Black Female Cop – A powerful and thought provoking documentary short by New Religion Film

‘Black Female Cop’ is a short documentary film by New Religion Film, which tells the story of Pamela Clayton, a young black women who joined the West Midlands police in the 80s.

Set against a backdrop of social unrest, ‘Black Female Cop’ explores the challenges Pamela faced as an ethnic minority within the police force, and also looks at the hostility she faced from the West Indian community she was trying to serve.

Featuring archive footage provide by MACE, alongside an in depth and personal interview with Pamela, as she revisits the neighbourhood she policed during the tumultuous 1980s. This thought provoking documentary is a fitting tribute to the policemen and women who faced adversity both on the beat, and within the walls of the police station themselves.

You can watch more content produced by New Religion Films by visiting their Vimeo page here,

Uncovering amateur films with MACE Curator Sue Winn

100s of events have been held across the UK & Europe during September to celebrate the annual Heritage Open Days festival. So, to open up the MACE archive we’re inviting you behind the scenes with Curator Sue Winn to learn about how she has been uncovering archive treasures from some 500+ films that we’re preserving as part of our ‘What Can You See?’ project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

 We asked Sue to describe her role on the project…

‘My work begins in the depths of the climate-controlled archive store where the films are preserved at a cool and steady temperature…

Thanks to HLF and the University of Lincoln, MACE now has the equipment necessary to digitize numerous early amateur films that have so far been passively preserved in the vault. I’m working on 18 film collections and, in most cases, am uncovering films which have remained unseen for years. 

My job is to retrieve the films and to assess their condition and content. Once located, the real excitement begins as the film is carefully checked and prepped and then run through a viewing machine (or ‘Steenbeck’) so the content can be accessed and key information extracted for our catalogue.’ 

So Sue, what features on the film?

‘The film I’m working on today opens in colour with high angle views over factory roofs. Then from ground level we discover a large factory building that appears to be under construction.

The final section takes a surprising turn with shots of a large number of men running towards the works’ canteen. Imagine doing that every day for your lunchbreak! A man cycling through on a bike does well not to get run over by hungry workers.’

 Do we know where the film came from?

‘This film is part of a collection deposited by Mr. G.R. Greenwood. The filmmaker was Mr. Greenwood’s grandfather, Mr. John W. Meredith. The collection was passed down through the family until it was acquired by MACE in 2012.’

 What do we know about when the film was shot and the locations and people that feature in the film? 

‘We know from speaking with the donors of the collection that the filmmaker was born 1888 in the Manchester area and that throughout his working life he lived in Wolverhampton. We examined small codes on the edge of the film to determine the age of the prints and know that this collection spans from approximately 1929 to 1952. By identifying landmarks and information within the films we know that many of the films were shot at the Thompson Brothers works of Bilston (including the film I am examining today) where Mr. Meredith was the works’ General Manager. Mr. Greenwood’s mother told him that her father used to regularly show the films at the works’ canteen. He retired to Herefordshire in 1953 and died in 1968.’

 What happens after you have examined the film?

Once the film has been prepped we digitize it using a specialist film scanner that is built to handle old, decayed and shrunk film. The film is captured at a very high resolution to create a master digital copy that we will preserve alongside the film original. Once scanned, the original film is stored safely in the vault and we use digital tools to correct imperfections in the digital copy, such as colour fade. Further digital copies are made for a range of viewing purposes. This process is vital to preserving the region’s screen heritage and, of course, in making material accessible for everyone to experience and learn from now and for generations to come.’

 So here’s the finished film…we hope you enjoy it! 



















Hub Highlights

Following the awarding of funding from Film Hub Central East, MACE are currently creating seven packages of archive film which will be available for exhibition by Film Hub members. 

Initially we’re putting together a series of five minute shorts that put the spotlight on aspects of the collection.  From a celebration of Asian Britain as seen on television, to some of the traditions and oddities in the Midlands including the ever-popular Shrovetide football in Ashbourne. We’ve also produced a short compilation called LGBT Lives that draws on 1980s material to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act.

Over the coming months we wanted to share some of the highlights and give a flavour of the films we’re looking at. This month we’re celebrating  Asian Britain on film so here’s an extract from a recently digitised film about the now long-gone Natraj Cinema on Belgrave Road in Leicester. Bollywood had truly arrived in Leicester although the rise of the video cassette soon consigned this cultural pioneer to history.

Check back again soon for another hub highlight, who knows what you might discover…

17.07.2017 – Brand New Website Launch!!

The countdown is finally over and after months of hard work, we are delighted to officially announce the launch of MACE’s new website. Be sure to check out the title you saw going through the digitisation process in the teasers here.

The Big Reveal!

With a host of new features and sleek design the site has been carefully crafted to enhance the user experience and bring the ever expanding archive to life.

New features include a powerful search engine allowing you to navigate through the collection with precision and ease. Whether you’re hunting down a specific clip for a documentary or researching your family history – the advance search is a tool worth bookmarking!

Our New Homepage

We’ve also created an online screening room, a place where we can get together and show off some of the highlights of the ever expanding collection via theme, locality and decade. We hope this will be a place of inspiration not only for the creative community but for anyone looking to learn about and connect with the region’s screen heritage.

We could talk about features and functions all day but why not check out our new digs for yourself at  – we really hope you like what we’ve done with the place!

17.07.2017 – The Countdown Begins!!

Everyone loves a countdown

To celebrate our upcoming announcement on the 17th of July, we’ve decided to release six teasers over the course of the next six days, teasing what it could be. So stay tuned to our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube account, to be sure you don’t miss out.

If you think you know the answer, let us know on social media for your chance to win the complete Midlands on Film DVD series.

Any Guesses?