Vintage films screened at Ashbourne U3A


Katie and Sarah enjoy watching the archive footage with their grandmother Audrey

A grand meeting of 13 groups of the U3A (University of the Third Age) came along to Ashbourne to watch the films of Mr Wright and Mr Ratcliffe – this is an extra special collection of films dating back to the 1930s about the village of Kniveton and surrounding area, including Ashbourne.

Members of the Ashbourne group – U3A

These 8mm cine films (over 70 reels) are now carefully stored at the MACE climatically controlled archive at the University of Lincoln. MACE has made copies onto DVD for the local community to share  as part of the lottery funded Full Circle project which re-unites people with their screen heritage.

Kay

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Kniveton villagers in Derbyshire re-live childhood memories at Kniveton film screening….


A good crowd of Kniveton villagers turned out to watch the home movies of the Derbyshire film making duo Mr Wright and Mr Ratcliffe.

Some of the old farming families are still resident in the village and were able to help identify faces on screen

The films, dating back to the 1930s, show scenes of village life, farming activities and farming practice before mechanisation.What is so special about this collection is the fact that Mr Wright and Mr Ratcliffe, both resident in the village, filmed villagers and farmers carrying out their normal activities. It is a fascinating record of a  typical Derbyshire village  just before the war.

The lady on the left recognised her mother on the film

The local school will be screening some of the material at a special school screening on Thursday 25th October and will be using the footage found to help enrich their curriculum.

People recognised themselves on screen as children

This screening united the residents of Kniveton Village with their screen heritage and is part of the Full Circle Heritage Lottery funded project to bring alive history and the value of film as a historical record.

Fascinating old footage found of 1930s Kniveton in Derbyshire


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.

Full house at The Ritz, Belper, Derbyshire over the weekend Discovery Days Festival screening Full Circle archive films….


Local people queued up on Saturday and Sunday to see the archive films......

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.

At this lovely independent cinema you can buy home-made cakes!

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.

BBC producer Teresa Mikula (East Midlands Today) talks to Stephen Walters about his film collection which was left to him by his uncle Norman Mellors

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

Teresa Mikula, BBC producer of “Preserving the Past” interviews Stephen Walters

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.

Kay Ogilvie, senior curator for Full Circle introduces the films......

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!

Peter Frost deposits Kniveton family 8mm film collection with Full Circle.


MACE’s HLF Full Circle project has uncovered yet another lot of  hidden gems, this time heralding from the Kniveton, Ashbourne community. This find will enable us to look back at the history of our  Midlands Screen Heritage even further.

Curator Kay Ogilvie had the pleasure of meeting with Peter Frost who has just deposited a huge collection of 8mm films dating back to 1935.

His Grandfather, Wilfred  Ratcliffe, was chauffeur to the Wright family of Kniveton. The vast collection includes footage of Meyall Hunt on Darley Moor, Kniveton Fete, Ashbourne Show, Derby County FC, Flagg point to point, Harvest scene – described as ‘good’ and Bradbourne.

The collection consists of over 70 reels and is sure to be of interest to local people.

For preservation purposes, MACE will make copies of any footage that is appropriate to the Midlands screen heritage. In order for the Full Circle project to have a lasting impact on local communities across the region, it is important that film like this is carefully collected, preserved and converted into a format that can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come. By collecting and showing films, the project aims to build interest in local history and develop a sense of belonging and pride of place in people throughout the Midlands.

Lucie Kerley

If you too have any film, tape or moving image footage relating to your local Midlands community, please contact:

Kay Ogilvie – Full Circle Senior Curator at kay.ogilvie@tiscali  | 07919 896518.co.uk

Additional information concerning the MACE Archive and their progress with the Full Circle search can be found at: www.macearchive.org

Uppies and Downies (1926) Shrovetide Football at Ashbourne


At 1pm today, hundreds of people will be taking part in the two day annual Shrovetide Football match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

The match has been played since the 12th century and today’s clip is a film of the match from 1926.

Click the Image to View the Clip

(Source: Wikipedia): The goal is scored (in local parlance, the ball is goaled) before 5.00 pm a new ball is released and play restarts from the town centre, otherwise play ends for the day. Despite the name, the ball is rarely kicked, though it is legal to kick, carry or throw it. Instead it generally moves through the town in a series of hugs, like a giant scrum in rugby, made up of dozens if not hundreds of people.

The two teams that play the game are known as the Up’Ards and the Down’Ards (hence the title of this film). Up’Ards traditionally are those town members born north of Henmore Brook, which runs through the town, and Down’Ards are those born south of the river. There are two goal posts 3 miles apart, one at Sturston Mill (where the Up’Ards attempt to score), the other at Clifton Mill (where the Down’Ards score). Although the Mills have long since been demolished part of their mill stones still stand on the bank of the river at each location and indeed themselves once served as the scoring posts. In 1996 the scoring posts were replaced once again by new smaller mill stones mounted onto purpose-built stone structures, which are still in use to this day and require the players to actually be in the river in order to ‘goal’ a ball, as this was seen as more challenging.

The actual process of ‘goaling’ a ball requires a player to hit it against the mill stone three successive times. This is not a purely random event however, as the eventual scorer is elected en route to the goal and would typically be someone who lives in Ashbourne or at least whose family is well known to the community. The chances of a ‘tourist’ goaling a ball is very remote, though they are welcome to join in the effort to reach the goal. When a ball is ‘goaled’ that particular game ends.

The game is played through the town with no limit on number of players or playing area (aside from those mentioned in the rules below). Thus shops in the town are boarded up during the game, and people are encouraged to park their cars away from the main streets.

The game is started from a special plinth in the town centre where the ball is thrown to the players (or turned-up in the local parlance), often by a visiting dignitary. Before the ball is turned-up, the assembled crowd sing Auld Lang Syne followed by God Save the Queen. The starting point has not changed in many years, although the town has changed around it, consequently the starting podium is currently located in the towns main car park which is named Shaw Croft this being the ancient name of the field in which it stands.