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.


Spotlight on our Full Circle Film Depositors – Art Zarb

Art Zarb in his projection room

We thought it was time to feature some of our talented film makers who have made the Full Circle project such an interesting project to work on. They have not only enriched the film archive with their home movies, but built a rich portrait of midland life.

Art’s cinema

Art hails from Malta originally and came to the midlands at a very early age. He developed an interest in photography and worked as a professional photographer for most of his life. He also worked as a professional cinema projectionist, handling large 35mm reels of film and working on the latest technology in cinema projection equipment.

Art worked as a professional cinema projectionist

You can see the size of some of the reels of film he worked with in the photo on the right. He soon become interested in film making and made many films of life in the clubs where he worked as a photographer, family life and holidays. In fact Art developed such an interest in making and screening films that he built a cinema in his back garden. Some of the celebs from the 1960s he filmed included actress Diana Dors and DJ Pete Murray.

Art’s projection room

Art’s home movies, along with many of the Full Circle collection of films will be carefully stored and catalogued and will soon be available to search for on the MACE online film catalogue. Thanks Art!


Staffordshire Film Archive screens films starting this Wednesday from 31st October………



WEDNESDAYS, 7.45pm. Bar open from 7.00pm. Free parking, wheelchair access.

This Wednesday’s free screening by Staffordshire Film Archive is a celebration of The Victoria Theatre, which is 50 years old this month. The event is in collaboration with the Victoria Theatre Archive, housed at StaffordshireUniversity.

From 1962, rare and un-broadcast film of the Vic’s very first musical documentary in 1964 – “The Jolly Potters” – through to this year’s “Our Age, Our Stage” community event, we chart the key developments as captured on film over the years. For more information visit our website:

MACE’s Emma Morley chats to BBC Radio Derby’s Andy Potter about ‘Derbyshire on Film’

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 – – 1 hour 15 mins into the programme.

Derbyshire on Film is available to purchase at:

(click links to be redirected)

MACE’s Webshop



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


Film screening of 1930s footage, Ashbourne Friday 7th September, St Oswald’s Church Hall 2.30pm

Scene from the archive film show – Kniveton farming

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.

Stacking the hay – Kniveton 1930s

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.

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.

Nottingham on Film & Derbyshire on Film – The Peak District feature on ITV Central Tonight

If you’re in the Midlands region and tuned into ITV Central tonight you may have seen our DVD releases, Derbyshire on Film – The Peak District and Nottingham on Film pop up!

Nottingham on Film is available to purchase at Nottingham Tourism Centre in the city, but you can also purchase it online at our webshop, as well as on Amazon, Ebay and

Among hidden gems are scenes of enjoyment at the Goose Fair, coronation celebrations, life on the shop floor in knitwear, lace, bicycles and tobacco; trade on the River Trent, and a wealth of news reports from ITV’s regional news magazine programme, ATV Today. These include the opening of the Nottingham Playhouse and building work at the ‘new’ Victoria Centre in 1964.

Nottingham on Film – £16.99 from Nottingham Tourism Centre and at

Derbyshire on Film – The Peak District has just been released and contains 80 minutes of archive films from the 1930s to 1980s. Some of the images will be familiar to many, such as Dovedale Stepping Stones which have barely changed since 1938. But other’s provide a ghostly vision of what once was. There is a beautful moment when a steam train billows out of the Monsal tunnel, along the Headtone Viaduct and through the valley. I rewound this moment quite a few times when I watched the DVD myself!

Other moments that are now simply memories captured on film and photographs are cotton spinning at Masson Mill and a look back to the flooding of Ashopton and Derwent Village to make way for Ladybower Reservoir.

Anyone who has a passion for the Peak District and Derbyshire will no doubt be tranfixed by some of these rarely seen images which are now released on DVD for many to see and enjoy.

Derbyshire on Film – The Peak District

MACE have a special offer running on the two DVDs until 27th August, exclusive to their website: If the two titles are purchased together we are offering a £2 discount. Simply place both titles in your Webshop basket and the discount will automatically apply.

Nottingham on Filmand Derbyshire on Film – The Peak District are two of nine DVDs being released in a series called Midlands on Film, which in different ways capture the people, history, culture and traditions of the Midlands through moving images. More titles will be released throughout September and October.

The Midlands on Film Series. More titles released throughout September & October