I popped along to BBC Radio Derby on Monday to have a chat to Andy Potter about MACE’s DVD compilation, Derbyshire on Film – The Peak District. Our regular blog readers will know we released the DVD a few weeks ago and it’s available to purchase on our webshop for £14.99 + VAT.
It’s always a pleasure to chat to Andy about archive film. I was Producer’s Assistant on the TV series Peak Practice in the last nineties/early noughties and Andy was a regular background artiste on the show so we have similar memories of the production, and it’s great to look back at when a popular TV drama was filmed in the county. He also has a love of film and TV which sparks my imagination. We’re also both passionate about the county (and for me all the East and West Midlands as I have family in both both regions). So I really enjoyed chatting to Andy about the DVD which is proving to be very popular.
You can hear Andy and have chatting for the next five days on the BBC iplayer here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00y55n9 - 1 hour 15 mins into the programme.
Derbyshire on Film is available to purchase at:
(click links to be redirected)
And in person at The Shop in The Yard, Cromford Mills, Scarthin Books, Cromford, Buxton Museum & Art Gallery and Castleton & Bakewell Visitors Centres.
To purchase securely over the phone call MACE on 01522 837750
Come along for a real treat and a trip down memory lane. We will be screening this long lost footage of scenes in and around the village of Kniveton and Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
These films are from the Wright/Ratcliffe collection and date from the 1930s. Shot by Wilfred Ratcliffe, the chauffeur to Mr Wright, they cover the summers of 1935 – 1939 and are a fascinating insight into village life.
This screening is being shown as part of the U3A calendar of events. Please come along and show your support – all welcome.
At the Full Circle film screening on Saturday I was sitting near Rod Viveash who caught on film the final day of the closure of the BBC radio transmitter plant at Borough Hill, Daventry.
Mr Viveash, now a museum volunteer, had a career at the BBC spanning some 32 years. He started out as a transmitter engineer and ended it as a senior maintenance engineer.
He has always had a special interest in old transmitters and their history and said that when he realised how much of the heritage of Borough Hill was in Daventry Town Council Museum he was keen to see it on display.
Mr Viveash said: “It’s been 20 years since the station closed down, and it will also be 80 years in December since the station was launched.”
For more information on events and exhibitions visit Daventry Town Council Museum http://www.friends-of-daventry-museum.org.uk/
Review of Past Lives – LPAC Lincoln Performing Arts Centre Thursday 8th March
“…each luminous frame opened a successive drawer in an archive of memories…..” Richard Fung
Dave Sturt’s homage to home movies ‘Past Lives’, based on a collection of home movies from the MACE film archive and set to a live music score, has a starring cast of very ordinary people. These are the movie makers themselves who have visually captured and preserved our collective past.
Visual artist Anthony Hatton has captured the dreamy quality of the images, sometimes saturated with colour, sometimes spotted with age and cracked emulsion – but always vibrant and nostalgic, to evoke a time when holidays were taken in Britain by the seaside, tea was drunk from cups and saucers and little boys wore short trousers and knitted tops.
The performance takes us on a journey from 1930s to the 1970s covering aspects of rural life from village carnivals and fancy dress pageants in Derbyshire and Lincolnshire to rare scenes of hop picker’s lives in Herefordshire to beautifully idyllic childhood scenes from the much prized Bradley film collection.
Musicians Dave Sturt (fretless bass) Theo Travis (flute, sax), Deirdre Benscik (cello) and Clare Bhabra (violin) elevated the film to a thought-provoking poetical level with their beautiful sounds.
Photography © Lucie Kerley
MACE and Wash Arts joined forces to bring vintage cinema to the streets of Ilkeston as part of the launch celebrations for the opening of the new Wash Arts premises on 154 Bath Street. We trawled the MACE film archive http://www.macearchive.org and searched for films relating to the Ilkeston area and came up with some real gems. One of the films screened was about the local firm A. Booth & Sons, manufacturers of nylon stockings – and we were so pleased when one of their ex-employees turned up to view the film…
This event not only helped launch the new Wash Arts premises, but also the Full Circle film search project in their area. Some of the people who came to view these vintage films also had films of their own tucked away in their attics and we look forward to meeting up with them to view and assess their collections.
It was fascinating to talk to Mavis about her time at Booths where she worked as a ‘pairer’ – matching the left and right legs of nylon stockings. She started at Booths when she was 15 years old and spent approximately 17 years working there. Film is a window into history and as such is a valuable historical resource. Any film lost or thrown away is a piece of history lost – and this is why we are carrying out a film search in the area to try and find and preserve any films that may be hidden away.
Mavis brought along this publicity brochure to the film screening (it was fascinating to look through) she was going along to Erewash Museum nearby to lend it to them for exhibiting. Mavis said she enjoyed her time there and was voted ‘Personality Girl’ at one point in her career.
Information about Wash Arts can be found at http://www.washarts.co.uk and about the Full Circle Film search project at http://www.macearchive.org If you have any films you would like to preserve for future generations to enjoy please contact senior curator of Full Circle Kay Ogilvie on email@example.com
What a fantastic weekend of films, walks, tours and lectures we had this weekend in Belper, Derbyshire. The Discovery Days Festival is still running until 30th October so there is still time to catch even more events! For more information visit http://www.derwentvalleymills.org. At The Ritz queues were forming to see the newly discovered films found through the Full Circle project of Belper and surrounding area.
The films we were screening at the Ritz were a mixture of home-movies and professional footage. Some of the home-movie material had been deposited with the Full Circle project by Stephen Walters and showed scenes in and around Belper during the 1960s.
Teresa Mikula produces the BBC programme ‘Preserving the Past‘. She has been supporting the Full Circle project and helping to bring the found footage to a wider audience. She interviewed Stephen about his uncle’s film collection and we will be seeing more of the footage and the interview in the Autumn series. Stephen said about the film screening:
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! It was lovely to see the films up on the big screen and I’m looking forward to having a copy of my uncle’s film collection to view on DVD
The other home-movie footage The Wright/Radcliffe Collection, found through Full Circle featured scenes in and around Ashbourne & Kniveton in the 1930s – this is really rare footage and is quite a big collection – over 90 reels – which is still in the process of being assessed. Our thanks go to Peter Frost who deposited this collection with MACE.
The collection of films shown also included a lovely 1955 British Transport travel guide to Derbyshire, ATV footage of the controversial closure of East Mill Belper in 1986 and a small independent film made in the 1980s about climbing friends ascent of High Tor in Matlock Bath which had the audience on the edge of their seats!
Come along and celebrate Discovery Days Film Season this weekend at the Ritz Cinema, King Street, Belper. Ring 01773 822224 for seat prices and to book. We are pleased to help bring rare film footage found through MACE’s Full Circle project to one of the finest independent cinemas in the UK.
We will be screening footage from the Peter Frost Collection and the Norman Mellors Collection.
The late Norman Mellor of Belper, used to go to the old Ritz in Belper regularly where his father worked as the projectionist. This led to Norman becoming very interested in filmmaking, he bought himself a cine camera in the early 1950s and filmed many local events in and around Belper, Derbyshire. His nephew Stephen Walters has been clearing out his late uncle’s house and found Norman’s film collection.
Stephen said: “Uncle Norman worked at LB Plastics based at Heage and Norman took his camera on holiday with him and also filmed many Belper Town football matches as he loved football and went to most of their matches.”
MACE’s Full Circle project works with over 60 local history societies to search for film hidden in the community. Once footage is found we help to preserve the original film and make copies onto DVD for the owners and the community to view. If you have any reels hidden away in cupboards or attics contact senior curator Kay on firstname.lastname@example.org
When John Holloway of Aston on Trent History Society was looking for a speaker for their July meeting, I immediately thought of Bob Massey from Arnold. Why? because Bob is a real film enthusiast and has built up a large collection of film about Arnold. Bob talked about the importance of archive film as a valuable historical record. He showed clips of film and photographs from his vast collection of Arnold and how it has changed dramatically over the years – it is almost unrecognisable from 50 years ago with only a very few old buildings left standing after the savage demolitions of the 60s.A good crowd turned up for the evening of history on film. Aston has a well attended series of meetings throughout the year. John Holloway has helped with organising the film search for the Full Circle project and together with his local history members has found quite a lot of films of old pantos which took place in Aston. These have been copied onto DVD for screening in the new Heritage Centre which opened officially in May. The original films have now been deposited with the MACE archive for safe keeping and preservation.John Holloway and Gillian Borer get ready to welcome members to the History on Film event on Tuesday 26th July. John said
” Another spin-off from inviting Bob from Arnold is that I’m invited to his committee to outline our funded projects strategy as they’re keen to get some projects underway. We’ve just passed the £80,000 mark in grant funding over the past 7 years and we’ve had an enormous amount of development and community involvement in local history from it – so I’m delighted we can reciprocate with some advice and encouragement.” Aston on Trent local history members view the new MACE postcard advertising the MACE online film catalogue http://www.macearchive.orgNo event can work properly without a nice cup of tea! Richard Coates displays the Full Circle poster…..and biscuits of course………Aston on Trent local history members getting ready to watch Bob Massey’s film and presentation about Arnold.Bob put together a very professional film and presentation about the changing face of Arnold in Nottingham. He interspersed ‘then’ and ‘now’ photos of Arnold to show the changes that had taken place over the years. Bob highlighted the need to collect this information on film as it makes a tremendous contribution to the historical record – film is like no other record in helping us to understand how life was lived in the 20th century.
Both Arnold and Aston have benefitted from the Full Circle project in that they have had original films transferred to DVD for the owners and the community to share. If you have any films that may be of interest to your local community please get in touch with Kay Ogilvie at MACE, Senior Curator Full Circle project – email@example.com
Bill Clark is the 6th generation of a long line of Clarks whose ancester, Hezekiah, established an early dyeing business in Retford in 1798. Dry cleaning and laundering developed necessitating a move to what became Hallcroft Works in Retford.Bill has searched his attic and found reels of film relating to the Clark dyeing and dry cleaning business – he is depositing these with Full Circle at MACE. We will be making copies of these reels of 16mm film onto DVD and making them available for viewing.Just one of over 100 laundry and dry cleaning shops that were part of the Clark industry. The Clarks were responsible for developing the early stages of dyeing non natural fabrics like Rayon.
Bill still has his father’s Bell and Howell 16mm film projector in full working order!The business all started when Hezekiah Clark came from Derby in the 1780s to work at the Revolution Mill as a dyer. After that failed he set up on his own as a dyer in Retford in 1798.Bill inherited this film collection from his Father. His Father made films of the dry cleaning and dyeing business, holidays, family weddings from the 1930s to the 1970s, local scenes e.g. of St Saviour’s at Retford, the Easter Market at Retford and other footage that is not labelled. There are many reels of film that need assessing and cataloguing and Bill and Jennifer will be booking sessions to view some of their films at the MACE viewing room, when we move to new premises at the University of Lincoln.Retford Civic Society are in the process of commissioning a wall mural commemorating some historical aspects of Retford and reference to the Clark Laundry will be featured. Another reference to the Clark industry is in the street name: “Dyers Court” in Retford. The photo below shows the well being dug which supplied water for the Dye works at Grove Street, Retford.
These photos are taken from Bill’s manuscript: ‘Retford and District Historical and Archaeological Society Review 40th Anniversary Issue (1967 – 2007)’. Bill has a great story to tell and will be working on another manuscript soon.
Bill has kept his father’s 16mm Bolex cine camera which is still in working condition and ran on clockwork.
Film is an important part of our heritage and we would love to hear from you if you have any reels of film hidden away in cupboards, drawers, sheds or attics and are not sure what to do with them. Depositing them with a film archive is probably the best thing for the films as they will be stored in proper archival conditions and will be kept safely for future generations to enjoy. If you have any reels of film relating to the Midlands that you would like to share please contact Kay Ogilvie senior curator Full Circle Project on firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 01629 823495.