Vintage Film screening event brings in the locals at Ilkeston, Derbyshire……..

Susan Smith, Director of Wash Arts outside the new arts premises at Bath Street, Ilkeston – waiting for the crowds!

MACE and Wash Arts  joined forces to bring vintage cinema to the streets of Ilkeston as part of the launch celebrations for the opening of the  new Wash Arts premises on 154 Bath Street. We trawled the MACE film archive and searched for films relating to the Ilkeston area and came up with some real gems. One of the films screened was about the local firm A. Booth & Sons, manufacturers of nylon stockings – and we were so pleased when one of their ex-employees turned up to view the film…

Mavis Smith ex employee of A. Booth & Sons holding the company brochure

This event not only helped launch the new Wash Arts premises, but also the Full Circle film search project in their area. Some of the people who came to view these vintage films also had films of their own tucked away in their attics and we look forward to meeting up with them to view and assess their collections.

Mavis Smith aged 16 years – working at A. Booth & Sons in the 1950s

It was fascinating to talk to Mavis about her time at Booths where she worked as a ‘pairer’ – matching the left and right legs of nylon stockings. She started at Booths when she was 15 years old and spent approximately 17 years working there. Film is a window into history and as such is a valuable historical resource. Any film lost or thrown away is a piece of history lost – and this is why we are carrying out a film search in the area to try and find and preserve any films that may be hidden away.


Mavis brought along this publicity brochure to the film screening (it was fascinating to look through) she was going along to Erewash Museum nearby to lend it to them for exhibiting. Mavis said she enjoyed her time there and was voted ‘Personality Girl’ at one point in her career.

Some of the audience for the screening of vintage films at Ilkeston


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