A New Way of Seeing – Time Limited Online Screenings Streamed on MACE’s Blog – Screening 2: Bits Stuck Anywhere: The Decline of BSA and the Birmingham Motorcycle Industry

A new concept for the Media Archive for Central England (MACE)…

…Time limited online screenings streamed at www.macearchive.wordpress.com


In the coming months MACE will ‘screen’ a series of ten themed compilation films here on our blog. Each themed compilation will stream online for 4 weeks.

A New Way of Seeing Screening 2:

‘Venue’: http://www.macearchive.wordpress.com

Commenced: Thursday 9th August 2012

Closes: Friday 7th September at 5pm

Title: Bits Stuck Anywhere: The Decline of BSA and the Birmingham Motorcycle Industry


How did the Midlands’ once mighty motorcycle industry decline into industrial turmoil and eventual collapse?  Using archive film from the MACE collection we will travel from the post-war boom years of mass produced motorcycles to the 1970s when motorcycle giant BSA faced closure and the eventual ignominy of a public auction of its assets.  Perhaps the school boys were right and BSA did stand for Bits Stuck Anywhere….This sales decline is contrasted with glorious footage of the riders in action: the Midlands’ own leather jacked clad ‘ton-up boys’ taking to the streets of Birmingham and Leicester when the only motorcycles that mattered were made in Britain.


Daventry’s history of radio transmission caught on film…….

Rod Viveash with radio transmitting valve from the 1930s and portable radio from the 1920s

At the Full Circle film screening on Saturday I was sitting near Rod Viveash who caught on film the final day of the closure of the BBC radio transmitter plant at Borough Hill, Daventry.

Mr Viveash, now a museum volunteer, had a career at the BBC spanning some 32 years. He started out as a transmitter engineer and ended it as a senior maintenance engineer.

He has always had a special interest in old transmitters and their history and said that when he realised how much of the heritage of Borough Hill was in Daventry Town Council Museum he was keen to see it on display.

Mr Viveash said: “It’s been 20 years since the station closed down, and it will also be 80 years in December since the station was launched.”

For more information on events and exhibitions visit Daventry Town Council Museum http://www.friends-of-daventry-museum.org.uk/

1970s film of Stainsby Folk Festival found!………

William Lane and Tony Trafford look through some of their film collection

I was delighted to meet up with Willy Lane and Tony Trafford yesterday and look through some of their vast film collection. Willy and Tony have been in the film business for a long time and have accumulated many many reels of film – some of it of great historical interest. They have amongst their collection footage of the early days of Stainsby Folk Festival (1970s) which is now in its 43rd year http://www.stainsbyfestival.org.uk/ and early films of the ex-mining town of Doe Lea in Derbyshire.

Old reels of film – some dating back to the 1970s of Stainsby Folk Festival

Willy and Tony are going to deposit their collection of films with MACE film archive and in return, MACE will digitally transfer these films onto DVD so that local people can view and enjoy seeing them again. Most of their collection is on 16mm film and it has been quite difficult to screen because the old 16mm projector equipment is so big and bulky  and obsolete now and is in danger of damaging the original 16mm film. This facility is made possible through the Full Circle/MACE Heritage Lottery funded project.

There are other interesting films in this collection which we have yet to go through, but to give you some idea of what the area is like – have a look at this film made by  Friends of the Earth called “Doe Lea: The village that wouldn’t die”  on youtube featuring both Willy and Tony: 

Clarks of Retford – Dyeing, Dry Cleaning and Laundering Business deposit film with Full Circle…….

Bill Clark is the 6th generation of a long line of Clarks whose ancester, Hezekiah, established an early dyeing business in Retford in 1798. Dry cleaning and laundering developed necessitating a move to what became Hallcroft Works in Retford.Bill has searched his attic and found  reels of film relating to the Clark dyeing and dry cleaning business – he is depositing these with Full Circle at MACE. We will be making copies of these reels of 16mm film onto DVD and making them available for viewing.Just one of over 100 laundry and dry cleaning shops that were part of the Clark industry. The Clarks were responsible for developing the early stages of dyeing non natural fabrics like Rayon.

Bill still has his father’s Bell and Howell 16mm film projector in full working order!The business all started when Hezekiah Clark came from Derby in the 1780s to work at the Revolution Mill as a dyer. After that failed he set up on  his own as a dyer in Retford in 1798.Bill inherited this film collection from his Father. His Father made films of the dry cleaning and dyeing business,  holidays, family weddings from the 1930s to the 1970s, local scenes e.g. of St Saviour’s at Retford, the Easter Market at Retford and other footage that is not labelled. There are many reels of film that need assessing and cataloguing and Bill and Jennifer will be booking sessions to view some of their films at the MACE viewing room, when we move to new premises at the University of Lincoln.Retford Civic Society are in the process of commissioning a wall mural commemorating some  historical aspects of Retford and reference to the Clark Laundry will be featured. Another reference to the Clark industry is in the street name: “Dyers Court” in Retford. The photo below shows the well being  dug which supplied water for the Dye works at Grove Street, Retford.
These photos are taken from Bill’s manuscript: ‘Retford and District Historical and Archaeological Society Review 40th Anniversary Issue (1967 – 2007)’. Bill has a great story to tell and will be working on another manuscript soon.

Bill has kept his father’s 16mm Bolex cine camera which is still in working condition and  ran on clockwork.

Film is an important part of our heritage and we would love to hear from you if you have any reels of  film hidden away in cupboards, drawers, sheds or attics and are not sure what to do with them. Depositing them with a film archive is probably the best thing for the films as they will be stored in proper archival conditions and will be kept safely for future generations to enjoy.

Derby Local Studies Library joins Full Circle in the search for film………

We are very pleased that Mark Young, Family & local  history services manager will be helping Full Circle in our search for film of the Midlands.

Mark told me a bit about the history of the collection and the rich source of material available at the Derby branch:

“We have one of the UK’s largest and oldest collections of printed and manuscript material relating to Derby and Derbyshire, originally formed from two outstanding private libraries.”

“The 7th Duke of Devonshire donated over 2,000 books and pamphlets from his private collection, which the Borough of Derby accepted in 1879.” “The second library, formed for the owner of a Derby printing company, Sir Henry Howe Bemrose, was acquired by public subscription in 1914. The Derby Free Library was extended to house these collections in 1914 and they inspired the Library Committee to make the topography and literature of Derbyshire an important speciality of the library service.” “These specialised collections have been built on ever since. Today we continue expanding on this wealth of local studies material, with the objective of representing all aspects of Derby and its communities.”

Full Circle will be working with Mark to  help spread the word about the film search and the importance of film as a historical resource. We are planning a film screening of local footage found through Full Circle so look out for details of this in the local press.

If you have any film footage of the Midlands and would like to share it with others please get in touch with Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator Full Circle Project kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk

The Local Studies Library is housed at 25b Irongate, Derby, Derby, DE1 3GL.

telephone icon Phone: 01332 642240

minicom icon Minicom: 01332 380712

letter icon Email: localstudies.library@derby.gov.uk

Manager – Family and Local History Services: Mark Young

1920s Ripley films found in biscuit tins….listen to Kay Ogilvie Full Circle curator being interviewed by Radio Derby…

The Ripley films are inside the biscuit tins and all in various stages of decomposure

Yesterday morning I was invited to the Radio Derby studio to be interviewed by Phil Trow to talk about the 90 year old Ripley films found in biscuit tins – Phil presents the Radio Derby Breakfast show from 7am – 10am which is probably the station’s most popular show as it has a captive audience of people commuting to work or doing the school run in Derby. These films have been unearthed through the Full Circle project….

Dave King reporter for BBC Radio Derby has also written an online article about the lost Ripley films with links to the MACE website and Full Circle pages. He has also put the interview online with more photos.

Here’s the links:
Happy viewing!

kay @macearchive

‘The Public’ – launches Full Circle at an archive screening event in West Bromwich….

The Public, the digital arts centre in West Bromwich was the launch for Full Circle on 2nd April

On a lovely sunny evening in West Bromwich, local history groups came together to  help The Public launch the Full Circle project. The Public is supporting MACE in the search for films via the Full Circle project. Eventually these films will be screened at The Public in a big celebration event of our screen heritage.

Whats on at The Public.....

The Public digital arts centre is already becoming part of community life, and once the shopping centre building works are complete it will become an integral part of the community. There was an Indian wedding going on when I was there – lots of lovely food smells…..

The two friendly staff at reception - On the night were short film screenings of archive footage from the Sandwell archives, Oldbury History Society collection, 1960s ITV news items. As well as a short film made by a local film-maker Billy Dosanhjh "Miracle in West Bromwich".

Entrance to one of the many screening rooms at The Public with the Full Circle bannerFilms are part of our screen  heritage and The Public and MACE are working together to collect and preserve them for future generations to enjoy. Films and moving images have the capacity to reveal life over the last 100 years – like no other record.

Keith Hodgkins and members of the Tipton Civic Society came to support the launch and watch some archive footage of the local area

Audience members were from local history groups in the area who are helping to search for films and moving images

Members of Tipton Civic Society and Tipton Harriers Athletic Club

MACE has recently supplied the Tipton Harriers Athletic Club with copies of  some of their old films to help them celebrate their centenary anniversary earlier in the year.

Roxie and Chris of "Stirchley Happenings" an active local group in the area who also put on film screenings of archive footage supplied by MACE

Phil Leach, Curator at MACE put together some 1960s footage from the ITV news archive

This screening was a special event to celebrate and share rare and unique images of The Black Country. It was jointly hosted by us (MACE) and The Public. We are looking for groups to join us in the search for film to help unearth some  hidden treasures of our screen heritage.

JP our friendly audio-visual technician did a fantastic job on the night! Thank you

Keith Hodgkins brought along some films for the Full Circle project - these will be assessed and then relevant footage will be copied onto DVD for the local groups to enable them to share the films by giving a community screening

Graham Peet, Exhibitions Manager of The Public who not only gave an interesting talk on The Value of collecting Media, but also gave a tour of the Publics facilities. Graham can be contacted on: 0121 533 7161 http://www.thepublic.com. For more details of the Full Circle Project have a look at the Full Circle section of this website or contact Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator Full Circle kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk

Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery join the Full Circle quest for films…

Archive ATV news footage 1960s provided by MACE to help launch Full Circle

Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum co-hosted a screen heritage event with the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) to launch the Full Circle Project in Leamington Spa, on Saturday 12 March.

This is part of a Heritage Lottery funded project called Full Circle, to uncover the hidden filmed heritage of the Midlands.

Victoria Slade Curatorial Officer Social  History, welcomes visitors to the film screening in the Pump Rooms on 12th March

Victoria Slade  says: ” We are delighted to be part of this project; home movies provide a unique insight into the history of an area. We are calling on everybody who is interested in historic moving images to search in their attics, cupboards and cellars for old films that may be hidden away.”

Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator for Full Circle: “If this unique record is to survive we need to preserve it for future generations – this is where Full Circle can  help – the project has been developed by the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) and we will make copies of relevant footage for the Museum and for the owners – so that the Museum can  hold a film screening and share this historical footage with the community.”

Allan Jennings holding 8mm films belonging to David Burnell – this collection shows footage of the old swimming baths when they were located in the Pump Rooms (circa 1960s)

Lots of people had searched in their attics for films to bring along to the event. Of particular interest were the 8mm film collection belonging to David Burnell – this collection filmed in the 1960s shows footage of local streets in and around Leamington and some rare footage of inside the swimming baths when they were located in the Pump Rooms.

Some of the films brought along to Leamington Spa on 12th March

Films are a vital part of the region’s heritage, whether they capture family moments or events and news stories. Other interesting films brought along on the day were from Ken Wilkins who brought along a DVD of local scenes. Alan Jones brought some very interesting 16mm film of village events at Radford Semele in Warwickshire taken by local film maker Eddie Philips in 1952.

Popcorn and refreshments were served to contribute to the cinema experience!

Tammy Woodrow Publicity officer for Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery said: “We will be holding another screening of all the films found by Full Circle later on in the year at the Pump Rooms so please pass the word around that we are looking for films of this area – they don’t have to be old films – today’s films are tomorrow’s history”.

Tammy Woodrow Publicity Office for Leamington Spa Museum  and Art Gallery and Josephine - helping out with the refreshmentsTammy and Josie helping with the refreshments

Representatives from the local history groups in the area were invited to come along and spread the word. Archie Pitts who is part of another Heritage Lottery Funded project said he would help publicise Full Circle in his newsletter. The project he is working on has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to study the history of the Linden Arches and Gardens and to produce a plan for their long term conservation. The group are looking for films, photographs, memorabilia or memories of the arches and the gardens. He can be contacted on: 01926 885532 or archiepitts@gmail.com.


Archie Pitts of The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens History and Conservation Project

If you can help in our Full Circle quest to find and preserve the moving image history of the Warwickshire area please contact Victoria on 01926 742703 or Tammy on 01926 742709 both at Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery. Please look in local press for the next screening event in October at the Pump Rooms, where Vicki and Tammy will be showing all the footage found so far through the Full Circle project.

If you would like more information about this project contact Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator Full Circle on kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk or Tel: 01629 823495

Victoria Slade – Curatorial Officer Social History, talks about the importance of film as a historical resource.

Full Circle work with the YMCA on the “Century of Youth” film project in Mansfield

Poster to advertise the YMCA "Century of Youth" film project. Most of the films collected will be looked after at the MACE archive for future generations to enjoy

Full Circle is working with Nottinghamshire YMCA who have launched  “A Century of Youth” – a new film project exploring the lives of young people in the East Midlands over the past 100 years. The project is led by 16 young people and it combines archive footage and interviews with local people.

The students are all from West Nottinghamshire College all studying for a Level 3 BTEC in Creative Media ProductionMACE and we are helping them to safely view and transfer relevant archive footage into digital formats. The original film will be safely stored at the MACE film archive

Interior shot of MACE archive where the original films collected by the Century of Youth project will be stored for preservation and access

Mansfield people were invited to star in a series of films about life as a young person in the East Midlands. The Young filmmakers asked people of all ages to share stories from their childhood for A Century of Youth. They asked questions about their memories on camera, particularly in relation to fashion, education, work, entertainment, technology and innovation.

Mansfield people being interviewed about their teenage years

The  open ‘drop-in’  event was held at Turner Memorial Hall on Church Street, Mansfield Woodhouse on Monday 7th March. The young people from across the East Midlands are led by professional film makers, who guide them through the process of planning, filming, editing, marketing and distributing their film creations.

Refreshments provided by the YMCA for the Century of Youth team and interviewees. “The day was fun. The people we interviewed were very informative and easy to get information from” Century of Youth Filmmaker, West Nottinghamshire College.

Over 100 people of all ages and backgrounds will share their memories and experiences of their youth for the film, which will be screened in several cinemas across the region.

“I enjoyed talking to the young people about our way of living. The young people have really shown a great interest in us all and our past”.

Betty, Lenton Historical Society.

If you have any home movies, stage two of the project will be happening soon, please call Thomas Hall at Nottinghamshire YMCA’s Film and Video Department on 07584 582063 or email film@nottsymca.org This project has been enabled by EM Media and the UK Film Council’s Digital Film Archive Fund supported by the National Lottery.


MACE trains YMCA youth workers in film handling for “Century of Youth” film project

YMCA Training day at MACE: Richard Shenton (right), Head of Access & Learning at MACE, demonstrates film handling to James and Anthony from the YMCA

One of our biggest Full Circle groups is the YMCA at Nottingham. MACE is working with them on their new “Century of Youth” film project. We are helping them  to safely view and transfer relevant archive footage into digital formats. Anthony a  Film and Video youth worker and James a youth worker from the YMCA  attended this training course so that they could pass on the necessary skills in film handling to the young people they are working with. The project explores the lives of people in the East Midlands over the past 100 years  combining archive footage and interviews with local people.

Anthony and James examine 8mm film

On the training day Richard talked Anthony and James through the different gauges of film: Standard 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm and 35mm. As the project involves collecting (some possibly quite old film) – they learnt how to identify cellulose nitrate stock, which they may come across, and what to do if they find any. Nitrate film stock was only used for 35mm film stock pre 1950s while safety film stock was developed for the home movie market  (8mm and 16mm).   Richard had looked through the MACE film archive and found a short film on the dangers of nitrate stock made by the Royal Navy who had to be extremely careful when screening film on board because of its flammable nature:The Dangers of Nitrate Film - archive film made by the Royal Navy to warn people of the flammable nature of cellulose nitrate film and how to handle it safely

For more information on nitrate films check out the British Film Institute site http://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/383 and watch a short film clip. They hold the largest collection of nitrate  film stock in the world.

Nitrate film found through the Full Circle project, the nitrate film has reacted with the can. This rare 90 year old film has been sent down to the BFI. They have the facilities to handle this film stock and will transfer it to safety film for Full Circle to use in a community film screening in Ripley

In the afternoon the training course covered  black and white and colour film stock, vinegar syndrome and sound on film (optical and magnetic). They learnt about the different print processes, reversal process and edger markings which help denote the type and age of film. After a very nice lunch there was a tour of the MACE film archive, the film transfer suite and the use of the Steenbeck film editing and viewing machine.

James Patterson, Director of MACE viewing 16mm film on the Steenbeck.  Steenbeck is a brand name that has become synonymous with a type of flatbed film editing suite which is usable with both 16mm and 35mm optical sound and magnetic sound film.
For more information on the YMCA “Century of Youth” project contact Tom Holland on 07584 582063 or email him on film@nottsymca.org. This project has been enabled by EM Media and the UK Film Council’s Digital Archive Fund supported by the National Lottery.