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 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.
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 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!
MACE (Media Archive for Central England), CAHG (Community Archive Heritage Group) and representatives from the Full Circle History groups joined forces last Thursday to raise awareness of archive film and its importance as a historical resource. The conference took place at Europe’s first joint university and public library at Worcester called The Hive.
Full Circle Senior Curator Kay Ogilvie said: “The conference was enriched by the 6 representatives of community history groups screening the footage they found during their search for film in their communities as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Full Circle Project. Our thanks go to John Holloway of Aston on Trent, Anita Syers-Gibson of North Herefordshire, Sarah Bradley of Belbroughton, David Clark of Fownhope, David Amos of Annesley and Bob Massey of Arnold. The films they found were a fascinating window into history and brought the past alive like no other record.”
Full Circle Film cataloguer Catherine English said: “It was great to hear from people who’ve been involved in Full Circle and the positive impact it has had on their groups which will hopefully continue beyond the lifetime of the project.”
Some comments from participants……….
“MACE, and all the other regional archives are, without doubt, an essential and positive asset to maintaining film as an important element of our regional heritage. The Full Circle project that has engaged communities to seek out their own corner of England Past has, for our village history group, raised the profile of heritage, enabled individuals to acquire new skills and brought a new dimension to community involvement. We hope this project will inspire others to build on its foundations.” John Holloway Aston on Trent History Group
“It was fascinating to hear the organisers of other groups explaining how they came to discover long-forgotten cine film collections in their communities and how they used the films for the entertainment and education of their audiences.Frank Dale used his films to entertain local audiences in village halls and pubs, and now, 60 years later, we are doing just the same – and the Full Circle is complete!” Anita Syers-Gibson, North Herefordshire History Group
“Thanks for yesterday – it was useful to get together and to see and hear how other groups had gone about gathering moving images . We dont know how typical the six of us were compared with others – it would have been good to have had a few more there. The venue was certainly impressive – made our self-help village library seem very small !” David and Margaret Clark from Fownhope
“It was interesting the different ways that people had used the old movie footage. The quality was also very good bearing in mind the age of some of the film footage. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity of giving a presentation to the Conference.” David Amos Annesley Project Officer
James Patterson, Director of MACE said: “I have never had any doubt about the potential importance of moving images in the community context or of their ability to add to our understanding of community history. What struck me about the event was the emotional impact that the material had had in the community and how in some cases an involvement with the Full Circle project has had a transformational effect in the community.
I think that the impact of the project is a testament to all the MACE colleagues who have worked on the project to make it so successful and to our community partners who have embraced film so wholeheartedly.”
Ex coalminer and now academic, Dr David Amos (BA/PGCE-FE/PhD), gave a fascinating talk on the mining heritage of Nottinghamshire on Wednesday at the D.H.Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood, as part of the D.H.Lawrence Festival. David has been helping the Full Circle project to search for film in the area and has found some fascinating mining footage that he was able to incorporate into his mining heritage talk. We at MACE have transferred the original 8mm cine films onto DVD and are storing the originals in our purpose built archive for future generations to enjoy and study.
The talk accompanies the Mining Heritage Bus Tour on Sunday – the tour will visit some of the coalmining heritage sites, including Brinsley Headstocks, Underwood, Annesley, Newstead and Digby. It will introduce you to some of the high profile and sometimes controversial characters linked with the former pit sites including Arthur Lawrence (father of D.H.Lawrence), Colin Clarke, Harold Larwood, and George Spencer. To book a place contact David on 01623 457537 or firstname.lastname@example.org the Festival continues for another week contact the D.H.Lawrence Heritage Centre for more details at Durban House Heritage Centre Mansfield Road, Eastwood, Nottingham NG16 3DZ 01773 717 353 www.dhlawrenceheritage.org/
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.
A not-to-be-missed performance is coming to Holymoorside this Friday as part of the Holymoorside and Walton Arts Festival – as well as a workshop to take part in.
Contact festival office for details and tickets on 01246 567118 or 861997. Renowned musicians Dave Sturt (fretless bass/sound design), Theo Travis (flute, sax), Deirdre Benscik (cello) and Clare Bhabra (violin) play an evocative soundtrack to this fascinating collection of film from the 1930s onwards. Dave and Theo collaborated with visual artist Anthony Hatton to produce this thought provoking and engaging performance.
The films were collected as part of the MACE/Full Circle film search project funded by the Heritage Lottery. For tour dates see http://www.cipher.f9.co.uk/ MACE would like to thank all those who deposited their films as part of this project and contributed to the rich screen heritage of the midlands.
Guest musicians Deirdre Benscik and Clare Bhabra are from the renowned Sinfonia ViVA.
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