I popped along to BBC Radio Derby on Monday to have a chat to Andy Potter about MACE’s DVD compilation, Derbyshire on Film – The Peak District. Our regular blog readers will know we released the DVD a few weeks ago and it’s available to purchase on our webshop for £14.99 + VAT.
It’s always a pleasure to chat to Andy about archive film. I was Producer’s Assistant on the TV series Peak Practice in the last nineties/early noughties and Andy was a regular background artiste on the show so we have similar memories of the production, and it’s great to look back at when a popular TV drama was filmed in the county. He also has a love of film and TV which sparks my imagination. We’re also both passionate about the county (and for me all the East and West Midlands as I have family in both both regions). So I really enjoyed chatting to Andy about the DVD which is proving to be very popular.
You can hear Andy and have chatting for the next five days on the BBC iplayer here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00y55n9 – 1 hour 15 mins into the programme.
Derbyshire on Film is available to purchase at:
(click links to be redirected)
And in person at The Shop in The Yard, Cromford Mills, Scarthin Books, Cromford, Buxton Museum & Art Gallery and Castleton & Bakewell Visitors Centres.
To purchase securely over the phone call MACE on 01522 837750
Come along for a real treat and a trip down memory lane. We will be screening this long lost footage of scenes in and around the village of Kniveton and Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
These films are from the Wright/Ratcliffe collection and date from the 1930s. Shot by Wilfred Ratcliffe, the chauffeur to Mr Wright, they cover the summers of 1935 – 1939 and are a fascinating insight into village life.
This screening is being shown as part of the U3A calendar of events. Please come along and show your support – all welcome.
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/
Review of Past Lives – LPAC Lincoln Performing Arts Centre Thursday 8th March
“…each luminous frame opened a successive drawer in an archive of memories…..” Richard Fung
Dave Sturt’s homage to home movies ‘Past Lives’, based on a collection of home movies from the MACE film archive and set to a live music score, has a starring cast of very ordinary people. These are the movie makers themselves who have visually captured and preserved our collective past.
Visual artist Anthony Hatton has captured the dreamy quality of the images, sometimes saturated with colour, sometimes spotted with age and cracked emulsion – but always vibrant and nostalgic, to evoke a time when holidays were taken in Britain by the seaside, tea was drunk from cups and saucers and little boys wore short trousers and knitted tops.
The performance takes us on a journey from 1930s to the 1970s covering aspects of rural life from village carnivals and fancy dress pageants in Derbyshire and Lincolnshire to rare scenes of hop picker’s lives in Herefordshire to beautifully idyllic childhood scenes from the much prized Bradley film collection.
Musicians Dave Sturt (fretless bass) Theo Travis (flute, sax), Deirdre Benscik (cello) and Clare Bhabra (violin) elevated the film to a thought-provoking poetical level with their beautiful sounds.
Photography © Lucie Kerley
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 http://www.macearchive.org 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…
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.
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.
Information about Wash Arts can be found at http://www.washarts.co.uk and about the Full Circle Film search project at http://www.macearchive.org If you have any films you would like to preserve for future generations to enjoy please contact senior curator of Full Circle Kay Ogilvie on email@example.com
What a fantastic weekend of films, walks, tours and lectures we had this weekend in Belper, Derbyshire. The Discovery Days Festival is still running until 30th October so there is still time to catch even more events! For more information visit http://www.derwentvalleymills.org. At The Ritz queues were forming to see the newly discovered films found through the Full Circle project of Belper and surrounding area.
The films we were screening at the Ritz were a mixture of home-movies and professional footage. Some of the home-movie material had been deposited with the Full Circle project by Stephen Walters and showed scenes in and around Belper during the 1960s.
Teresa Mikula produces the BBC programme ‘Preserving the Past‘. She has been supporting the Full Circle project and helping to bring the found footage to a wider audience. She interviewed Stephen about his uncle’s film collection and we will be seeing more of the footage and the interview in the Autumn series. Stephen said about the film screening:
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! It was lovely to see the films up on the big screen and I’m looking forward to having a copy of my uncle’s film collection to view on DVD
The other home-movie footage The Wright/Radcliffe Collection, found through Full Circle featured scenes in and around Ashbourne & Kniveton in the 1930s – this is really rare footage and is quite a big collection – over 90 reels – which is still in the process of being assessed. Our thanks go to Peter Frost who deposited this collection with MACE.
The collection of films shown also included a lovely 1955 British Transport travel guide to Derbyshire, ATV footage of the controversial closure of East Mill Belper in 1986 and a small independent film made in the 1980s about climbing friends ascent of High Tor in Matlock Bath which had the audience on the edge of their seats!