of course I was delighted to be asked, who wouldn’t be? I feel as though it is a real honour for having the opportunity.

I wanted to base my article around the topic of my blog and hometown because essentially that is what my blog is about; ‘Kynren – An Epic Tale of England’, performed in my hometown of Bishop Auckland – one, or perhaps both, are a complete unknown for some.

After all that was the main reason for submitting my blog for nomination before the closing date of entry, I wanted the opportunity to highlight and hopefully gain further exposure of the Kynren project and showcase my town of Bishop Auckland too.

Bishop Auckland is currently a developing town, and it is going through a wave of transition with the arrival last summer of the debut season of Kynren, the first of many new developments being added to the regeneration.

Alongside Kynren, produced by Eleven Arches, its sister charity, Auckland Castle Trust, is also overseeing a major development of works in the town such as;

* Auckland Castle, which is undergoing a major renovation and restoration process. (Opening May 2018)

* The recent start of construction of a brand new Welcome Building, which incorporates a 15 metre high viewing tower that will give unsurpassed views across Auckland Park, Bishop Auckland town and the rural landscape beyond. (Opening early 2018)

These are just a couple of the programmed developments taking place, for more information on all of the planned developments please visit the Auckland Castle Trust website: http://www.aucklandcastle.org

‘For those that don’t know, what is ‘Kynren – An Epic Tale of England?’

It’s a 90-minute show made up of all volunteers, which takes each 8,000-strong audience on a visually stunning journey through 2,000 years of British history, myth and legend.

Crammed with special effects that bring the show’s scenes to life with thrilling visual impact, audiences will be transported from Roman times through to the Second World War, encountering Viking and Norman invasions, mediaeval feasts to the splendour of the Tudors, the Industrial Revolution and the Roaring Twenties along the way.

Launched by Eleven Arches in 2016, ‘Kynren – An Epic Tale of England’ is the UK’s only live action show.

The first season saw more than 100,000 people visit Bishop Auckland in County Durham to experience 2,000 years of British history, as seen through the eyes of the North East.

Season 2 starts from Saturday 1st July 2017 through the summer consisting of 17 performance dates. For more information please visit the Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org

Eleven Arches is the vision of philanthropist and investment manager Jonathan Ruffer. Eleven Arches is one of two charities he has established in Bishop Auckland, the other is the Auckland Castle Trust.
Together, the aim of the charities is to establish Bishop Auckland as an international tourist destination, attracting visitors and investment, which will contribute to the fortune of the area and empower the community.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about the heading of this article ‘Communities.’

The Kynren project has created an opportunity for the town of Bishop Auckland and the volunteers have created a community; vibrant, supportive, caring and passionate, that will encourage future generations to come and become a part of the project and with it, help to create a new history for Bishop Auckland.

The blogging community in my short experience is no different; the UK Blogging Awards is the pinnacle event in the calendar, and one which attracts more and more submissions of entry year on year since it’s forming back in 2014, with over 2,400 blogs nominated this year.

This community offers help, support and guidance just like all communities do, keen to see others do well and better themselves and help this industry grow, and develop in which we are all now bonded too, with a common denominator that we are all here for the same reasons as we all enjoy what we do.

With Friday 21st April a mere 7 weeks away, a final note resides with each finalist, wishing you all the very best of luck during the awards ceremony in what should be a fantastic spectacle celebrating the very best of UK wide writers and bloggers.

 

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Season 2

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The build up to Season 2 is now well underway, since Friday, not only has a new promotional Kynren sign been installed at the entrance to the site, but each Archer has received emailed information on not only which team they will be participating in this Summer but rehearsal times and dates too.

Following on from my experience during Season 1, I knew the Show Team’s training schedules were quite intense, but now becoming a member of one of those teams, I can now fully appreciate just how intense it is.

Looking through my rehearsal schedule yesterday, at all the different roles, training days and the many hours that each person has to put in to be show ready, it did scare me if I’m honest.

The thoughts and realisation that this was going to be tough, and so it should be.

With the first show only just over 4 months away, the training does need to be intense, there is a lot to learn.

Am I capable?

They are the type of questions why we are all here, of course we are capable, I’m here to challenge myself, and the small bit of comfort I do have is, Season 1’s volunteers were exactly in this same position last Summer and each one pulled it off with magnificent effect.

This is a world class show, which each year is going to become bigger and better as it progresses.

And that isn’t just a comment from a volunteer either, with hope or ambition and looking ahead, I know, having been in the Experience Team during the debut season last year.

From that team’s vantage point, you have a role which is very interactive with the audience, you are their guides, their information point, that friendly smile, and welcoming arrival.

If you speak to any of these volunteers, they can tell you first hand on which locations each visitor has arrived from, UK wide to International shores, each one having many different stories to tell.

Kynren is already a World Class attraction, as Archers we need to be ready, we need to build on the successes that all involved in Season 1 provided.

And keep building for our future, for generations to come.

For me my training starts this Saturday, and Sunday, I told you it was intense.

I’m really looking forward to it, to learn from World Class trainers, developing new skills, new techniques, to learn more about my own capabilities and then to learn from the people who make Kynren all it is, the Archers.

I look forward to updating you more as the weeks progress, writing from a different angle of the project.

As for Season 2, I am Show Team 5.

For more information about Kynren  or to book your tickets please visit Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org/

The Big Team Reveal?

Tonight, we are in the process of receiving which teams we shall be taking part in during Season 2 of the must see UK attraction ‘Kynren’.

As I had decided close season to move from the Experience team to the Show team to carry on my personal journey, the question was which of the many show teams would be my newest destination.

After receiving my email from Eleven Arches tonight, I can happily reveal my selected team for Kynren Season 2 will be…

Team 5

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Season 2 brings a fresh challenge for me, experiencing it from the talented cast from Season 1, learning from those people who lived each moment in which was such a successful debut season.

Taking part in the show from fresh eyes, learning all the routines and witnessing the standing ovations.

I have to say when I received the email, the initial excitement kicks in, and then you stop yourself to read the text, and once you get to the point of your team number or name, your mind drifts on what team is that?

Honestly, I had a complete blank even though I know many of the cast members of team 5, I know I’m going to be worked hard, but well looked after, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Already looking forward to the rehearsals starting in March.

Hello to my new teammates, Team 5, Season 2 will be some adventure.

To learn more about Eleven Arches and ‘Kynren’ please follow their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Elevenarches/

Or to book tickets please visit Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org

Camp Kynren

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And so it starts all over again.

On Monday 13th February I attended the first volunteer group training session aptly named ‘Camp Kynren’ which will be run across the next couple of weeks in which all 1500 volunteers will attend.

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At this stage I’m not about to go into any real details and spoil it for the remaining volunteers who have yet to go, but what I will say it’s very informative and lots of fun.

I’ve mentioned many times before how special and how warm a feeling you have when you arrive back to the Kynren site, it just has this magic about itself that you can’t help but feel excited and smile both inwardly and outwardly.

Add that feeling with coming together with a large group of volunteers, some of which you know, some that incredibly you’re only meeting for the first time, and then making introductions with the brand new Archers that are keen and excited to join you on this incredible journey into Kynren, Season 2.

Season 2 has been a long time coming for many an Archer, most haven’t been back to the site since the tree planting day at the end last year, whilst some may not have even had an opportunity since the final show back in September.

It was a rollacoaster of a ride of a Summer, I definitely have the bug, and one I was keen to continue on.

This year as I mentioned in previous blogs I have moved from the Experience Team which has given me so much grounding and a great overall view of the Kynren project, where I worked alongside so many fantastic people and also had the amazing opportunity to meet, greet and speak to so many visitors to our shows.

It has been an amazing experience just to learn how Kynren has been received both from pre and post shows, it will long live as a special moment, one that I will relive through these blogs as a lasting memory.

So Good Luck to all the Experience Team heading into Season 2, each of you are a credit to each other and the project.

I will be very jealous of not being able to wear the famous red jacket but each time I see it will spark hundreds of memories, smiles and laughter in the process.

So, to the show team…

After Monday night I did have to question my sanity, after a brief exercise of co-ordination skills and movement I finally understood what all of my friends had been telling me for years.

I don’t have any 😄

Much work ahead for me, but one I’m looking forward too.

The performing, the standing ovations, they will be outstanding in their own right but it’s not everything that I’m looking forward too.

I’m looking forward to challenging myself, taking myself out of a slight personal comfort zone, adapting myself, learning new skills, and learning from the best, our choreographers and our first season Archers.

And one thing for certain is I’ll work myself hard, not just because that’s my way, because I now have a moral responsibility not just to myself but to all my fellow teammates right across the full project and to the paying visitors that come far and wide across every corner of the globe.

Throughout my blogs, the common denominator is the people, I’m proud of them all.

Without any of them we wouldn’t be where we are today, look back on what we all achieved, look onwards another 12 months and dare to dream, but in our cases live out the reality.

Kynren Season 2, is going to be Epic, we’d love you to be a part of it, there are 17 shows this year starting on Saturday 1st July running until Saturday 16th September.

For further information or to book your tickets please head over the Eleven Arches website here: http://www.elevenarches.org

 

 

 

Kynren Teams

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Last night each Archer received an email that we had all been patiently waiting for in anticipation.

This email was a confirmation of which team each volunteer will be participating in during Kynren Season 2.

For me, I had been dwelling on which area of the show or which team would be best for me, towing and frowing from the Experience team that I was apart of in the debut season or trying my hand at another area of the project, potentially within the show team.

I decided several weeks ago to leave that decision to Eleven Arches to make, and this is what they chose.

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The Show Team!!!

Over the course of the Summer, I, alongside each volunteer, each new teammate will be performing to 8,000 visitors each night for 17 performances.

Spectacular.

In previous blogs I have mentioned what it must be like to perform in front of that many people, to feel the tingles run through your body when you witness from you’re own eyes the standing ovations, it’s truly something which can only be described as an incredible, memorable and honoured feeling.

One of which I can’t wait to experience in person for myself.

It’s certainly going to be an interesting year, learning new skills, techniques and learning from the best, our own Archers.

As some of you may know, outside of the Kynren project I will be heading down to Westminster, London in April, competing against the UK’s best bloggers in the UK Blogging Awards 2017, hoping to add another trophy and award to Kynren’s growing list of achievements.

This Blog was originally created as a record, something that I could look back on and treasure and it surely has achieved what I set out for it to become.

What I never realised was it was going to be the very start of something very special, and that’s what Kynren has provided as a whole.

Kynren is providing opportunities as a whole to challenge yourself, to change the way you think, to give you that self belief that you are good enough, you can do it not just think it.

I’ve said many times as have many of the volunteers, Kynren is a game changer.

It’s certainly changed and will continue to change my life for the better.

Its created a personal passion for writing, one which I’ll carry for a lifetime, one which I’m exploring part time as a career too.

And within 2017, my readers will witness from my words; Kynren from a Show Team perspective.

A final note must go to this team;

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The Experience team of course, it’s been an absolute delight to work alongside so many warmhearted people who have showed kindness and compassion at every turn.

Thank you to you all.

To find out more information about the project or to book your tickets please click on this link to go to Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org/

 

Family

Today I’d like to talk about family it has been mentioned many times over the last year what ‘Kynren’ means.

For those that don’t know, “The name ‘Kynren’, echoes the Anglo Saxon word ‘cynren’ meaning ‘generation, kindred, family’.”

And from this, the 1000 volunteers that represented the project in its debut first season instilled something that is so unique and quite special that you can clearly see it before you today.

You can see that Kynren is more than just the shows, more than the friendships, the camaraderie, the teamwork.

Like any family, we are proud of our own, we laugh, we joke, we encourage and we support and most of all when we are needed we are always there.

Today as the Eleven Arches Facebook page announced we lost one of our own, a fellow Archer, that sadly past away following a short illness.

I personally didn’t know him, although I know his daughters, I’m sure he was a lovely man.

Even as Kynren grows, my personal intention is to meet as many Archers as I can, to listen to the many stories of why they volunteered and what memories stand out for each of them.

To share in the laughter, to be that shoulder of support, to stand side by side as we as individuals come together in our growing Kynren family and produce what we all can’t wait to be another incredibly ‘epic’ Season 2.

So to all our absent friends who once stood with us, we shall always remember, you will all be forever in our hearts and your memories will drive us on as an unbreakable ‘Kynren family’ to keep improving, and keep delivering to ensure Kynren will be here for generations to come.

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2017 brings us Season 2, the new volunteers are waiting in anticipation to find out which teams they’ll be joining, and equally every Archer new and originals are counting down the days  for the training sessions to begin.

So come and meet our Kynren family, bring your smiles, your enthusiasm, and maybe even a rainjacket too.

Season 2 starts in July running for 17 shows, book now to avoid disappointment.

Click on Eleven Arches website for further details, http://www.elevenarches.org/

 

UK Blog Awards 2017 Finalist

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So this happened yesterday 😳

Honestly, it came as a total shock.

However, it just goes to show what our Kynren family are all about.

We all support each other. 😊

So what does it mean and what happens now?

This Kynren Blog has been shortlisted alongside another 7 blogs in the category of ‘Events and Weddings’

Each blog will go before a judging panel in February to determine a winner.

On Friday 21st April I shall be attending the awards ceremony at the prestigious Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London for the chosen winner to be revealed.

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The journey keeps continuing…

From reading back on the very first blog to the last, it’s a personal journey to be proud of, but it’s a true testament of what we all hoped ‘Kynren’ could be, or might be.

Its developed into something so much more, something very real, a project that each of us will be proud to have become a part of for many a year to come.

Win or lose, for me it really doesn’t matter, I entered this blog to give more exposure to “our project”

I entered to showcase what our town and our people are really capable of.

Win or lose, we all learn, yes a trophy would be nice, but for Kynren being the talk of London and beyond would be a far more greater the prize come the awards night.

Congratulations and Good Luck to all finalists and I will look forward to meeting you all in April.