Stirchley Happenings Annual Christmas Archive Film Screening Gets Local Brum Community Feeling Full Circle Festive!


Merry Christmas from members of the Birmingham Full Circle Community Group - Stirchley Happenings!

Last weekend, Saturday 17th December from 4pm, the Stirchley Happenings Full Circle Group held their annual Christmas film screening at the Stirchley Community Church and all were invited!

As a pre-feature film short to raise awareness of their involvement in the MACE Full Circle Project, the group showed a 15 minute archive film compilation  of Christmas in Birmingham…

Then they showed their main film – Miracle on 34th Street, the 1947 version.

Members of the audience take their seats ready for a screening of Birmingham related Christmas archive films put together especially by MACE's Phil Leach.

What good film doesn't deserve popcorn!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Hat's on!

It was magical! Christmas at its best!


I wanted to shout

“I believe! I believe!”

As the last scenes were played and the credits rolled, audience members, old and young, hearts were filled with festive joy!

If you have any cine film, tape or moving image material relating to Stirchley, 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: lkerley@lincoln.ac.uk

For more info on the Full Circle Project check out: http://www.macearchive.org/Full-Circle.html

Photography © Lucie Kerley

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: lkerley@lincoln.ac.uk

http://www.macearchive.org/Full-Circle.html

Photography ©Lucie Kerley

Derby Local Studies Library joins Full Circle in the search for film………


We are very pleased that Mark Young, Family & local  history services manager will be helping Full Circle in our search for film of the Midlands.

Mark told me a bit about the history of the collection and the rich source of material available at the Derby branch:

“We have one of the UK’s largest and oldest collections of printed and manuscript material relating to Derby and Derbyshire, originally formed from two outstanding private libraries.”

“The 7th Duke of Devonshire donated over 2,000 books and pamphlets from his private collection, which the Borough of Derby accepted in 1879.” “The second library, formed for the owner of a Derby printing company, Sir Henry Howe Bemrose, was acquired by public subscription in 1914. The Derby Free Library was extended to house these collections in 1914 and they inspired the Library Committee to make the topography and literature of Derbyshire an important speciality of the library service.” “These specialised collections have been built on ever since. Today we continue expanding on this wealth of local studies material, with the objective of representing all aspects of Derby and its communities.”

Full Circle will be working with Mark to  help spread the word about the film search and the importance of film as a historical resource. We are planning a film screening of local footage found through Full Circle so look out for details of this in the local press.

If you have any film footage of the Midlands and would like to share it with others please get in touch with Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator Full Circle Project kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk

The Local Studies Library is housed at 25b Irongate, Derby, Derby, DE1 3GL.

telephone icon Phone: 01332 642240

minicom icon Minicom: 01332 380712

letter icon Email: localstudies.library@derby.gov.uk

Manager – Family and Local History Services: Mark Young

1920s Ripley films found in biscuit tins….listen to Kay Ogilvie Full Circle curator being interviewed by Radio Derby…


The Ripley films are inside the biscuit tins and all in various stages of decomposure

Yesterday morning I was invited to the Radio Derby studio to be interviewed by Phil Trow to talk about the 90 year old Ripley films found in biscuit tins – Phil presents the Radio Derby Breakfast show from 7am – 10am which is probably the station’s most popular show as it has a captive audience of people commuting to work or doing the school run in Derby. These films have been unearthed through the Full Circle project….

Dave King reporter for BBC Radio Derby has also written an online article about the lost Ripley films with links to the MACE website and Full Circle pages. He has also put the interview online with more photos.

Here’s the links:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-13714062
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-13714060
Happy viewing!

kay @macearchive

Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery join the Full Circle quest for films…


Archive ATV news footage 1960s provided by MACE to help launch Full Circle

Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum co-hosted a screen heritage event with the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) to launch the Full Circle Project in Leamington Spa, on Saturday 12 March.

This is part of a Heritage Lottery funded project called Full Circle, to uncover the hidden filmed heritage of the Midlands.

Victoria Slade Curatorial Officer Social  History, welcomes visitors to the film screening in the Pump Rooms on 12th March

Victoria Slade  says: ” We are delighted to be part of this project; home movies provide a unique insight into the history of an area. We are calling on everybody who is interested in historic moving images to search in their attics, cupboards and cellars for old films that may be hidden away.”

Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator for Full Circle: “If this unique record is to survive we need to preserve it for future generations – this is where Full Circle can  help – the project has been developed by the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) and we will make copies of relevant footage for the Museum and for the owners – so that the Museum can  hold a film screening and share this historical footage with the community.”

Allan Jennings holding 8mm films belonging to David Burnell – this collection shows footage of the old swimming baths when they were located in the Pump Rooms (circa 1960s)

Lots of people had searched in their attics for films to bring along to the event. Of particular interest were the 8mm film collection belonging to David Burnell – this collection filmed in the 1960s shows footage of local streets in and around Leamington and some rare footage of inside the swimming baths when they were located in the Pump Rooms.

Some of the films brought along to Leamington Spa on 12th March

Films are a vital part of the region’s heritage, whether they capture family moments or events and news stories. Other interesting films brought along on the day were from Ken Wilkins who brought along a DVD of local scenes. Alan Jones brought some very interesting 16mm film of village events at Radford Semele in Warwickshire taken by local film maker Eddie Philips in 1952.

Popcorn and refreshments were served to contribute to the cinema experience!

Tammy Woodrow Publicity officer for Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery said: “We will be holding another screening of all the films found by Full Circle later on in the year at the Pump Rooms so please pass the word around that we are looking for films of this area – they don’t have to be old films – today’s films are tomorrow’s history”.

Tammy Woodrow Publicity Office for Leamington Spa Museum  and Art Gallery and Josephine - helping out with the refreshmentsTammy and Josie helping with the refreshments

Representatives from the local history groups in the area were invited to come along and spread the word. Archie Pitts who is part of another Heritage Lottery Funded project said he would help publicise Full Circle in his newsletter. The project he is working on has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to study the history of the Linden Arches and Gardens and to produce a plan for their long term conservation. The group are looking for films, photographs, memorabilia or memories of the arches and the gardens. He can be contacted on: 01926 885532 or archiepitts@gmail.com.

 

Archie Pitts of The Friends of the Pump Room Gardens History and Conservation Project

If you can help in our Full Circle quest to find and preserve the moving image history of the Warwickshire area please contact Victoria on 01926 742703 or Tammy on 01926 742709 both at Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery. Please look in local press for the next screening event in October at the Pump Rooms, where Vicki and Tammy will be showing all the footage found so far through the Full Circle project.

If you would like more information about this project contact Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator Full Circle on kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk or Tel: 01629 823495

Victoria Slade – Curatorial Officer Social History, talks about the importance of film as a historical resource.

Fownhope Local’s Rewind and enjoy an afternoon of Herefordshire Archive Films


Amanda Huntley of The Huntley Film Archives addresses the audience at Fownhope Memorial Village Hall

 

On Wednesday, 9th March the Fownhope Local History Group, one of the Full Circle Project’s participating groups took part in hosting one of the screenings for Rewind Festival 2011. The event which took place at Fownhope Memorial Village Hall featured a screening of “rare archive film featuring Herefordshire and Shropshire from 1900 onwards.”

The venue was packed to the rafters with around 115 in attendance who came from all over Herefordshire with some also travelling as far as Wales to reminisce of times gone by, watching footage of local events caught on film some 60 and some 70 or more years ago. The screening featured some fabulous material from  Huntley’s Commercial Film Archive Collection with some footage estimated to date back to the early 1900s.

“REWIND, the community film archive project from Flicks in the Sticks in collaboration with Huntley Film Archives is delighted to present this extraordinary programme, the result of a year long research, at venues in Herefordshire and Shropshire in February and March. Volunteers have been trained as film archivists and have catalogued footage from the Huntley Film Archives which brings the past, including some of the sights and sounds of the two counties, to life.”

Highlights of the screening included :

Hereford May Fair in 1910
Tommies march out of the City in 1914
Kington Carnival in the 1920s
Cider making in the 1930s
The old cattle market in the 1940s
Leominster Three Counties Fair in the 1950s.

Following the Rewind Screening which was really brought to life when accompanied by Amanda Huntley’s animated commentry, the audience was treated to home-made cakes and refreshments before settling down for the second half.

The screening of archive material was particularly poignant for one member of the audience who had no recollection that he had even been caught on film as a young lad working the land with fellow Herefordshire farmers over 60 years ago and was able to watch this footage for the first time.

The Fownhope Local History Group Chairman, David Clark, used the occasion as a platform for showing what film collections had been found as part of their group’s involvement with the MACE archive’s,  Heritage Lottery Funded, Full Circle Project. The group have been looking for archive footage relating to Fownhope and the local area for the past 8 months and have been hugely successful in unearthing around 7 collections with more popping their heads up all the time. The event was a chance to show the people of Fownhope and the wider area, the results of the footage that had been digitised with the help of MACE & HLF funding.

It was a fantastic opportunity for myself, Lucie Kerley Curator for Community & Acquisition at MACE and my colleague Catherine English Full Circle’s Cataloguer, to meet the depositors of the film collections in person for the first time and to hear how much joy they and their families had gotten from the collections being digitised. Smiles all round!

Full Circle Depositor Joanne Probert was delighted with the result of her digitised cine collection that has now been seen by many of her relatives living in AustraliaPeter Davies holds his DVD copy of the cinefilm collection that was digitised with the help of the Heritage Lottery Funding received by MACE's Full Circle Project, Peter has also deposited more reels of 8mm film to be digitised and archived at MACEPeter Davies holds his DVD copy of the cinefilm collection that was digitised with the help of the Heritage Lottery Funding received by MACE's Full Circle Project, Peter has also deposited more reels of 8mm film to be digitised and archived at MACE

Midlands We Need Your Home Movies!Screening of Herefordshire based ATV archive footage at Fownhope Memorial Hall

Peter Davies holds his DVD copy of the cinefilm collection that was digitised with the help of the Heritage Lottery Funding received by MACE’s Full Circle Project, Peter has also deposited more reels of 8mm film to be digitised and archived at MACE

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The group will continue to look for more moving image materials in their area that are in need of digitising to ensure that this valuable window into their local history is one that is not lost but can long be enjoyed by both our generation and those yet to come.

Screen Heritage and the Big Society…the challenge for the public film archives


Screen Heritage and the Big Society…the challenge for the public film archives

by James Patterson, MACE Director

The Media Archive for Central England Film Store

(This is an edited version of a paper delivered to “Film Heritage, Digital Future”, a conference held at Birmingham City University 4/3/11.) 

The last time I wrote about how I saw the challenges for the film archive sector was nearly 2 years ago. It was not the first time I had written about the subject.

 I’m writing about it again and I suspect that it won’t be the last time.

 And why would it be the last time? The film archiving itself is always challenging, the approaches we take as archivists are always developing and the context in which we operate – the political context with a small p, and in consequence the funding context, is always in flux. So the challenges we face are always changing. What is unchanging is our responsibility to develop a service which meets the needs of the community and realizes all the potential in the collections we develop and care for.

 I must preface my remarks by saying that my views on the matter are my own – borne out of nearly 32 years working in the film archives in the public sector and the last 20 of those at a senior level in both a national and regional context. I am not suggesting that I am representing anyone else’s views.

 I am limiting my remarks to the film archives in the public sector and the challenges faced there because this is the sector I know. It is not in any way to ignore the important work done for the survival of our moving image culture by other organizations. In fact, I think it is really important that we begin to develop appropriate and closer working relationships across the whole sector as soon as we can.

 I’ve called this piece Screen Heritage and the Big Society not because I want to discourse on how we can develop community action in support of our sector – though I may touch on this – but more as a shorthand for the wider current context of our services.

 And what is that context? What is the current challenge?

 The public film archive services are currently delivered by 2 UK wide archives (BFI National Archive and IWM); there are services for Scotland and Wales delivered from departments of their respective National Libraries; and there are 9 small archive services operating in the English regions.

 All of these archives are independent of each other – the relationships between them and the way the funding works are complex and have been made more complicated in the past few years – partly by devolution of responsibility to the nations, partly by a lack of a clear strategic and shared overall vision for the services in England.

 “The current political context is one of decreasing public funds and of being told to do more with less.”

 The drive from the current government to reduce the perceived unnecessary bureaucracies has impacted as much in the film world as elsewhere.

 The UK Film Council (UKFC) is being closed with all public support for film activity transferring the BFI. The regional screen agencies (independent, though closely tied to UKFC) are working out how they will become (or engage with) a new body to support screen related creative and cultural industry activity outside the capital. That body is called Creative England. The proposal is that it should have three hubs North, Central and South.

 Creative England is now working with the BFI on defining their relationship so that strategic priorities and delivery paths for the range of areas in which they have some responsibility can be achieved.

 These discussions are ongoing and will be resolved during the coming year (2011).

 Creative England is currently consulting on an interim strategy document which covers the financial year 2011/12. Driven by even further reducing funds, it is clear from the consultation documents that there are expectations of a structural change of the regional film archives in England.

 The nature of the change is currently defined only in the sentence ‘there is an immediate need to develop a more cost effective/aggregated out of London network of RFAs…’.

 There is an old story about a man who, travelling in Ireland, stopped and asked a farmer for directions to Dublin. “If I was going to Dublin”, the farmer replied “I would not be starting from here”. The circumstances we find ourselves in seem to me to resonate with that. The starting point for our journey is one that we might not have chosen.

 But matters are further complicated by not having great clarity at this stage about the destination. Indeed, some of the sector like the place we are in and want to stay. But we have been and are being told that we must travel and some of the sector feel the need to travel and that a journey would be beneficial in many ways, but the problem we face is that the necessity to travel is not, at the moment, being combined with a clear destination. At best we have a sense that – to stretch the metaphor towards breaking point – we know that we should probably head towards Dublin because Dublin is where we probably ought to be. We hope to be engaged in a conversation in which we agree that Dublin is our destination. But our worst fears are that that conversation may take place without us and we might end up being sent to Cork.! (a place I am very fond of by the way but which must for the purposes of the metaphor represent an inappropriate destination).

 The public film archive sector in the English regions is currently perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being fragmentary and as needlessly and inefficiently duplicating resources, activities and facilities. Because it is seen this way there is a sense that the aggregation of the sector will reduce costs.

 This is our starting point. And in the current climate where strategic bodies which have served the English regions are being reduced typically from nine to three, where regionalism is out and where the public purse is too stretched to cover the kind of more peripheral public service activity that we represent, we are not, in my view, in a good place to make the case for the retention of the status quo.

 “So change is the order of the day.”

 Is there anything else we can glean from the Creative England document?

 I am greatly comforted by a recognition that, at least in this transition year, CE have made the whole area of broader film culture (which includes the heritage sector) one of their three priorities. I am equally comforted by the their desire not to undo or damage the benefit we have managed to accrue from the very welcome investment of capital into the sector which led to the Screen Heritage UK programme which is currently in train.

 I know that not all my colleagues concur, but I for one think that there is a strong case for the aggregation of elements of our work. I have been advocating this approach for some time…not because I think it will save money, but because I think it may be possible to improve the services we offer by taking a different approach.

 And in all of our consideration of these challenges the service…what we do and how well we achieve it must lie at the heart.

 So what is our role?

 I have moved away from defining the archive in terms of “collection”. I see the role of the regional film archive as being about engaging people with screen heritage to achieve positive benefit.

 Now clearly a key part of that is the core work of uncovering the region’s screen heritage, ensuring that it is secure now and for future generations and available now and for future generations. And there are particular and specialist archive facilities, functions and expertises that need to be made available to do that work.

 Some of these things have to be located in the region in order for the organization to work effectively in delivering a regional service, some of them – the more backroom functions – can be shared and provided more remotely.

Steenbeck and view of Store

Our responsibility is to make sure that things are done to the right and proper standard to achieve the outcome…not necessarily to do all of them ourselves.

 “But each part of the country has its own identity and has its own priorities and imperatives. Each part of the country presents different opportunities for engagement – and if we are to work effectively at a local level in engaging people with the very remarkable resources we are developing, then we have to be alive to the variety of the opportunities and potential partnerships – and that means working on the ground locally and having the right capacity to facilitate that.”

One of the collections of film found in the Midlands during the HLF funded Full Circle Project

 And working out how best to develop individual and shared responsibilities for the film archive sector must be an inclusive conversation. A conversation in which all the partners, national and regional, come to the table and, recognizing the value and the complementary nature of their different services, their different approaches and the different kinds of contexts in which they work, sort out a genuinely strategic network of service.

 The film archives do not exist in a vacuum. They are part of the wider cultural offer – they are part of the broad cultural landscape and have the potential to impact across a very wide range of cultural partnerships. We need to build on existing relationships nationally and regionally and locally and take care not to damage it in the changes which lie ahead.

 And if all of the changes that lie ahead of us are driven by the need to reduce the amount which we see from the public purse, then developing a new business model and one which is sustainable is probably our biggest challenge.

 To create a new model to deliver a sensible and engaged service to over 40 million people outside London with a Treasury settlement of less than the £290,000 which is, this year, shared between the 9 English regional Film Archives is very challenging indeed.

 It would be quite wrong of me to suggest that £290,000 is all the support we have because for all of us this is only part of a much larger basket of Lottery and other project funding and institutional and in kind support which we have very successfully each developed over the years around this central plank. But it is the central plank and is of considerable importance.

 That the sector has managed to deliver as much as it has with such a small core platform gives me some encouragement for the road ahead. Clearly there are entrepreneurial people working in the sector. But we need to be open to ideas which challenge the received wisdom about how we develop income to cover our costs.

 Sacrilegious maybe, but we must examine again what our ‘public service’ remit means in the current climate.

I believe, and have done for some time, that we must make a contribution, and a more considerable one, to covering our overheads.

We are “not for profit” organizations but that does not mean that we are “not for income”.

The more we can generate, the more we can deliver. We must invest time and energy into the development of innovative ways and means of getting our resources into use and to generating income from that use.

 We must argue for the retention of a core funding platform – without that we can do nothing. We must continue to make the case for that core platform to be set at a level which is realistic – but we must expect to deliver a responsible level of financial return ourselves – just as we must continue to raise funds from Lottery and other project sources and through partnership working. We must at the same time take care to make sure that our development plans and our core activity is not unduly skewed by chasing funds with inappropriate priorities.

 And yes, we must engage community help – we must respond to the so called Big Society.

 It’s not that all of these things mean we must suddenly start to do things which are different. We must simply adapt to the times and the circumstances – as we always have.

 The sector faces some hard decisions and there are many things that will discomfort us in the months ahead.

 But actually at heart I’m optimistic. I think that, challenging as the coming period is likely to be, there is also opportunity – and I, for one, though not without some anxiety, am looking forward to it and believe that, with an appropriate attitude and a spirit of collaboration, the coming changes could just develop into something very good.

 James Patterson

Director, MACE, March 2011