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We Are St Thomas

We Are St Thomas, a free exhibition celebrating the people of St Thomas

We wanted to give a sense of the rich and varied voices that St Thomas holds. In preparation for the exhibition, our Story Gatherers, Lisa Heledd-Jones and Daniel Jamieson, met with people and recorded their conversations and our photographer, Ben Borley took their portraits in a St Thomas location of their choosing. Meanwhile our composer, Elizabeth Westcott, wrote songs inspired by the recorded stories.

Ben Borley’s wonderful portraits were displayed at the exhibition alongside the stories of their subjects and Elizabeth Wescott was singing live. It was great to welcome visitors back to Emmanuel Hall and we were overwhelmed to have nearly 400 people visit during the four days. If you weren’t able to make it, we’ve made all the portraits available below, along with snippets of the stories people told. 

What’s next?

Having gathered so many wonderful stories our idea is to create a whole Festival of St Thomas Stories in the Summer of 2022. We’d love to make a huge splash in this part of the city, bringing the stories to life in all sorts of different ways – in the parks, the streets, the shops, cafes and community buildings.

Bill Norman, photographed at home in St Thomas
Ann King & George Hall (with their dogs Bella & Daisy), photographed at home in St Thomas
Khaled Wakkaa, photographed in Haven Road
Boudicca Woodland, photographed at One Mile Bakery Exeter
Celia Gwynne, photographed at home in St Thomas
Clémence, Mark, Tricia, Adam photographed at St Thomas Community Garden. Speaking: Clémence Scalbert & Adam Ishag
Debbie Judd, photographed at Wool on the Exe
Madalin, Mitica, Alex and Hawkar, photographed at Autoshine Hand Car Wash. Speaking: Hawkar Sleaman

Sue, Jean, and Carol, photographed at St Thomas Pleasure Ground. Speaking: Sue Woods (née Helyar) & Carol Wilson (née Helyar)
Jacob Broad, photographed at St Thomas Pleasure Ground
Sensei John Penman, photographed at Exeter Shotokan Karate Club
Gemma, Kate and Nye (Aneirin), photographed at St Thomas Guys and Hylton Allotments. Speaking: Dr Kate Fox
Mary Ridd, photographed at home in St Thomas
Nikki Sved (Artistic Director of Theatre Alibi), Photographed at Theatre Alibi (Emmanuel Hall)
Sophie Choy and James Munro, photographed at St Thomas Church
Steve Bennett, photographed in the alley between Oakfield Road and Albion Street
Paul, Steve, Jason, Vanessa, Jonathon and Jason, photographed at Turntable Furniture. Speaking: Paul Baldwin and Vanessa Newcombe
Michael and his son, Simon, photographed in Cowick Street. Speaking: Michael Wellaway.
Zak Alyamani, photographed at Healthfoods Unlimited

Exhibition portraits by Ben Borley.

Tour Dates

9th - 12th September 2021 | Emmanuel Hall, EX4 1EJ, Open 10am - 4pm Daily


Photographer – Benjamin Borley

Story Gatherer – Lisa Heledd Jones

Story Gatherer – Daniel Jamieson

Composer and Musician – Elizabeth Westcott

With special thanks to Sandhya Dave who has been a consultant for us on this project.