Belper Historical Society had an excellent turnout (considering the weather!) for their screening of vintage films at St John’s Chapel Belper on Wednesday 7th December. It was poignant to watch the ATV footage of the closure of East Mill by English Sewing in 1985 and many faces were recognised up there on the big screen. It was quite shocking to realise that English Sewing had made a 24 million pound profit the year before, yet still they were tempted by Government funds to move to Glasgow to a new ‘enterprise’ zone. Thereby making hundreds redundant in Belper. The same happened to many mills along the Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, which is now a World Heritage Site.
Other vintage films screening that night were 1930s films from the Wright/Ratcliffe Collection including Kniveton Jubilee and Ashbourne Carnival. A resident from Kniveton recognised some faces on these films too and she is now speaking to Kniveton Parish Council about holding a screening in their village hall of more films from this superb collection.
Pat and Ray Marjoram organised an artefacts table whereby members were asked to identify some of the ‘finds’ on display including some lovely decorated clay pipes. Other ‘finds’ that night included a collection of films owned by John Barnett. More about that further down this blog!
The Belper Historical Society is also looking for new committee members to help with ideas and future planning – if you would like to get involved please contact Kay and she will pass on your details. They hold regular meetings and organise history related events and historical walks in and around Belper.
Films owned by John Barnett: These sound very interesting indeed! They belonged to his father and are of a wedding at Belper Registry Office (does this still exist?) with a reception at The Hurt Arms, Ambergate, Riber Castle – Matlock when it was a zoo, scenes from Belper, Buxton and Bakewell and something called the ‘Ripley Rotokana’ possibly a carnival, also ‘Dams During Drought’ – the reservoirs of North Derbyshire during the 1976 drought. We will talk to John about preserving his original films and getting him copies of these onto DVD as these films are of great local interest.
If you have any films that you would like to preserve and then share with the community then please contact Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our Full Circle pages on our website to find out more about how to get involved http://www.macearchive.org