The Gothic Warehouse at Cromford Mill, a World Heritage Site, hosts Full Circle Screening……….

The Gothic Warehouse at Cromford Mill, Derbyshire

We all had a wonderful evening watching archive film of the local area in the historic surroundings of Cromford Mill. Hosted by The Arkwright Society and Angela Jones the Events officer. The Arkwright Society is the charity looking after this World Heritage Site a legacy of Sir Richard Arkwright and his construction of the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill at Cromford in 1771. There are lovely canal side walks, guided tours of the site and characterful cafes and shops – well worth a visit and  Cromford railway station is only a few minutes away.

Floods in Matlock 1965 from the Harry Gill Collection

Phyllis Higton, daughter of the locally famous photographer and later filmmaker, Harry Gill, kindly allowed her father’s films to be screened at  Cromford, knowing that they held so much interest locally. Phyllis has deposited the rest of her father’s collection with us at MACE for us to store them in our climatically controlled film archive. Look out for notices at Cromford Mill and locally as this is a huge collection and we will be screening more of this collection and others in 2012.

Phyllis Higton at the film screening of her father’s films with one of her daughters

Phyllis came along with one of her daughters and thoroughly enjoyed seeing these films – they really evoked memories of Matlock and Matlock Bath (where she used to live). The flooding scenes were amazing – with a torrent of water rushing along Bakewell Road coming from the River Derwent. One person in the audience recognised her grandfather and another remembered riding on the amphibious vehicles to get across town.

Mary Beale

Another ‘moment’ of the evening was when Mary Beale (above) recognised herself as a young girl in 1954  in a film made by British Transport Films (BTF).  “The Peak  District” was one of many travelogue films made by the BTF film production unit.  They made a series of travelogue films to promote rail travel around the British Isles.There is a website dedicated to all the films made by this unit and you can buy some of them from Amazon or the  British Film Institute.

Phyllis Wayne (left)

Another film collection which we hope to be screening at Cromford in 2012 is from the collection of Phyllis Wayne. Phyllis Wayne and Phyllis Higton lived next door to each other and it is interesting to see how each of their father’s filmed the same events. We have got some very good coverage of the Starkholmes Carnival in the 1960s!


Belper Historical Society screen vintage films in the oldest building in Belper………

Mr Ray Marjoram did an excellent job as projectionist: view of East Mill Belper, closed by English Sewing amidst a political storm in 1985

Belper Historical Society had an excellent turnout (considering the weather!) for their screening of vintage films at St John’s Chapel Belper on Wednesday 7th December. It was poignant to watch the ATV footage of the closure of East Mill by English Sewing in 1985 and many faces were recognised up there on the big screen. It was quite shocking to realise that English Sewing  had made a 24 million pound profit the year before, yet still they were tempted by Government funds to move to  Glasgow to a new ‘enterprise’ zone. Thereby making hundreds redundant in Belper. The same happened to many mills along the Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, which is now a World Heritage Site.

Kay Ogilvie (right), senior curator for Full Circle, chats to Pat Majoram (second right) and John Barnett of Belper Historical Society.

Other vintage films screening that night were 1930s films from the Wright/Ratcliffe Collection including Kniveton Jubilee and Ashbourne Carnival.  A resident from Kniveton recognised some faces on these films too and she is now speaking to Kniveton Parish Council about  holding a screening in their village hall of more films from this superb collection.

Pat and Ray Marjoram organised an artefacts table whereby members were asked to identify some of the ‘finds’ on display including some lovely decorated clay pipes. Other ‘finds’ that night included a collection of films owned by John Barnett. More about that further down this blog!

Ray Majoram also doing door service!

The Belper Historical Society is also looking for new committee members to help with ideas and future planning – if you would like to get involved please contact Kay and she will pass on your details. They hold regular meetings and organise history related events and historical walks in and around Belper.

Kay talking to John Barnett about his father's collection of films

Films owned by  John  Barnett: These sound very interesting indeed! They belonged to his father and are of a wedding at Belper Registry Office (does this still exist?) with a reception at The Hurt Arms,  Ambergate, Riber Castle – Matlock when it was a zoo,  scenes from Belper,  Buxton and  Bakewell and something called the ‘Ripley Rotokana’ possibly a carnival, also ‘Dams During Drought’ – the reservoirs of North Derbyshire during the 1976 drought. We will talk to John about preserving his original films and getting  him copies of these onto DVD as these films are of great local interest.

Kay handing Pat Majoram two DVD copies of vintage films for the Belper Historical Society to use in the future and to add to their own film archive.

Tea, coffee and mince pies were a welcome break in the film show - served by one of the members of Belper Historical Society

If you have any films that you would like to preserve and then share with the community then please contact Kay at Visit our Full Circle pages on our website to find out more about how to get involved

Tonight! Saturday 26th November 7pm – Film screening at The Gothic Warehouse, Cromford Mill….

Film screening venue: The Gothic Warehouse Cromford Mill, Derbyshire

The Arkwright Society in Cromford, setting for the World Heritage Cromford Mills site is hosting the first Full Circle film screening in this area.  We are pleased to be screening local films of Matlock and Matlock Bath, Cromford, Ripley and much much more. These films came to light through the film searches carried out by local groups as part of this Heritage Lottery Funded project, developed by MACE – the screen archive for the Midlands.

Phyllis Higton holding her father Harry Gill's camera

This unseen footage was deposited with MACE by Phyllis Higton, daughter of the locally famous photographer Harry Gill. Another local resident, also called Phyllis,  deposited some lovely local footage of the Starkholmes Carnival  with MACE filmed by her father.

Carnival queen at Starkholmes carnival - Phyllis Wayne Collection

IN AN AGE WHEN the media was limited to newspapers and the wireless, Harry Gill followed an unusual occupation. He was a press photographer: moreover, he was one of an elite handful who chose to follow the uncertain, though exciting, freelance route. For nearly 50 years there were few picture and news editors on local and regional papers in the North and Midlands unfamiliar with Harry Gill’s work. And, gradually as his contacts and experience grew, he was used increasingly by national newspapers. The by-line on the back of prints – Photo by H. Gill, Bradley House, Dale Road, Matlock – became acknowledged as a by-word for reliability and professionalism. Michael Fay

If you have any films or moving image that you would like to put in safekeeping and to share with the community please contact Kay Ogilvie, senior curator Full Circle project kay.ogilvie@  and to find out more visit

Archive film screening tonight! At Holymoorside Village Hall Derbyshire as part of the Full Circle Heritage Lottery funded project….

Cans of film stored in temperature controlled conditions at the MACE archive

We are very pleased to be bringing an archive film screening to Holymoorside Village Hall tonight at 7pm. This is part of the Full Circle project developed by MACE to help protect and share our screen heritage. Tonight’s films will include 1960s films of floods in Matlock and Matlock Bath and the big freeze in the Matlock area of 1963. All filmed by the late Harry Gill a photographer from Matlock Bath and kindly deposited with our film archive for safe keeping by his daughter Phyllis Higton.

For more than 50 years, Harry Gill was a professional photographer who recorded thousands of events – from those of national importance to the homespun familiarity of local weddings. Although his territory was Matlock and the Peak District, he worked wherever commissions took him. Now, over 30 years after his death, Harry Gill’s photographic collection has been rediscovered – a unique, fascinating archive of life, people and places spanning 40 years until the late 1960s.
Michael Fay

Holymoorside Village Hall, Holymoorside Road, Derbyshire S42 7DX Telephone: 01246 569882

If you have any films or moving image that you would like to preserve for the future and share with the community please contact Kay Ogilvie senior curator Full Circle