Listen in to BBC Radio Derby on Thursday morning to hear about the lost Ripley films. These films were found by Belper History group when they joined Full Circle project earlier this year. The films belong to Valerie Marshall, granddaughter of John Marshall an entrepreneur from Ripley in the early 1900s.Valerie Marshall meets Belper History Group members: Pat and Ray Majoram. Valerie’s grand father, John Marshall, built the first cinema in Ripley. He also built a zoo (with a bear pit and a monkey house) and a Turkish Bath! The cinema was called The Hippodrome and seated 1000.
These films are soon to be re-united with another lost Ripley film, found by Morace Park. (Morace is the person who has found the lost Charlie Chaplin film which is being auctioned at Bonhams on 29th June). Fortunately for us, Morace realised the local historical significance of his Ripley film and contacted the local paper to try and find out who the owner was. Valerie Marshall read his article and stepped forward to re-claim the film! Valerie had the rest of her grandfather’s films in biscuit tins in her garage.
There are 5 Ripley films in total – these are 90 year old films and they are part of our filmed heritage and therefore very rare and valuable. Film has recorded images that are crucial to our understanding of the last 100 years and home movies especially have the capacity to reveal our way of life, like no other record. John Marshall was an amateur movie maker and filmed local events like the Ripley Factory Fire, a procession at the War Memorial and other local scenes which are full of Ripley residents. This little collection is a real discovery for the Full Circle Project. We will be screening these films and others in Belper and Ripley when we have carefully copied the films to safety film. At the moment they have been sent to the British Film Institute for copying as they are the experts in nitrate film.
If you have any old films in your attics, cupboards or garages that you would like to be preserved for the future and shared with the community then please contact Kay Ogilvie Full Circle curator on email@example.com