On Wednesday, 9th March the Fownhope Local History Group, one of the Full Circle Project’s participating groups took part in hosting one of the screenings for Rewind Festival 2011. The event which took place at Fownhope Memorial Village Hall featured a screening of “rare archive film featuring Herefordshire and Shropshire from 1900 onwards.”
The venue was packed to the rafters with around 115 in attendance who came from all over Herefordshire with some also travelling as far as Wales to reminisce of times gone by, watching footage of local events caught on film some 60 and some 70 or more years ago. The screening featured some fabulous material from Huntley’s Commercial Film Archive Collection with some footage estimated to date back to the early 1900s.
“REWIND, the community film archive project from Flicks in the Sticks in collaboration with Huntley Film Archives is delighted to present this extraordinary programme, the result of a year long research, at venues in Herefordshire and Shropshire in February and March. Volunteers have been trained as film archivists and have catalogued footage from the Huntley Film Archives which brings the past, including some of the sights and sounds of the two counties, to life.”
Highlights of the screening included :
Hereford May Fair in 1910
Tommies march out of the City in 1914
Kington Carnival in the 1920s
Cider making in the 1930s
The old cattle market in the 1940s
Leominster Three Counties Fair in the 1950s.
Following the Rewind Screening which was really brought to life when accompanied by Amanda Huntley’s animated commentry, the audience was treated to home-made cakes and refreshments before settling down for the second half.
The screening of archive material was particularly poignant for one member of the audience who had no recollection that he had even been caught on film as a young lad working the land with fellow Herefordshire farmers over 60 years ago and was able to watch this footage for the first time.
The Fownhope Local History Group Chairman, David Clark, used the occasion as a platform for showing what film collections had been found as part of their group’s involvement with the MACE archive’s, Heritage Lottery Funded, Full Circle Project. The group have been looking for archive footage relating to Fownhope and the local area for the past 8 months and have been hugely successful in unearthing around 7 collections with more popping their heads up all the time. The event was a chance to show the people of Fownhope and the wider area, the results of the footage that had been digitised with the help of MACE & HLF funding.
It was a fantastic opportunity for myself, Lucie Kerley Curator for Community & Acquisition at MACE and my colleague Catherine English Full Circle’s Cataloguer, to meet the depositors of the film collections in person for the first time and to hear how much joy they and their families had gotten from the collections being digitised. Smiles all round!
The group will continue to look for more moving image materials in their area that are in need of digitising to ensure that this valuable window into their local history is one that is not lost but can long be enjoyed by both our generation and those yet to come.