The MACE Full Circle Film Search Project 2011 – A photo re-cap and What’s On in 2012!

 Happy New Year!!

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Photography:  © Lucie Kerley 

Over the past year and a half the MACE Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Project’s search for film has really taken off! We’ve been busy visiting numerous towns, cities and villages across the East & West Midlands in order to collect nearly 200 old cinefilm collections, meet depositors and hold screenings of newly digitised archive film collections found during the projects search for the Midlands Homemovies!

With nearly 70 film screenings under our belt to date and with a projected 100 more screenings planned for 2012, we are excited to say that with the help of our hardworking Community & History groups, we have truly been able to reunite  local  communities with their digitised screen heritage.
The film collections that have been found by the 70 or more Midlands based Full Circle groups helping out with the project will  be preserved at the MACE’s, Lincoln University based, new Archive Film Store facility after the project has ended.
The next chapter of the project will now see us working through the remaining collections that have come in over the past few months, by preparing them for digitisation and screening in the Local community from where they were originally shot.
There will also be a number of  film screenings with live musical accompaniment by Cipher – which is a small orchestra led by Dave Sturt, and musicians from Sinphonia ViVa! based in Derbyshire.
The screenings will focus on  a series of beautiful & arresting images from material in the collections that have been found by MACE’s Full Circle film search and will take place at a number of venues across the East and West Midlands. (Dates, times and ‘how to buy tickets’ info will be posted at a later date.)
08/03/12 – Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
09/03/12 – The Hub – National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford
27/03/12 – South Holland Centre, Spalding
25/05/12 – Holymoorside Village Hall, Chesterfield
27/05/12 – The Broadway, Nottingham
30/05/12 – Solihull Arts Complex
24/06/12 – The Ritz cinema, Belper
27/06/12 – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
29/06/12 – The Public, West Bromwich
07/07/12 – The Quad, Derby
08/07/12 – Gothic Warehouse, Cromford
19/07/12 – Stamford Arts Centre

If you have any cine film, tape or moving image material relating to the Midlands region and want to know how you can preserve these items for years to come and have relevant material digitised as part of the Full Circle Project, please get in touch with:

Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Project Curator: Community & Acquisition – 07919 896 505 or 01522 837756 (Wednesday’s) email:

To learn more about the Full Circle Project, and check out the MACE website  for more Midlands film gems!

TNT Ladywood News Team’s History Show wows Ladywood residents by revisiting @MACEarchive ATV News stories & Full Circle film screening

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Earlier this month the wonderful TNT News Team & Ladywood History Group put on a fantastic exhibition and film screening event which ran over two days, 9th-10th December. It was held at the Parish Church of St John and St Peter, Darnley Road, just off Monument Road, Ladywood, Birmingham.

It was a fantastic day in the beautiful renovated church, complete with exhibition boards featuring local news stores and event covered by both the TNT News Team and Ladywood History Group’s Norman Bartlam, over the past 10 years or more. The event, which was attended by over 300 people over the course of the weekend, was a huge success and an opportunity for the younger members of the Ladywood community to show people the amazing work they had produced being part of TNT News Team.

When TNT & Ladywood History Group first got involved in the MACE (Media Archive for Central England) Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Project, they were excited to see which ATV and Midlands News stories were held on film and preserved by MACE. The groups decided to breath new life into the stories and revisit them in 2011 to see how things had changed. They have put together a compilation of their work – The History Show, TNT News November 2011 – to be preserved at MACE for future generations to enjoy for years to come.

The TNT News - The History Show - November 2011 Compilation on DVD - revisiting stories from ATV and Midlands News, held at MACE.

Members of the community that had been featured in stories captured on camera by TNT came to visit the exhibition and also Mayoress Councillor Ward also gave her stamp of approval to the young people’s hard work and urged members of the community not to forget that our past is just as important as our future and should be preserved in the best way possible.

Mayoress Councillor Ward attended the TNT News & Ladywood History Group's 10th Anniversary Celebratory film screening event.

MACE's brand new film and tape store at the University of Lincoln funded by Revitalising the Regions.

If you have any cine film, tape or moving image material relating to Ladywood, Birmingham or the wider Midlands region and want to know how you can preserve these items for years to come and have relevant material digitised as part of the Full Circle Project, please get in touch with:

Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Project Curator: Community & Acquisition – 07919 896 505 or 01522 837756 (Wednesday’s) email:

Photography ©Lucie Kerley

9th-10th December – Ladywood History Group 10th Anniversary Exhibition & Full Circle Archive Film Screening of old Ladywood


On Friday 9th December 2011, one of the Media Archive for Central England’s Birmingham based Full Circle Groups – TNT News and Ladywood History Group – invite you to attend an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia of old Ladywood at The Church of St John and St Peter, Ladywood, from 11:00am – 7:30pm and Saturday 10th December from 10:00am – 1:00pm.

On Saturday, 10th December, people are invited to attend a screening of films from the @MACEarchive ATV collection relating to Ladywood, as it was when featured in the news in the 1950s and 1960s. And don’t miss the cutting of the cake by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham at 10:30am to celebrate this special occasion!

Come along and see if you recognise anyone on the films!

Or of you have any old cine films or homemovies relating to Ladywood, Birmingham or the wider Midlands area that deserve preserving in a film archive and would like to know how they can be digitised free of charge as part of MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Film Search Project, then please speak to MACE’s Full Circle Curator – Lucie Kerley, who will be in attendance at Saturday’s event.

You can also contact Lucie Kerley via email on:




Full Circle Project welcomes Amblecote History Society and their ‘Can Do’ Attitude!

Amblecote History Society

After an invitation from Helen Cook, Programme Secretary, of Amblecote History Society, whom I first had the pleasure of meeting at the Dudley Archives and Local History Service a few months back,  where I gave a presentation to local history societies about MACE’s new HLF funded Full Circle Project. Helen got in touch and asked me to come and visit the society and spread the Full Circle gospel.

[Amblecote lies immediately north of the historic town of Stourbridge.  From the 17th century, there have been glassworks in Amblecote, including Thomas Webb and Dennis Hall, and together with the adjoining village of Wordsley, formed the main centre of the Stourbridge glass industry, now known as “The Glass Quarter”. The glass tradition was brought by Hugenot immigrants to the area. Glass is still produced to this day in albeit much reduced numbers following the deindustrialisation of the area in the 1980s and 1990s which saw the closure of many of the larger companies.] extract from wikipedia.

Amblecote History Society   holds its meetings at the Amblecote Holy Trinity Church & Hall and has around 90 members. They also put on well attended talks and events throughout the year and also arrange coach trips and days out. 

Fancy a trip to Bletchley Park? Contact the Amblecote History Society.

Helen was excited by the idea of getting the rest of their group members involved and wanted to share her enthusiasm for doing their very own film search in and around the Amblecote area. They have recently appealed for film in their local Stourbridge Newspaper and have had some interesting results!

Stourbridge News

I gave a short presentation to members of the history society and members of the public, which included a short screening of local ATV footage that is held at MACE Archive. The film showed clips of recognisable local industry, and life in the Black Country as it was some 40 years or so ago.

The Black Country 1969 DVD on sale at Amblecote History Society meeting £14.99

Chairman Pat Martin, who you will know as last years Mayor of Dudley, implored audience members to “Get it all out!”, asking them to make the effort to get their collections out of their lofts before it was too late. In order for us to be able to preserve these important pieces of social history, before they are lost forever.

Amblecote appeal for film


Members of the public and Amblecote History Society get settled ready for a MACE archive film screening

After watching the archive films, Pat stated “It seemed like a totally different world, but we were all around.”  The screening provoked nostalgia and many fond memories amongst audience members who had either worked at the places featured or who remembered local celebrities such as Jumping Joe (Josie) Derby and the Queens visit. Health and Safety regulations have definitely changed somewhat over the past 40 years thats for sure!

Chair Pat Martin.

Amblecote History Society are appealing for members of the public who may live in their local area or who may have used to live in the area, who have footage or films, home-movies, that they have made of local events – to come forward and preserve these gems so that they can be watched again, enjoyed and celebrated by the local and wider midlands communities.

There was a wonderful moment when a gentleman came up to me at the end of the screening and explained that he had infact visited MACE’s website  before and was astonished when he came across a Stourbridge clip that he didnt even know existed,  that showed his late father. He went on to explain that when he met his wife, she never got the chance to meet his father – as he had sadly passed away – however, he was able to show her this clip and this rare piece of film that had managed to capture an image of his father that will forever be preserved in history.

It is occasions like this that make working in a film archive so worthwhile. To think that the material that comes into MACE may hold fascinating insights into the social pasttimes of many people from all over the midlands, and many treasured memories too, is a fantastic motivation to keep looking for more.

If you have any film that features Amblecote or the surrounding area, or film that relates to the Midlands in general, please contact: Helen Cook – Programme Secretary for Amblecote History Society on 01384 395034  or email:

Full Circle Project’s hunt for hidden home-movies takes over the Midlands!

MACE's Full Circle Project Technician - Andrew Jenkins sets up the Flash Transfer equipment to copy 16mm film.

Map of the Midlands showing which areas we currently have groups participating in the Full Circle Project.

In just 149 days… the 5 months that MACE’s (The Media Archive for Central England)  Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Project has been running, Senior Curator – Kay Ogilvie and I have covered a HUGE expanse of the Midlands region. With the help of local history and community groups spread throughout the East and West Midlands we have received a fantastic response to the project.

MACE Director James Patterson uses the Steenbeck to view one of the reels of 16mm film found during the Full Circle Project.


MACE Viewing Room - Steenbeck.

 The way that people from all areas of the Midlands have stepped in to help uncover the hidden screen heritage relating to their own communities has been phenomenal.

MACE's Cataloguer, Researcher and Programmer Phil Leach compiles footage for screening events which groups can hold to help promote their film search

In just the short space of time that the project has been running, with the help of these local groups we have uncovered 33 collections of film, with more collections popping their heads up each week.

Just this morning we received another collection of film found by The Brixworth History Society in Northamptonshire through the MACE office door.

A mixture of Super 8 & Std 8mm home-movie cinefilms

Instructions found in one of the film boxes for setting up the projector for family film showings.

The collection belongs to Mr. Rod King of Brixworth and comprises of 4 large 400ft reels of Std 8mm and Super 8mm cinefilm. I look forward to speaking to Mr King and finding out more about his films and how he feels about having them copied into a digital format that he and his family will be able to enjoy. Watch this space for more information on the Rod King Collection.



Moving image material found during the Full Circle Project's search is brought into the archive and then assessed for both cultural and historical relevance to the Midlands region. Here you can see a shot from a piece of 8mm film found by the Belbroughton History Society during their search - the film, which belongs to the Hadley's, is a 1950's farming scene.


Due to the brilliant response of groups wishing to participate in Full Circle’s search we have now almost reached our 60 group target, but are still looking for groups and are also interested in working with schools – particularly in the areas on the map that haven’t yet been covered – don’t worry if you still wish to join or have some film you wish to get copied, we are compiling a reserve list for groups to join in stage two.

Our hope is that more and more communities will be reunited with films and home-movies found in their area. Local screenings of footage found during the group’s search will take place throughout the project.

For more information please contact: Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Project Curator on 0116 252 5931 or 07919 896 505 or email:

MACE's Head of Access and Learning: Richard Shenton - We hope to connect material found throughout the Full Circle Project with Schools in the Midlands area.


The Media Archive for Central England is the public sector moving image archive for the East and West Midlands. This means our focus is on moving images held on film, video, DVD or any other carrier that relate in some way to the Midlands.

Our primary roles are to provide:

  1. A place where these materials can be preserved
  2. Opportunities for the communities of the Midlands and beyond to experience and enjoy them
  3. An information hub for all things relating to moving images in the Midlands

MACE is a non-profit making company limited by guarantee (no. 3172021) and an independent registered charity (no. 1100890). As such we are governed by a board of directors who are also trustees of the charity.

As a public sector archive MACE receives public money primarily through EM Media and Screen WM although we do have additional income streams.

MACE is a small organisation with eight members of staff.

MACE is part of a network of public sector moving image archives, which, between them collect, preserve and making accessible the national film collections of the UK.

MACE's Business & Commercial Development Manager: Emma Morley

Archives in the network adhere to a recognised set of principles and standards and are defined as:

Repositories for the custody and preservation of and access to the history of our times as recorded on film, videotape and other moving image formats. Such archives contain works made by amateur and professional producers for cinema, television and other purposes. These archives encompass the history and culture of moving image media and respect the integrity of the works above any commercial or short term exploitation. These institutions operate on a “not for profit” basis.

The complete network comprise the core membership of the UK Film Archive Forum, whose web site contains further information about the wider sector. You may also wish to find out more about the UK public film archives by visiting Moving History, which was created as an introduction to the sector.

Please contact us at MACE – 0116 252 5066 or email:

Royal Visits, Midland Red, & Local Industry remembered at Smethwick Heritage Centre Roadshow Film Screening

A variety of stalls dedicated to Smethwick Heritage

On Saturday, 6th November St Mary’s Church in Bearwood,  hosted the 2010 Smethwick Heritage Centre Roadshow.

In the Church Hall were several stalls of memorabilia and old photographs and documents that people could look through at their leisure. There was also a Tombola and a number of stalls dedicated to The much-loved Midland Red Buses.

It was a celebration of all things Smethwick, not only including The Midland Red Buses, but also Royal Visit’s to local factories and interviews with local residents about housing conditions in the area. The day also paid tribute to all the Smethwickians who fought for the country during both World War One and World War Two.

It drew in a huge crowd from in and around Smethwick and also some people who had long since moved from the area dropped by to see old friends and reminisce.  

I was kindly invited along to represent MACE’s (The Media Archive for Central England) Full Circle Project and discuss the importance of searching out films and home-movies made by Midlands communities and preserving the film in an archive.

There was also a screening of footage from the MACE archive collection that had been compiled especially by Curator Phil Leach, who is in charge of cataloguing, researching and programming screenings for members of the public. The screening consisted of footage taken from Midlands News and also ATV that is held at MACE. There was a great response from the audience to the clips shown throughout the hour long screenings that took place in both the morning and afternoon in St Mary’s Church which made a great venue for showing the old films.

I asked Chris Sutton, Development Worker for The Smethwick Heritage Centre to tell us a little more about the work done by the members of The Heritage Centre and what they thought of the day.

“Smethwick Heritage Centre Trust was started by an independant group to capture the history of Smethwick. The home-base is a musuem which was the former lodge in Victoria Park, which houses the collection of artefacts on display. Smethwick was right at the heart of the industrial revolution and was home to many world famous companies such as GKN, Chance Brothers, Birmid and M&B. All these, and many more companies, are reflected in the museum alongside displays on the arts and crafts, local government, schools and both world  wars.

As well as the museum the Trust also gets out into the community, working with schools, sheltered accomodation and puts on four annual “roadshow” events which are attended each time by several hundred current and former Smethwickians. These latter events are always popular and the addition at the November 2010 roadshow of the MACE film was extremely well received. At least 120 people watched the film all the way through with others popping in and out. Response was highly favourable with requests for it to be shown again and for other clips.

 For us it was invaluable as a tool to get people talking about the past and bringing up long forgotten memories. There were one or two present who came forward to say they have films – which we had not been informed about before – and it prompted others to go and have a look in their cupboards and at the very least I would expect we get more photographs coming back in.

Because Smethwick had so many huge companies based there it does seem likely that there would have been plenty of archive films in their possession. It could well be worthwhile to start looking into the whereabouts of company archives. We are at the moment putting in a Lottery bid to set up an oral history archive pertaining to these companies and as part of that we will be organising a search along those lines.

Our sincere thanks are due to Lucie Kerley and all at MACE (especially Phil!!) for their help and support.”

The day proved a success with members of the public coming forward to discuss both personal cinefilm collections and also other collections that they were aware of that relate to the Smethwick Community. The MACE and Full Circle Team are looking forward to seeing more home-movies come to light as a result of public screenings of archive film like this.

If you have any home-movies relating to Smethwick or the wider Midlands area, please get in touch to hear more about how the Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Project can help you to preserve your films.


Full Circle Curator: Lucie Kerley. Telephone: 0116 252 5931 or 07919 896 505 or email:

Now available:

The Black Country 1969 DVD only  £14.99

Made by ATV in 1969, this documentary is a poignant and atmospheric profile of the people and character of the Black Country. The DVD is available to buy from a number of outlets including Amazon, The Black Country Bugle , Broadfield House & Glass Museum, TeeT shirts in Cradley Heath  and also from MACE  itself.

Emma Morley – Business & Commercial Development Manager at MACE – or telephone 0116 252 5062