Last year, DASH – Disability Arts in Shropshire, decided to participate in the Full Circle project, a 3 year Heritage Lottery Funded film search project run by MACE, The Media Archive for Central England. DASH is a disability arts user led organisation, running arts projects across Shropshire and beyond.
Full Circle will support local history societies and other organisations in finding, identifying and using film and video for the benefit of their community.
DASH is one of many community groups helping Full Circle as they embark upon a search for Midlands related moving image materials, such as film, tape or videos hidden away in the community.
DASH is holding it’s annual 2011 Disability Film Festival from 25TH – 28TH October.
As part of this a Full Circle screening of Midlands related archive footage is being held at 2pm, Today, Thursday 27th October at : DASH – Disability Arts in Shropshire,
Unit 4, Monkmoor Road, Monkmoor, Shrewsbury. SY2 5 ST
Visit: http://www.dasharts.org/newsArticle.jsp?newsID=312 – for full festival listings
The screening will include a digitised 16mm title from the Barrs Court Special School Collection: “A film showing how mentally handicapped children learn to live in the community through work, play, visits, travel, and new experiences.” The film was shot around 1964-65 by the Headteacher Mrs Gorin to act as a promotional film for the school to help raise money for a new pool. This film shows an example of the type of film footage that has already been donated to MACE and emphasises the importance of preserving these previously unseen gems.
Liz Pimblett of The Hereford Museum Resource & Learning Centre Full Circle Group – was contacted by Nigel Deeley, whose mother was deputy Head at Barrs Court Special School.
“We were all very excited to see what the collection contained as archive material relating to disabilities is not something that comes to light very often.”
The films were originally shot by the school’s headmistress Mrs Gorin.
Mrs Gorin set up the school in 1954 and was a qualified special needs teacher.
Barrs Court School for mentally handicapped children was ran by Herefordshire Health. Originally it had just 3 employees and then increased in size over the years.
Nigel Deeley’s mother started working at the school originally as a volunteer member of support staff in 1954 and after some shake-up at the school then went on to work as the Assistant Head. Mrs Deeley worked at the school for nearly 30 years.
During those years Mrs Gorin & Mrs Deeley ran the school they took the children on many school trips and holidays. Mrs Gorin had the idea to make a promotional film for the school to help raise funds for a swimming pool and toured the film around the area. Nigel Deeley often helped out in the evening at these film screenings. There were no men involved in the making of the film.
After Gorin left they virtually rebuilt the whole school, originally there was just two classrooms and 2 teachers. The school didn’t cook their own meals as the food used to come from the adjacent kitchens of another Hereford school close by .There were approximately 30 pupils at the school up to the ages of 15/16. A new hydrotherapy pool has now been built at the school to replace the old one and when Nigel Deeley’s mother died they put some money towards the fund for the new hydrotherapy replacement pool.
If you feel that you may have some old reels of film, tape or home videos that may be of interest to Full Circle’s search, that relate to the heritage of the Midlands, please get in touch with:
Full Circle project | Media Archive for Central England (MACE)
Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Curator – 07919 896505 / 01522 837756 (Wednesday’s) –
Dr Paul A. Darke
Visual Arts Manager
DASH – Disability Arts in Shropshire
Tel: 01743 272939 & 01743 271676
Fax: 01743 272939
Unit 4, Monkmoor Road,
SY2 5 ST
Company No. 4294985
Registered Charity No. 1090677