Derby Telegraph’s Bygones looks at Shrovetide Football in 1966 – an 8mm home movie preserved at MACE


On the last Monday of each month MACE write about a clip from its collections in Derby Telegraph’s Bygones.

In this month’s look at the collections Development Manager Emma Morley looks at a home movie filmed by Fred Alvey in 1966 of Shrovetide Football in Ashbourne, the year in which Sir Stanley Matthews was the Turner-Up.

The film starts on St John’s Street in Ashbourne where we see crowds gathered on the pavement, people leaning out of opened sash windows of The Green Man and Black’s Head Royal Hotel and shots of the hotel’s signage which spans the road.

We briefly catch a glimpse of Sir Stanley Matthews as he walks out of the hotel through the large crowds to the position where he will turn up the ball.

We move with the crowd to the position where Sir Stanley turns up the ball from the plinth. We also see a professional cameraman filming events from a raised platform. Next Sir Stanley walks among the crowds signing autographs and walking passed the shops ‘Ernest Lee’ and ‘Deakin Bros’. The camera films shop front of Seymour Mead for a few seconds. There are signs in the windows for Heinz Beans and Heinz Foods and the prices are in shillings and pence. All the shop windows have wooden panelling fixed to them to avoid damage during the game.

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Mr Alvey films the crowds by the bridge at Compton Street and we see a group of men grappling with the ball in the Henmore Brook. The action then continues through the brook as groups of men take charge of the ball and wade through the water. We then see three men continue to take the ball through the Henmore and cut to one young man helped out of the water to the bank of the brook.

We then see crowds on the fields next to the Henmore Brook and the film briefly cuts back to the town centre and a shot of St Oswald’s Church.

The ball was not goaled on Shrove Tuesday or Ash Wednesday in 1966.

Copyright Notice: (c) Fred Alvey. Any unauthorised reproduction, copying, editing, transformation, exhibition, exchanging, hiring, lending, public performance, radio or TV broadcasting or web use of this material is strictly prohibited.

‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ film – Blog 5


In MACE’s blog this week we take a look at the film ‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ produced for us by Electric Egg.

The 25 minute film has been made available for free as a DVD to subscribers of this month’s History Today magazine in. The DVD can also be made available to academics, researchers, teachers and other educational and research organisations. See the end of this post for details.
This 5 part blog will focus on extracts from the film which highlights some of the material found in MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded film search project, Full Circle, and explores how home movies and amateur films can be used by academics as important historical ‘documents’.

The Historian and the Home Movie – Clip 5
Historians share their views on the home movie as a historic record

In this clip, broadcaster & historian Taylor Downing, Krista Cowman, Professor of History at the University of Lincoln and Simon Gunn, Professor of Urban History at the University of Leicester, share their views on home movies as a historical record.

In this clip Professor Gunn says, “In a sense one of the things that I’m interested in, in film particularly, is looking at how people behave in every day circumstances. What they think is normal behaviour – what is clearly normal behaviour in their view – and how those kinds of behaviours change. Now one of the great things about film that’s different from even photography is you can look at process. You can look at how people behave, how they move, their gestures and so on, over obviously short periods of time, but you can see that. No other source really shows you that in that way, so that it begins to open up a view on those aspects of the past that I think really intrigue us, which are about everyday life, about the normal, the routine, but are also very hard to get at”.

Professor Cowman says: “Social historians certainly would be delighted to accept them because in many ways they have as much if not more credibility. All sources have different purposes and different uses and one of the great values of home movies is that they not intended to be polished, public performances they often are just a sort of serendipitous record of a slice of life. Some of them are more crafted than others but one of the great things about home movies is that you get the kind of accidental insights if you like. You see inside people’s homes, you see people’s usual clothes, you see the street furniture and the streets that people live in, the things that other films might not necessarily focus on because they might be considered less important.”

Taylor Downing says”: I think historians have traditionally had a difficulty with visual sources, they don’t quite know how to approach them. That’s changing now, it’s changing a lot but I think there’s still a sense maybe among some historians that audio-visual sources, wherever they come and from, whoever shot them are somehow slightly untrustworthy, slightly complex – that somebody shot something, they have selected this material, and that somebody’s edited it into something else therefore we don’t quite know how accurate or authentic this is. I would say that historians struggle with these sorts of issues with conventional manuscript sources all the time, you never believe a source, you never believe a dairy, you never believe implicitly what’s said in an official record or a private record. Historians are critical about the sources they look at and I think in order to properly understand what a piece of film tells us one needs to be critical about how the film was made and why it was made and who it was made for and you need to understand these things. But I think historians shouldn’t imagine that somehow written sources are reliable and honest and truthful whereas film sources aren’t. That absolutely isn’t the case. You just bring the same critical apparatus that you apply day to day as a historian in looking at conventional sources to film sources”.

Professor Gunn adds, “Historians generally speaking like material that’s unedited because the things that you want to do with that material are always different from the person who actually put the material together. But I think there’s value to both. In a sense most film is edited. People rarely just show you rushes of things. And home films are in a sense no different. They’re edited. They’re thought about in terms of how they’re constructed, the picture they want give you, the story they want to tell. And that construction is itself as valuable potentially as the images itself”.

Obtaining a copy of The Historian and the Home Movie for Research

If you are an academic, teacher or researcher and would like a free copy of the DVD, please email info@macearchive.org or telephone 01522 837750. As we only have a small number of DVDs available, please advise us of your profession and the organisation you represent when you contact us.

DVDs are free, although a contribution towards postage would be appreciated. P&P is usually £1.50.

MACE is a registered charity and registered with Just Giving. A donation towards our on-going work would be appreciated. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/mediaarchiveceltd/donate to see our Just Giving page and make a donation.

‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ film – Blog 4


In MACE’s blog this week we take a look at the film ‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ produced for us by Electric Egg.

The 25 minute film has been made available for free as a DVD to subscribers of this month’s History Today magazine in. The DVD can also be made available to academics, researchers, teachers and other educational and research organisations. See the end of this post for details.

This 5 part blog will focus on extracts from the film which highlights some of the material found in MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded film search project, Full Circle, and explores how home movies and amateur films can be used by academics as important historical ‘documents’.

The Historian and the Home Movie – Clip 4
Historians discuss how home movies can bring another perspective to research

In this clip, MACE’s Director James Patterson, broadcaster & historian Taylor Downing, Krista Cowman, Professor of History at the University of Lincoln and Simon Gunn, Professor of Urban History at the University of Leicester, discuss how home movies can bring another perspective to research and study which complements the written, photographic and professional film record.

James shares his thoughts on how the use of home movies in research and education can enhance other research and study sources: “I never really see this stuff in isolation. It’s not as if this is the only record of what it is we’re looking at, it’s what it brings to enrich everything else we know about it. It’s another perspective. And taken with other kinds of records – the written record, still photographs – if you take the whole thing together then putting home movies into that mix can really enhance the understanding, just to help people’s research or especially in an educational context when we’re working perhaps together in schools. It really helps to engage people and it enriches that understanding in a very particular kind of way, and a way that you can’t get from the more formal record”.

'I never really see this stuff in isolation. It’s not as if this is the only record of what it is we’re looking at, it’s what it brings to enrich everything else we know about it.' – James Patterson – MACE Director

‘I never really see this stuff in isolation. It’s not as if this is the only record of what it is we’re looking at, it’s what it brings to enrich everything else we know about it.’ – James Patterson – MACE Director

Professor Cowman compares the original intention of the recording with the ways it can then be used in research: “On the one level, as with any source, there’s the intent, there’s the purpose behind it to begin with, so ‘we are recording a family celebration, we are showing ourselves as a family, I am filming my wife as she goes about her day to day work, to record her life, to record our family life together,’ but on the other level, by doing that, in a film shot, it’s an instant in time in which everything is captured in a way that a written source cannot capture everything. You can see what the weather’s like, what the house is like, how many cars there are in the street, how many people there are moving about that space on the course of an average day. So it’s a much, much wider source than many written sources. In a way the more examples of them we have the more varied the layers historians can bring to them”.

'…it’s a much, much wider source than many written sources. In a way the more examples of them we have the more varied the layers historians can bring to them'. Prof Krista Cowman on home movies

‘…it’s a much, much wider source than many written sources. In a way the more examples of them we have the more varied the layers historians can bring to them’. Prof Krista Cowman on home movies

Taylor Downing compares the home movie with professional filming and explains why home movies are appealing to him as a documentary producer: “Home Movies are often providing an alternative to the conventional film record of the past. They’re showing you something that most conventional filmmakers never bothered to film, or were never instructed to film. They’re showing you the domestic space, the private lives of the people. They’re also shot in a very different way. Official films, professional film making, is nearly always shot on a tripod from a certain height. Home movies are usually hand held, they’re usually more intimate, they’re usually much closer to the people they’re filming. There’s often interplay between the person being filmed and the person doing the filming. They’re much closer, they’re much more immediate, and I think it’s these strengths that make them really appealing to me as a filmmaker, providing a very different view of the past”.

'They’re much closer, they’re much more immediate, and I think it’s these strengths that make them really appealing to me as a filmmaker, providing a very different view of the past' – Taylor Downing on Home Movies

‘They’re much closer, they’re much more immediate, and I think it’s these strengths that make them really appealing to me as a filmmaker, providing a very different view of the past’ – Taylor Downing on Home Movies

Professor Simon Gunn says, ‘One of the problems I suppose with home movies is that they often tend to look at slightly atypical situations. What historians would really love would be for people just to film every day goings on…people going shopping or how the house is managed over a twelve hour period say, or indeed just the workplace, we have very little film for example of the workplace that’s not really staged. But home movies, perhaps more than any other single source, offer that possibility of a sort of lens on what I call the everyday

'…home movies, perhaps more than any other single source, offer that possibility of a sort of lens on what I call the everyday.' – Prof Simon Gunn on Home

‘…home movies, perhaps more than any other single source, offer that possibility of a sort of lens on what I call the everyday.’ – Prof Simon Gunn on Home

Obtaining a copy of The Historian and the Home Movie for Research

If you are an academic, teacher or researcher and would like a free copy of the DVD, please email info@macearchive.org or telephone 01522 837750. As we only have a small number of DVDs available, please advise us of your profession and the organisation you represent when you contact us.

DVDs are free, although a contribution towards postage would be appreciated. P&P is usually £1.50.

MACE is a registered charity and registered with Just Giving. A donation towards our on-going work would be appreciated. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/mediaarchiveceltd/donate to see our Just Giving page and make a donation.

‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ film – Blog 3


In MACE’s blog this week we take a look at the film ‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ produced for us by Electric Egg.

The 25 minute film has been made available for free as a DVD to subscribers of this month’s History Today magazine in. The DVD can also be made available to academics, researchers, teachers and other educational and research organisations. See the end of this post for details.

This 5 part blog will focus on extracts from the film which highlights some of the material found in MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded film search project, Full Circle, and explores how home movies and amateur films can be used by academics as important historical ‘documents’.

Historian and the Home Movie Clip 3:
Taylor Downing & James Patterson view and discuss a home movie from 1966

In this clip, MACE’s Director James Patterson and broadcaster/historian Taylor Downing, watch and discuss a series of home movie films, specifically Fred Alvey’s film ‘Ashbourne Shrovetide Football 66’, a home movie of the Royal Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire where Sir Stanley Matthews turns up the ball.

Taylor Downing says, ‘Of the archive film record…98% of what is available to filmmakers today is in the main public archives. It’s film that was shot commercially or professionally for a particular purpose, it could have been shot for…the cinema newsreels that used to precede the feature films and cinema presentations that go back to before the First World War; it could have been shot as part of a documentary, either for the cinema or more recently for television; but in all of this material you get a fairly official, professional take on the world. When it comes to home movies you get a very different domestic take – you get people recording their own lives, the rituals in their lives, events that are important to them, not for a public screening, not to be shown professionally usually, but simply to be kept as a record in the family, and so that has a very different starting point, a very different perspective, a very different take on events’.

James and Taylor discuss the home movie footage of the Shrovetide football match which was filmed for cinema newsreels for many years, the action being filmed from above and isolated from the action. What is different about this footage, Taylor considers, is that the viewer is actually placed in the crowd: ‘This is a the point of view of somebody who is not actually running with the football but is certainly very close to the event, the game, and the people taking part in it, and so again it has got a different feel to it’. James describes this footage of the event as ’of it rather than at it’.

Obtaining a copy of The Historian and the Home Movie for Research

If you are an academic, teacher or researcher and would like a free copy of the DVD, please email info@macearchive.org or telephone 01522 837750. As we only have a small number of DVDs available, please advise us of your profession and the organisation you represent when you contact us.

DVDs are free, although a contribution towards postage would be appreciated. P&P is usually £1.50.

MACE is a registered charity and registered with Just Giving. A donation towards our on-going work would be appreciated. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/mediaarchiveceltd/donate to see our Just Giving page and make a donation.

You can watch the full home movie of [Alvey: Ashbourne Shrovetide Football 66] on our online catalogue here.

‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ film – Blog 2


In MACE’s blog this week we take a look at the film ‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ produced for us by Electric Egg.

The 25 minute film has been made available for free as a DVD to subscribers of this month’s History Today magazine in. The DVD can also be made available to academics, researchers, teachers and other educational and research organisations. See the end of this post for details.

This 5 part blog will focus on extracts from the film which highlights some of the material found in MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded film search project, Full Circle, and explores how home movies and amateur films can be used by academics as important historical ‘documents’.

The Historian and the Home Movie – Clip 2
James Patterson reflects on the historical importance of home movies & archives

In this clip, MACE’s Director James Patterson reflects on why home movies should be taken more seriously as a record and why the work that MACE does is important.

James says, ‘So often home movies are seen as something which is quirky and nostalgic and it doesn’t seem to me that it ever is taken seriously and goes beyond that level, and this is a medium… which actually is a serious research resource.’

He continues, ‘I think the other thing which is very important to say about them is that they are incredibly engaging. There’s no other kind of medium which shows the world in the way that home movies do. They open windows and shine lights in a very particular kind of way which is very hard to see in any other kind of medium. And I think that they really help to fill out the historical picture in a unique way’.

HaHM 1

There’s no other kind of medium which shows the world in the way that home movies do. They open windows and shine lights in a very particular kind of way… – James Patterson – MACE Director

James goes onto to talk about the importance of archives in this context: ‘I think it’s hugely important that we recognise the archival value – the historical value – of this material and add it to the resources that we can make available to historians in future. If we value being able to understand where we have come from and what makes us what we are, and what helps us to understand how we should develop in future, then archives are absolutely fundamental, and in terms of our understanding of the last 120 years then the moving image is as fundamental as any other medium. That’s why I think what we do is important’.

HaHM 2

If we value being able to understand where we have come from and what makes us what we are, and what helps us to understand how we should develop in future, then archives are absolutely fundamental. – James Patterson – MACE Director

The interview with James was filmed at MACE’s offices at the University of Lincoln and shots of our Flashtransfer equipment in action can be seen together with extracts of material that has been found and digitised as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle project.

Obtaining a copy of The Historian and the Home Movie for Research

If you are an academic, teacher or researcher and would like a free copy of the DVD, please email info@macearchive.org or telephone 01522 837750. As we only have a small number of DVDs available, please advise us of your profession and the organisation you represent when you contact us.

DVDs are free, although a contribution towards postage would be appreciated. P&P is usually £1.50.

MACE is a registered charity and registered with Just Giving. A donation towards our on-going work would be appreciated. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/mediaarchiveceltd/donate to see our Just Giving page and make a donation.

‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ film – Blog 1


In MACE’s blog this week we take a look at the film ‘The Historian and the Home Movie’ produced for us by Electric Egg.

The 25 minute film has been made available for free as a DVD to subscribers of this month’s History Today magazine in. The DVD can also be made available to academics, researchers, teachers and other educational and research organisations. See the end of this post for details.

This 5 part blog will focus on extracts from the film which highlights some of the material found in MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded film search project, Full Circle, and explores how home movies and amateur films can be used by academics as important historical ‘documents’.

Historian and the Home Movie Clip 1:
James Patterson introduces MACE and explains the concept of the Full Circle Project

In this clip, MACE’s Director James Patterson introduces MACE and talks briefly about the Heritage Lottery Funded project Full Circle which ran from 2010 to 2013. In the project two curators worked closely with 69 communities in the East and West Midlands to search for film and tape which was deposited at MACE, digitised and catalogued. A DVD copy was then given to the owners of the original material and the community so that it could be used in local research, screenings and in education.

James says of MACE, ‘Our interest is in creating a resource which reflects the history and culture of the East and West Midlands as reflected through the medium of the moving image, whether that’s film or video tape or digital material now’. He goes on, ‘We want to reflect the moving image culture of the region but we want to, much more, reflect the region through the medium of the moving image as it’s been captured, that’s what we’re about, and then we’re about connecting people to that’.

James then explains the concept of Full Circle:
‘The Full Circle project was conceived to go and find material in the community, to process it to make it useful and usable, and to get it back into the community so that it could be usefully used, that’s the broad concept. We worked through it, examined it, assessed it, spoke to the community about what it was that we’d found, negotiated copies, both for the community and for its original owners, and at the same time the ‘master’ material – the original material coming into the regional archive – would be preserved in the long term and would be available as part of the growing regional resource that we have here’.

The interview with James was filmed at MACE’s offices at the University of Lincoln and shots of our Flashtransfer equipment in action can be seen together with extracts of material that has been found and digitised as part of the Full Circle project.

Obtaining a copy of The Historian and the Home Movie for Research
If you are an academic, teacher or researcher and would like a free copy of the DVD, please email info@macearchive.org or telephone 01522 837750. As we only have a small number of DVDs available, please advise us of your profession and the organisation you represent when you contact us.

DVDs are free, although a contribution towards postage would be appreciated. P&P is usually £1.50.
MACE is a registered charity and registered with Just Giving. A donation towards our on-going work would be appreciated. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/mediaarchiveceltd/donate to see our Just Giving page and make a donation.