Belper Historical Society screen vintage films in the oldest building in Belper………


Mr Ray Marjoram did an excellent job as projectionist: view of East Mill Belper, closed by English Sewing amidst a political storm in 1985

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.

Kay Ogilvie (right), senior curator for Full Circle, chats to Pat Majoram (second right) and John Barnett of Belper Historical Society.

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!

Ray Majoram also doing door service!

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.

Kay talking to John Barnett about his father's collection of films

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.

Kay handing Pat Majoram two DVD copies of vintage films for the Belper Historical Society to use in the future and to add to their own film archive.

Tea, coffee and mince pies were a welcome break in the film show - served by one of the members of Belper Historical Society

If you have any films that you would like to preserve and then share with the community then please contact Kay at kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk. Visit our Full Circle pages on our website to find out more about how to get involved http://www.macearchive.org

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