Angela and David are members of one of over 70 local history groups working with the MACE Heritage lottery funded project called Full Circle. The Full Circle project helps preserve original films and make them accessible to the local community by copying them onto DVD. David and Angela first had the idea of celebrating the past May Day events when they held an exhibition last year of old photographs. James Green a local man donated his May Day films and other films to the history group, and these rare films were preserved and copied by MACE and screened at Saturday’s event.
David was a radio engineer at the BBC when Daventry was the radio transmitter base for broadcasting until it all closed down in the 1990s. In 1925 the newly created BBC constructed a broadcasting station on Borough Hill just outside the town. Daventry was chosen because it was the point of maximum contact with the land mass of England and Wales. From 1932 the BBC Empire Service (now the BBC World Service) was broadcast from there. David found some old footage of the last poignant day when the whole plant was closed down and many people at the film screening on Saturday recognised their younger selves on screen.
Many local people saw themselves up on the big screen on Saturday – ex employees of the BBC, ladies who ran in the Rugby to Daventry Ladies Run, and ex May Day queens from many years ago.
BBC Radio presenter Martin Heath provided an excellent commentary for the BBC films and footage of scenes around Daventry in the 1970s