Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery join the Full Circle quest for films…

Archive ATV news footage 1960s provided by MACE to help launch Full Circle

Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum co-hosted a screen heritage event with the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) to launch the Full Circle Project in Leamington Spa, on Saturday 12 March.

This is part of a Heritage Lottery funded project called Full Circle, to uncover the hidden filmed heritage of the Midlands.

Victoria Slade Curatorial Officer Social  History, welcomes visitors to the film screening in the Pump Rooms on 12th March

Victoria Slade  says: ” We are delighted to be part of this project; home movies provide a unique insight into the history of an area. We are calling on everybody who is interested in historic moving images to search in their attics, cupboards and cellars for old films that may be hidden away.”

Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator for Full Circle: “If this unique record is to survive we need to preserve it for future generations – this is where Full Circle can  help – the project has been developed by the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) and we will make copies of relevant footage for the Museum and for the owners – so that the Museum can  hold a film screening and share this historical footage with the community.”

Allan Jennings holding 8mm films belonging to David Burnell – this collection shows footage of the old swimming baths when they were located in the Pump Rooms (circa 1960s)

Lots of people had searched in their attics for films to bring along to the event. Of particular interest were the 8mm film collection belonging to David Burnell – this collection filmed in the 1960s shows footage of local streets in and around Leamington and some rare footage of inside the swimming baths when they were located in the Pump Rooms.

Some of the films brought along to Leamington Spa on 12th March

Films are a vital part of the region’s heritage, whether they capture family moments or events and news stories. Other interesting films brought along on the day were from Ken Wilkins who brought along a DVD of local scenes. Alan Jones brought some very interesting 16mm film of village events at Radford Semele in Warwickshire taken by local film maker Eddie Philips in 1952.

Popcorn and refreshments were served to contribute to the cinema experience!

Tammy Woodrow Publicity officer for Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery said: “We will be holding another screening of all the films found by Full Circle later on in the year at the Pump Rooms so please pass the word around that we are looking for films of this area – they don’t have to be old films – today’s films are tomorrow’s history”.

Tammy Woodrow Publicity Office for Leamington Spa Museum  and Art Gallery and Josephine - helping out with the refreshmentsTammy and Josie helping with the refreshments

Representatives from the local history groups in the area were invited to come along and spread the word. Archie Pitts who is part of another Heritage Lottery Funded project said he would help publicise Full Circle in his newsletter. The project he is working on has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to study the history of the Linden Arches and Gardens and to produce a plan for their long term conservation. The group are looking for films, photographs, memorabilia or memories of the arches and the gardens. He can be contacted on: 01926 885532 or archiepitts@gmail.com.


Archie Pitts of The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens History and Conservation Project

If you can help in our Full Circle quest to find and preserve the moving image history of the Warwickshire area please contact Victoria on 01926 742703 or Tammy on 01926 742709 both at Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery. Please look in local press for the next screening event in October at the Pump Rooms, where Vicki and Tammy will be showing all the footage found so far through the Full Circle project.

If you would like more information about this project contact Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator Full Circle on kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk or Tel: 01629 823495

Victoria Slade – Curatorial Officer Social History, talks about the importance of film as a historical resource.


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