Kniveton Primary school screen archive films………and plan their own film for future generations to enjoy

Waiting for the film screening……..

What a fantastic response to the films from the children, parents and teachers at the recent archive film screening at Kniveton! The whole school (over 70 children) gave up an afternoon to come along and watch these 80 year old films. I’ve never had so many questions! This was a special film screening to show the school some of the footage found during the recent film search taking place as part of the MACE/Full Circle heritage lottery funded project.

Elee Kirk – evaluator for the Full Circle project and Head, Lynn Board of Kniveton school – Derbyshire

Head teacher Lynn Board was very welcoming and pleased to be able to show the school community some of the footage found in the area. Lynn said, “We are looking forward to using the film to stimulate discussions about what life was like 80 years ago in Kniveton, these films will help bring  history to life for the children”. Lynn asked the children if they would like to make a film themselves of what Kniveton is like now so that they would have something to leave for future generations – she got a resounding YES! If the school do go on to make their own film – they could deposit  it with our film archive for safekeeping and it would make a fascinating comparison with the 80 year old films they have just viewed.

Throughout the screening the children pointed out places they recognised on screen and asked questions about the fashions, transport, farming, vehicles, animals and much much more! It was a throughly enjoyable afternoon for all. A big thank you to Lynn and all the staff and children for making us so welcome. The Kniveton films were shot by the duo Mr Wright and Mr Ratcliffe who lived in the village and filmed all the village events. The  8mm cine films were deposited with MACE for us to preserve them for future generations to enjoy and study. A copy was made onto  DVD for the local community and the owner.



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.


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.

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

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 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!

Full Circle Home-Movies get big screen treatment at The Ritz, Belper this weekend to celebrate Discovery Days Film Season

Kniveton Jubilee (Derbyshire) – Peter Frost Collection

Come along and celebrate Discovery Days Film Season this weekend at the Ritz Cinema, King Street, Belper. Ring 01773 822224 for seat prices and to book. We are pleased to help bring rare film footage found through MACE’s Full Circle project to one of the finest independent cinemas in the UK.

Fisherman Pub Belper – Norman Mellors Collection

We will be screening footage from the Peter Frost Collection and the Norman Mellors Collection.

The late Norman Mellor of Belper, used to go to the old Ritz in Belper regularly where his father worked as the projectionist. This led to Norman becoming very interested in filmmaking, he bought himself a cine camera in the early 1950s and filmed many local events in and around Belper, Derbyshire. His nephew Stephen Walters has been clearing out his late uncle’s house and found Norman’s film collection.

Belper flood – Norman Mellors Collection

Stephen said: “Uncle Norman worked at LB Plastics based at Heage and Norman took his camera on holiday with him and also filmed many Belper Town football matches as  he loved football and went to most of their matches.”

The Norman Mellors film collection of home-movies

Belper History Society planning the year’s events and meetings

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

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