Full Circle Project Helps Dig up the past at Droitwich History & Archaeology Society Meeting


Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

Last Wednesday evening, I was invited to speak about The Full Circle Project at a meeting with members of The Droitwich History & Archaeology Society by Chairman Roy Murphy. Members were also treated to a talk by Adam from The Wyre Forest LiDar Project (Light Detection & Ranging) which is also being funded by The Heritage Lottery. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-7cdj9u 

Scientists from the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research agency have teamed up with the Worcestershire Historic Environment & Archaeology Service, as partners in the Grow with Wyre scheme. “We are using innovative aerial survey techniques, known as LiDAR (Light, Detection & Ranging).  LiDAR uses pulses of harmless laser energy beamed down from aircraft flying about 1000 metres (3300 feet) up.” It was a fascinating talk that enabled people to see how the history of the landscape has evolved over time.

The Droitwich History and Archaeology Society have recently joined the Full Circle search for Midlands related home-movies, film and moving image materials in their area.

Roy also put an appeal for finding film in the Droitwich History & Archaeology Society and the Ombersley and Doverdale Today Newsletters, and from these a couple of people came forward with their film collections.

The first collection was from Michael Turner, of Ombersley, whose Super 8mm cinefilm collection includes footage from the early 1970’s of the building of the Ombersley Bypass and also footage of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in July 1977. There is also a film which he created for the Ombersley Dramatics Society http://www.ombersleydram.co.uk/ which is in three parts. We look forward to digitising the material,  Michael’s original films will then be held in environmentally controlled storage conditions at MACE and viewing copies will be made so that it can be enjoyed again by both Michael and Members of the Dramatics Society and the rest of the Ombersley and Droitwich Spa communities.

The Michael Turner Collection. Michael Turner deposits his cinefilm collection with Full Circle Project Curator: Lucie Kerley. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

 

I asked Roy to write a bit of information about his group and the work they do.

“Droitwich History and Archaeology Society (DHAS) is a small society based on the spa town of Droitwich, Worcestershire. The Society meets during the first Wednesday of each month except August in the Community Centre and is addressed by a speaker who presents a topic of local historic or archaeological interest.

The Society organises Guided Town Walks around historic Droitwich and presents exhibitions of historic photographs during public events such as the town’s Salt Days and St. Richards Days.

The Full Circle Project is a well managed and technically advanced project. The need to renew old film so that it is compatible with the latest technology is essential if memories from the past are to be retained and records kept of industrial processes and social traditions.

Droitwich Spa High Street. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

Droitwich Spa and the surrounding countryside are steeped in history. Agricultural processes and traditions have been transformed and in the towns of Worcestershire many historically significant buildings have been demolished in the name of progress. Records of these buildings and processes have been captured in the private films compiled by residents but with the change from film to digital many examples can no longer be viewed. The Full Circle Project is an important means of overcoming this deficiency.

The team at MACE are doing a splendid job in rescuing and resurrecting important evidence of earlier environments. Droitwich History and Archaeology Society is well placed to act as a conduit for the collection and forwarding of film for processing by MACE. We aspire to assembling a comprehensive record of 20th century life within Droitwich and surrounding villages with the help of the Full Circle Project.”

Chairman. Roy Murphy. roy.murphy@virgin.net.

Chateau Impney and grounds. Photo taken by Roy Murphy

The second collection found by Droitwich History & Archaeology Society was the Philip Jackson Collection that his wife Christine Turner kindly deposited with the project. Copies of the footage shot by Philip using his cinefilm camera from the early 1960’s to the late 1970’s will be given to Christine and her family and also eventually be made available to the public via the MACE archive website.

Chateau Impney Interior. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

Christine Jackson deposits her husband Philip Jackson's cinefilm collection with The Full Circle Project.

 Christine and her family live in the beautiful grounds of the Chateau Impney http://www.chateau-impney.com/ and we hope that some of the footage found in the collection will feature the family enjoying the gardens of the Chateau and life in Worcestershire along with the holidays that they took and family days out.

The Droitwich History & Archaeology Society are looking forward to having the films digitised as part of The  3 year Heritage Lottery Full Circle Project so that they can have a screening of the material found in their Full Circle film search some time early next year.

Thank you to Roy Murphy for the photos and also to members of The Droitwich H & A Society for allowing me to come and talk at your meeting and for giving me a warm welcome. I look forward to seeing what the results of the Full Circle Project’s search for film brings to your area!

Watch this space for more finds during the Full Circle Project’s search for film.

For more information about MACE (The Media Archive for Central England)  contact: 0116 252 5066 or The Full Circle Project, please contact Lucie Kerley: Full Circle Project Curator on 0116 252 5931 04 07919 896 505 or email: lk99@le.ac.uk

The Media Archive for Central England, www.macearchive.org are an independent limited company and a registered charity, is the public sector regional film and video archive for the East and West Midlands.  Based at the University of Leicester we are part of a network of public moving image archives that collectively preserve the UK’s moving image heritage. We are also an integral part of the network of public archives and record offices across the Midlands.

Our aims are to collect, document, preserve, and subsequently provide access to the moving image heritage of the East and West Midlands. In addition we provide an information service to help people who are looking for film as well advice on how to care for moving image materials outside the archive.

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