TONIGHT from 7pm!! Come Celebrate Black History Month with @MACEarchive’s Full Circle Project and @The_Drum, Aston with a special screening of archive film and Philip Donnellan’s Controversial Film: The Colony, Bring along any old cine-films!!

Tonight, Wednesday 12th October, The Colony at The Drum

Controversial at the time of its original broadcast, this is a powerful film which explores the lives of Caribbean migrant communities living in Birmingham and the Midlands. Including interviews with Stan Crooke a railway signal man from St Kitts living in Balsall Heath and Bernice Smith a Jamaican teacher working at St James’ Primary School in Handsworth. This screening compliments the launch of the BBC’s ‘Reel History of Britain’ featuring Melvyn Bragg.

by Philip Donnellan

Click on the photo to book tickets!

The Drum are helping our Full Circle Film Search by looking for home-movies, or old cinefilm shot by your relatives that relate to your local area!

MACE’s Full Circle Project pairs up with The Drum to search for home-movies

If you have any old cinefilm or  home-movies relating to the Birmingham, Aston and wider Midlands area and are not sure what to do with them… Bring them along to The Drum this evening and speak to myself, Full Circle Project Curator – Lucie Kerley – or call: 07919 896505 if you are interested in hearing about the possibility of digitising this material in order to make it accessible and preserve it for future generations. – For more information please check out.

See you there!!


Titles from MACE’s Collections to feature in BBC’s new Reel History of Britain Series

Look out for titles from MACE’s collection in Reel History of Britain which starts tomorrow (Monday 5th September) at 6:30pm on BBC2.

In this brand new 20-part series for BBC Two Daytime, Melvyn Bragg retells the fascinating stories of life in Britain from 1900 to 1970 through the archive collections of the British Film Institute and other National and Regional Film Archives including MACE, South West Film & Televison Archive, East Anglian Film Archive and Wessex Film & Sound Archive.

Melvyn Bragg presents this brand new series, which will showcase footage from 10 regional film archives across the UK, as well as the BFI.

From coal mining via seaside holidays through to the 1977 Silver Jubilee, Melvyn reflects on the past hardships and simple pleasures of British life, as well as the enormous social changes that took place from the 1900s onwards. Travelling across the UK, Melvyn meets members of the public who appeared in the historic films featured in the series, and brings them face-to-face with their relatives with the help of a 1967 custom built vintage mobile cinema.

Melvyn Bragg said: “At the turn of the last century one invention changed the way we recall our history forever – the motion camera. Thanks to Britain’s pioneering film-makers, we can still glimpse a world long gone.

Along the way viewers will see how ordinary British people worked and lived in the 20th century, as seen through social documentaries, tourist information films, newsreels and government propaganda films. In the 1900s documentary film-makers began to capture for the first time real stories of everyday life. Over many decades, this passion for film-making grew in confidence and technical skill and produced an extraordinary and compelling authentic archive.

These films have now been carefully restored by Britain’s film archives and are available to be seen again for the first time in generations. They showcase the people and places of Britain; their preoccupations, lifestyles and ambitions for the future. They reveal a forgotten Britain that has since changed forever.

Footage from MACE’s collections which will feature over the course of the next four weeks includes:

Leicester Poor Boys’ and Girls’ Summer Camp at Mablethorpe

1977 – Countesthorpe Parish Council – Jubliee Year

Edwalton Jubilee

Crowle Celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee



*If you can’t yet view an associated clip on these catalogue entries, please do check back in the next few days as we are uploading them as soon as possible.

MACE are delighted to be involved in a series which showcases the diverse range of film preserved at the BFI and the regional archives across the UK.Vist the Reel History of Britain pages HERE and read of related events in your area, including an event MACE will be involved in Leicester on 30th September and 1st October.

From 500ft Hereford Bulls to a Dr that travels by Horse & Cart. Herefordshire Historians on the Hunt for Hidden Home-movies!

Audience member Mark Robinson watches the Full Circle Screening of material from the MACE ATV collection.

On Monday, 15th November, I was kindly invited along by Senior Archivist Rhys Griffith to the Herefordshire History & Archives Forum to discuss the MACE (Media Archive for Central England) Full Circle Project.

Tea, biscuits and a Full Circle Film search.

  The Full Circle film search project is funded by the Heritage Lottery with the aim being to work with community groups in order to preserve the people of the Midlands home-movies and then copy them into a format that as many people will be able to enjoy watching once more.

MACE archive film screening to promote Full Circle.

 The project will run until March 2013 and is searching for Midlands related moving image materials captured by the people who are at the very heart of their community.          


Herefordshire Record Office workers pour over a local map.

The Herefordshire History and Archives forum was attended by representative from a number of groups, including:

  • Jeff White – Cradley Heritage Group
  • Pam Hatherly – Leintwardine History Society
  • Anne Abbotts –  Wellington Heath Archive Group
  • David Clark – Fownhope History Group
  • Barbara Ferris – Dinedor Heritage Group
  • Mal Mason – Eardisley History Group
  • Dave Tristram – Herefordshire Council – Regeneration
  • Anita Syers-Gibson – Independent Volunteer
  • Barry Lawrence – Much Cowarne History Group
  • Alex Hoyle – Bromyard and District Local History Society
  • Mark Robinson – Webb-SHARE
  • Sue Knox – Herefordshire Council – Museum Development
  • Irene Orchard – Archive of Cider Pomology

Members of the Herefordshire History & Archive Forum.


Rhys Griffith - Senior Archivist at The Herefordshire Record Office

After catching up on the latest activities from each member, I gave a short presentation about the MACE archive Full Circle Project, and discussed why it was important that communities get involved in preserving their communities screen heritage.

As a way of promoting the Full Circle Project’s search for film, I put on a film, kindly compiled by MACE programmer Phil Leach,  showing clips taken from a selection of the ATV collection that is held at MACE.

The clips were  from taken from news stories that had made headlines over the past 40+ years. A glimpse of life in Herefordshire and some of the well-known characters that play a part in the making of Herefordshire history.

Smiles all round at memories of old Herefordshire.Dr Cyril Francis on his horse and cart doing the rounds, Hereford.

For more information on the Full Circle Project or to find out who your local participating group is please contact Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Project Curator at MACE. Tel: 0116 252 5931 0r Mob: 07919 896 505 email:

To see more clips of Hereford or from other parts of the Midlands region check out and take a look at our online catalogue.

Photographs copyright Lucie Kerley.

Home Movies are just so fashionable right now!

MACE and Full Circle are delighted at the level of publicity and exposure The Great British Home Movie Roadshow series, currently being aired on BBC Two, is generating. It truly highlights just how important it is that we find these previously unseen amateur films, home movies and records of British life and ensure that they are preserved for future generations. The Home Movie Roadshow offers a fascinating insight into the important role that Moving Image Materials have played in our lives over the past century.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery the Full Circle project aims to work alongside Local History Societies & Community groups in both East & West Midlands and help them undertake searches for hidden film, tape or video that may be stowed away in their community. So far the project has gathered interest from a number of sources, such as the BBC, Derby QUAD, Dudley Archives & Rural Media, to name but a few,  and has attracted groups from as far a field as Mansel Lacy and Fownhope, Herefordshire in the West Midlands, all the way over to the East coast to places like Woodhall Spa and Mablethorpe, in Lincolnshire. The Full Circle project,  aims to seek out film relating to the screen heritage of the Midlands and  preserve this in order to make this film accessible to members of the community to enjoy for years to come.

Should you have any Midlands related film stowed away in your attic that you wish to discuss, please get in touch with Full Circle Senior Curator: Kay Ogilvie at or 01629 823495

The Media Archive for Central England, also known as MACE, is an independent limited company and registered charity. It is the public sector regional film and video archive for the East and West Midlands.  Based at the University of Leicester we are part of a network of public moving image archives that collectively preserve the UK’s moving image heritage. We are also an integral part of the network of public archives and record offices across the Midlands.

Our aims are to collect, document, preserve, and subsequently provide access to the moving image heritage of the East and West Midlands. In addition we provide an information service to help people who are looking for film as well advice on how to care for moving image materials outside the archive.

“For a 100 years the British have filmed their own lives on their own cameras. What four generations have shot shows a totally different story to all the official film. It’s buried treasure, lying unseen, forgotten in thousands of attics and top draws. A priceless archive that must be saved. This is a 100 years of Britain’s Home Movies.” Excerpt from the BBC Two Home Movie Roadshow.

If  you want to hear more about the program or you have missed an episode, you can catch up and watch online using the BBC iPlayer here:

The next episode of the Home Movie Roadshow is on tomorrow, Friday, 20th August at  21:00 on BBC Two.

Episode 3

3/5. In Falmouth the team see a unique record of National Service in the 50s.

Leicester Mercury – July 22, 2008

Advice is being offered over the safety of old film reels

ARCHIVISTS are offering advice to the owners of old film reels which could be a fire hazard.

In Saturday’s Leicester Mercury we reported that a box of 100-year-old cinema film exploded after producing flammable gasses which self combusted.

The fire seriously damaged the home of Shepshed couple Kevin and Jan Barnes

Now, experts from the Media Archive for Central England, the region’s public film archive at Leicester University, are urging anyone with concerns to contact them. Archive director James Patterson said:”Whatever its gauge, surviving film material is important in reflecting the history of the region and should not be discarded.”

“Even the humblest of home movies or home videos provide a fascinating insight into our past”. “We can advise and help readers who might be concerned about film that they have in their possession.”