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

‘The Public’ – launches Full Circle at an archive screening event in West Bromwich….


The Public, the digital arts centre in West Bromwich was the launch for Full Circle on 2nd April

On a lovely sunny evening in West Bromwich, local history groups came together to  help The Public launch the Full Circle project. The Public is supporting MACE in the search for films via the Full Circle project. Eventually these films will be screened at The Public in a big celebration event of our screen heritage.

Whats on at The Public.....

The Public digital arts centre is already becoming part of community life, and once the shopping centre building works are complete it will become an integral part of the community. There was an Indian wedding going on when I was there – lots of lovely food smells…..

The two friendly staff at reception - On the night were short film screenings of archive footage from the Sandwell archives, Oldbury History Society collection, 1960s ITV news items. As well as a short film made by a local film-maker Billy Dosanhjh "Miracle in West Bromwich".

Entrance to one of the many screening rooms at The Public with the Full Circle bannerFilms are part of our screen  heritage and The Public and MACE are working together to collect and preserve them for future generations to enjoy. Films and moving images have the capacity to reveal life over the last 100 years – like no other record.

Keith Hodgkins and members of the Tipton Civic Society came to support the launch and watch some archive footage of the local area

Audience members were from local history groups in the area who are helping to search for films and moving images

Members of Tipton Civic Society and Tipton Harriers Athletic Club

MACE has recently supplied the Tipton Harriers Athletic Club with copies of  some of their old films to help them celebrate their centenary anniversary earlier in the year.

Roxie and Chris of "Stirchley Happenings" an active local group in the area who also put on film screenings of archive footage supplied by MACE

Phil Leach, Curator at MACE put together some 1960s footage from the ITV news archive

This screening was a special event to celebrate and share rare and unique images of The Black Country. It was jointly hosted by us (MACE) and The Public. We are looking for groups to join us in the search for film to help unearth some  hidden treasures of our screen heritage.

JP our friendly audio-visual technician did a fantastic job on the night! Thank you

Keith Hodgkins brought along some films for the Full Circle project - these will be assessed and then relevant footage will be copied onto DVD for the local groups to enable them to share the films by giving a community screening

Graham Peet, Exhibitions Manager of The Public who not only gave an interesting talk on The Value of collecting Media, but also gave a tour of the Publics facilities. Graham can be contacted on: 0121 533 7161 http://www.thepublic.com. For more details of the Full Circle Project have a look at the Full Circle section of this website or contact Kay Ogilvie Senior Curator Full Circle kay.ogilvie@tiscali.co.uk

Full Circle work with the YMCA on the “Century of Youth” film project in Mansfield



Poster to advertise the YMCA "Century of Youth" film project. Most of the films collected will be looked after at the MACE archive for future generations to enjoy

Full Circle is working with Nottinghamshire YMCA who have launched  “A Century of Youth” – a new film project exploring the lives of young people in the East Midlands over the past 100 years. The project is led by 16 young people and it combines archive footage and interviews with local people.

The students are all from West Nottinghamshire College all studying for a Level 3 BTEC in Creative Media ProductionMACE and we are helping them to safely view and transfer relevant archive footage into digital formats. The original film will be safely stored at the MACE film archive

Interior shot of MACE archive where the original films collected by the Century of Youth project will be stored for preservation and access

Mansfield people were invited to star in a series of films about life as a young person in the East Midlands. The Young filmmakers asked people of all ages to share stories from their childhood for A Century of Youth. They asked questions about their memories on camera, particularly in relation to fashion, education, work, entertainment, technology and innovation.

Mansfield people being interviewed about their teenage years

The  open ‘drop-in’  event was held at Turner Memorial Hall on Church Street, Mansfield Woodhouse on Monday 7th March. The young people from across the East Midlands are led by professional film makers, who guide them through the process of planning, filming, editing, marketing and distributing their film creations.

Refreshments provided by the YMCA for the Century of Youth team and interviewees. “The day was fun. The people we interviewed were very informative and easy to get information from” Century of Youth Filmmaker, West Nottinghamshire College.

Over 100 people of all ages and backgrounds will share their memories and experiences of their youth for the film, which will be screened in several cinemas across the region.

“I enjoyed talking to the young people about our way of living. The young people have really shown a great interest in us all and our past”.

Betty, Lenton Historical Society.

If you have any home movies, stage two of the project will be happening soon, please call Thomas Hall at Nottinghamshire YMCA’s Film and Video Department on 07584 582063 or email film@nottsymca.org This project has been enabled by EM Media and the UK Film Council’s Digital Film Archive Fund supported by the National Lottery.

Kay

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.

Tipton Harriers Centenary Celebration embraces nostalgic archive film screening at Reunion Event


On Sunday 10th October 2010 Tipton Harriers past and present were reunited once more to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tipton Harriers Athletics Club by getting together to reminisce about the many achievements that they had won over the years.
Tipton Harriers Centenary Archivists Chris Holloway and Keith Atkins, who helped organised the reunion event, which took place in the Snug, arranged for an exhibition of memorabilia to adorn the walls and also for a screening of the Tipton Harriers films that had recently been found in the Harriers Full Circle Film Search.
 
The films showed members of the Harriers taking part in cross-country relays and events across the country during the 1960s and 70s.
Tipton Harrier and filmmaker, Tony Phillips, spoke to Lucie Kerley – Curator for Community & Acquisition at MACE (The Media Archive for Central England) about how it felt to watch his footage over 40 years on now that it had been digitised by the MACE archive’s Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Project. Also interviewed was Tipton Harrier’s Long Distance Runner, Ron Bentley, who was asked how it felt to watch the interview of himself at his factory in 1974 with ATV presenter Peter Green.
Watch the 1974 interview here: macearchive.org/​Media.html?Title=20607
What are your favourite  Tipton Harrier memories? Do you recognise any of the faces from the film?
To find out more about the Tipton Harrier archive film footage  held at MACE visit our website www.macearchive.org to start your search.
If you have any home-movies relating to the Midlands area please get in touch with us here at MACE to find out about your nearest participating Full Circle Group who are looking for films in your area.
Lucie Kerley – Full Circle Project Curator: Community & Acquisition – 0116 252 5931 or email lk99@le.ac.uk

Interviewed by: Lucie Kerley @luciekerley
Filmed & edited by jmgcreative – jmgcreative.co.uk @jmgcreative
Archive footage supplied by: ATV and MACE (The Media Archive for Central England) macearchive.org @MACEarchive
Music by: Boat to Row – myspace.com/​boattorow

Camera: Canon 550D DSLR
Lens: 50mm f1.8, 10mm-24mm
Glidetrack

Edited using Final Cut Pro and graded using Color

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

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 http://www.amblecotehistorysociety.org.uk   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 www.macearchive.org  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: helenjoy.cook@btinternet.com

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: lk99@le.ac.uk

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

Photographs copyright Lucie Kerley.

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 http://www.smethwick-heritage.co.uk 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.

Contact:

Full Circle Curator: Lucie Kerley. Telephone: 0116 252 5931 or 07919 896 505 or email: lk99@le.ac.uk

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 www.amazon.co.uk, The Black Country Bugle www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk , Broadfield House & Glass Museum, TeeT shirts in Cradley Heath www.teetshirts.com  and also from MACE www.macearchive.org  itself.

Emma Morley – Business & Commercial Development Manager at MACE – esm8@le.ac.uk or telephone 0116 252 5062



 

Full Circle Project Helps Dig up the past at Droitwich History & Archaeology Society Meeting


Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

Last Wednesday evening, I was invited to speak about The Full Circle Project at a meeting with members of The Droitwich History & Archaeology Society by Chairman Roy Murphy. Members were also treated to a talk by Adam from The Wyre Forest LiDar Project (Light Detection & Ranging) which is also being funded by The Heritage Lottery. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-7cdj9u 

Scientists from the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research agency have teamed up with the Worcestershire Historic Environment & Archaeology Service, as partners in the Grow with Wyre scheme. “We are using innovative aerial survey techniques, known as LiDAR (Light, Detection & Ranging).  LiDAR uses pulses of harmless laser energy beamed down from aircraft flying about 1000 metres (3300 feet) up.” It was a fascinating talk that enabled people to see how the history of the landscape has evolved over time.

The Droitwich History and Archaeology Society have recently joined the Full Circle search for Midlands related home-movies, film and moving image materials in their area.

Roy also put an appeal for finding film in the Droitwich History & Archaeology Society and the Ombersley and Doverdale Today Newsletters, and from these a couple of people came forward with their film collections.

The first collection was from Michael Turner, of Ombersley, whose Super 8mm cinefilm collection includes footage from the early 1970’s of the building of the Ombersley Bypass and also footage of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations in July 1977. There is also a film which he created for the Ombersley Dramatics Society http://www.ombersleydram.co.uk/ which is in three parts. We look forward to digitising the material,  Michael’s original films will then be held in environmentally controlled storage conditions at MACE and viewing copies will be made so that it can be enjoyed again by both Michael and Members of the Dramatics Society and the rest of the Ombersley and Droitwich Spa communities.

The Michael Turner Collection. Michael Turner deposits his cinefilm collection with Full Circle Project Curator: Lucie Kerley. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

 

I asked Roy to write a bit of information about his group and the work they do.

“Droitwich History and Archaeology Society (DHAS) is a small society based on the spa town of Droitwich, Worcestershire. The Society meets during the first Wednesday of each month except August in the Community Centre and is addressed by a speaker who presents a topic of local historic or archaeological interest.

The Society organises Guided Town Walks around historic Droitwich and presents exhibitions of historic photographs during public events such as the town’s Salt Days and St. Richards Days.

The Full Circle Project is a well managed and technically advanced project. The need to renew old film so that it is compatible with the latest technology is essential if memories from the past are to be retained and records kept of industrial processes and social traditions.

Droitwich Spa High Street. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

Droitwich Spa and the surrounding countryside are steeped in history. Agricultural processes and traditions have been transformed and in the towns of Worcestershire many historically significant buildings have been demolished in the name of progress. Records of these buildings and processes have been captured in the private films compiled by residents but with the change from film to digital many examples can no longer be viewed. The Full Circle Project is an important means of overcoming this deficiency.

The team at MACE are doing a splendid job in rescuing and resurrecting important evidence of earlier environments. Droitwich History and Archaeology Society is well placed to act as a conduit for the collection and forwarding of film for processing by MACE. We aspire to assembling a comprehensive record of 20th century life within Droitwich and surrounding villages with the help of the Full Circle Project.”

Chairman. Roy Murphy. roy.murphy@virgin.net.

Chateau Impney and grounds. Photo taken by Roy Murphy

The second collection found by Droitwich History & Archaeology Society was the Philip Jackson Collection that his wife Christine Turner kindly deposited with the project. Copies of the footage shot by Philip using his cinefilm camera from the early 1960’s to the late 1970’s will be given to Christine and her family and also eventually be made available to the public via the MACE archive website.

Chateau Impney Interior. Photo taken by Roy Murphy.

Christine Jackson deposits her husband Philip Jackson's cinefilm collection with The Full Circle Project.

 Christine and her family live in the beautiful grounds of the Chateau Impney http://www.chateau-impney.com/ and we hope that some of the footage found in the collection will feature the family enjoying the gardens of the Chateau and life in Worcestershire along with the holidays that they took and family days out.

The Droitwich History & Archaeology Society are looking forward to having the films digitised as part of The  3 year Heritage Lottery Full Circle Project so that they can have a screening of the material found in their Full Circle film search some time early next year.

Thank you to Roy Murphy for the photos and also to members of The Droitwich H & A Society for allowing me to come and talk at your meeting and for giving me a warm welcome. I look forward to seeing what the results of the Full Circle Project’s search for film brings to your area!

Watch this space for more finds during the Full Circle Project’s search for film.

For more information about MACE (The Media Archive for Central England)  contact: 0116 252 5066 or The Full Circle Project, please contact Lucie Kerley: Full Circle Project Curator on 0116 252 5931 04 07919 896 505 or email: lk99@le.ac.uk

The Media Archive for Central England, www.macearchive.org are an independent limited company and a registered charity, 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.