Meet Mavis – a textile worker from Ilkeston’s A. Booth and Sons……

If you have enjoyed watching the latest MACE online film screening of ‘Clothing the Nation’ about the East Midlands Textile Industry here is a chance to view some more images and to find out about one particular textile worker from Ilkeston. Mavis (shown below) worked at A. Booth & Sons, Ilkeston, manufacturers of nylon stockings 60 years ago.

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

Mavis 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.

Mavis showed me this publicity brochure (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. You can see clips from a film about the A.Booth and Sons Ltd factory in Ilkeston by searching our online catalogue.


MACE releases new compilation DVD: Made in Leicester

This week we have a released the fourth in our DVD series, Midlands on Film, which celebrate the Midlands through moving images.

Made in Leicester is a brand new DVD Documentary celebrating the city’s market and manufacturing heritage

A multicultural city, Leicester sits in the heart of England and its history can be traced back almost 2,000 years. In Roman Leicester merchants were thriving with livestock in the marketplace and its current market, the largest outdoor market in Europe, has stood in the same spot for the last 700 years.

The city had a global reputation for being at the forefront of manufacturing. ‘Leicester Clothes the World’ was an apt slogan with around 100 distinct industries from hosiery to boot and shoe making.  Engineering also became a major industry in Leicester with well-known brands like the Imperial Typewriter Company based in the city.

Made in Leicester celebrates the legacy of two significant trading areas that have evolved as part of the city’s heritage: Manufacturing and Leicester Market.

This 60 minute DVD was researched, written and compiled by multimedia content producer Radica Wright at the University of Lincoln’s School of Media and mixes new interviews with archive films of the market and manufacturing dating back to the 1920s up to the 1980s, all preserved at the Media Archive for Central England.

Presented and narrated by Leicester’s own Rosemary Conley CBE with contributions from current market holders as well as Leicester’s first elected mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, this DVD is a celebration of Leicester’s manufacturing heritage and ‘Britain’s Favourite Market’.

Made in Leicester is £14.99 + £1.50 p&p (£16.49)

To buy online through our Webshop CLICK HERE

If you’d prefer not to purchase online we now accept debit card payments over the telephone.
We accept telephone payments from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Call 01522 837750 and we will process your order.

We also accept cheques made payable to Media Archive for Central England for £16.49* with your name and address and the Code ‘MIL’ to:

Media Archive for Central England
MHT Building
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool

Fascinating old footage found of 1930s Kniveton in Derbyshire, film screening this Sunday 2nd September, 2.30pm Kniveton Village Hall

Do you know this person?

This Sunday at Kniveton Village Hall we will be bringing alive old memories of Kniveton in Derbyshire and hoping to identify some of the characters featured in the film. This film collection was found by Peter Frost and was shot by his grandfather Wilfred Ratcliffe in the 1930s. Wilfred was the chauffeur to the Wright family of Kniveton.

We hope to identify some of the people featured in the film…..

This is a fascinating collection of 8mm cine film shot in and around Kniveton and shows scenes of old farming practices and machinery. Shot just before the war the summer was perfect for using scythes to cut hay, making haystacks and threshing. There are scenes shot in the hay meadows of workers drinking tea after a hard day’s work, the village post mistress, the village fete and Kniveton Jubilee shot in 1939. Other footage includes lively scenes of Ashbourne Shrovetide Football match and Stanley Matthews throwing the ball in the 1970s.

Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy this trip down memory lane and also help us identify some of the characters in the film. The screening will be at Kniveton Village Hall, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1JJ. The hall is next to Kniveton School.

Another Evocative & Thought Provoking Trip Down Memory Lane @_The_Public with Cipher’s Past Lives Tour.

The Public, West Bromwich.

Last Friday I attended another fantastic screening of Cipher’s Past Lives Music to Archive film performance, this time taking place at The Public, in West Bromwich. It was a wonderful opportunity for members of the surrounding West Midlands communities to come and see some of the home-movie film gems that have been found by the Full Circle groups from across the East and West Midlands.

“We all really enjoyed Friday evening’s performance.  You had done an amazing job with the film, touching, amusing, evocative in turns, with some beautiful faces, and really summoning up what it was to live in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.   The music provided a terrific backdrop, really enhancing what was on the screen by creating just the right atmosphere.”
Sarah Bradley, Full Circle Depositor

The Public’s Past Lives audience were treated to poetic family scenes from the 1950s to 70s, shots of Balsall Heath William Edward Street, Woodside, Dudley, The Black Country, Town Sparrows, Percy Thrower Gardens in Edgbaston, Hop Farming in Herefordshire, a trip to the East Midlands coast, kamikaze motorcycles, and much much more.

All accompanied by Cipher’s specially composed live musical score.

If you’ve not yet managed to attend a Past Lives event, then try and pop down to:

  • 7 July Derby – The Quad, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby DE1 3AS (01332 290606)
  • 8 July Cromford – Gothic Warehouse, The Arkwright Society, Cromford Mills, Mill Lane, DE4 3RQ (01629 823256) + Workshop
  • 19 July Stamford Arts Centre – 27 St. Marys Street, Stamford, PE9 2DL (01780 763 203)

Watch this space for a Manchester date in September too!

Cipher’s Dave Sturt and Theo Travis with Full Circle Depositor Sarah Bradley and her brother Robert, whose father Christopher Whitcombe’s family films are one of many to play a big part in the Past Lives Performance.

A scene from The Whitcombe Family Film Collection that has been digitised by MACE’s, Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle film search project.

Photography © Lucie Kerley

May Day Memories! – archive film of Daventry screening on Saturday 5th May at the iCon Daventry…

Local residents watch May Day Parade, Daventry 1960s.

Come along and see some original archive footage of films shot by local film maker James Green in 1960s Daventry.

Scene from James Green’s amateur movies shot in Daventry, 1960s.

These 8mm cine films were handed to Daventry museum volunteer David Adams by James Green at the museum heritage event in 2011. James Green is now the owner of “Kinema in the Woods” at Woodhall Spa but a long time before that he made some films in Daventry. The original films have now been stored for  preservation at the MACE archive at the University of Lincoln and as part of the Full Circle Heritage Lottery funded project. MACE have made a copy of the films onto DVD so that local people can once again view their screen heritage.

Daventry High Street – KW Luxury Coaches – Trip to London – 10s 9d (60p!)

Film Screening starts at 7.30pm, at the iCon Centre, Eastern Way, Daventry NN11 4FP. Tel: 01327 304800

Womens’ Running Race, Daventry 1960s.

If you know of anyone with films or videos that may be of interest to a local community then please contact Kay Ogilvie, senior curator, Full Circle on to find out how to preserve them for the future. Have a look at our pages on the Full Circle project. To find out more see

May Queen’s Ceremony

Children watch St.George’s Day parade.

Another Day! Another Fantastic Full Circle Screening by Fownhope Local History Group at Tarrington Village Hall, Herefordshire..

Yesterday I was delighted to spend the afternoon with Fownhope Local History Group and a members  of the Tarrington and Herefordshire communities. The group’s advertised ‘film of the day’ was a fabulous compilation of material, put together by Philip Leach from the Media Archive for Central England, consisting of some great Hop Picking and Farming footage from Peter Davies and John Barnett’s personal cine-film collections. The collections were found by the Fownhope Local History Group and have now been digitised with the help of the MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Film Search Project.

As usual Rachel and her team were on hand to bake lots of delicious cakes and biscuits and pour fresh cups of tea at the interval – which were included in the £3 ticket price!Weston Beggard Hop Farmer John Barnett spoke during the interval about his experience of being a Hop Farmer over the past 50 years and why he chose to record the Hop farming/ cultivation process using his cine camera. His collection has now been digitised and the original cinefilms are being preserved at The Media Archive for Central England.

Claston Farm – Hop Farmer Davies and his wife Pam. Peter Davies discusses with the audience his own experience of being a Hop Farmer in Herefordshire and just how much things have changed during his lifetime.

Overall, it was a great afternoon for learning about Herefordshire and Hops and for looking back at life from the late 1940s to 1970s.

If you have any old films, cine or tape or moving image materials relating to the Midlands region and would like to know how to look after them, please get in touch with us at MACE (Media Archive for Central England) to learn how to preserve them for future generations for years to come.

Tel: 01522 837752

Photography © Lucie Kerley

Attention Midlander’s! Don’t Forget 2pm tomorrow: Walsall Sea Scouts Archive Film Screening @ The Crossing, Walsall Tickets £3.50

                                          3RD  WALSALL  SEA  SCOUTS  PRESENTS          

     THE  KINESCOUT  PRODUCTIONS  1929  –  1957


Tickets £3.50 and all proceeds will go to Walsall Sea Scouts.


With help from MACE’s Heritage Lottery funded Full Circle Project plus some Government funding a set of old films have been restored and put onto DVD in order that they may be shown to members of the public at St Pauls the Crossing Walsall on Tuesday 17th April at 2pm.

The footage includes a 30 minute long synopsis of a feature film “Haunted  Harbour” inCops and Robbers” using members of the 3rd Walsall Sea Scouts to act out comical scenes. The script for this particular film was written by the nationally renowned Boys Book author and friend of Lord Baden Powell Percy Westerman.

Although supposedly depicting scenes from other parts of the country, all the filming was done in Walsall and it will be apparent to a local audience that the end of the Bridge at Potter Heigham is actually the White Heart Hotel in Caldmore!  There are also scenes shot in and around the old Sister Dora Hospital.

Interesting fact: Did you know the Walsall Sea Scouts were part of the team that organised the 1948 Olympic Sailing Team. 

It is not only a record of what our young Walsall people were doing in the mid 1900`s but an historical record of things of popular interest and an insight to some of the thoughts on how modern technology might be developed in the future (our time now) all with a comic turn! 

The films themselves will be stored from now on at MACE in their humidity and temperature controlled archive store, as they are considered to be of historical interest.

Photography © Lucie Kerley