Meet Mavis – a textile worker from Ilkeston’s A. Booth and Sons……


If you have enjoyed watching the latest MACE online film screening of ‘Clothing the Nation’ about the East Midlands Textile Industry here is a chance to view some more images and to find out about one particular textile worker from Ilkeston. Mavis (shown below) worked at A. Booth & Sons, Ilkeston, manufacturers of nylon stockings 60 years ago.

Mavis an ex employee of A. Booth & Sons holding the company brochure

Mavis aged 16 years – working at A. Booth & Sons in the 1950s

It was fascinating to talk to Mavis about her time at Booths where she worked as a ‘pairer’ – matching the left and right legs of nylon stockings. She started at Booths when she was 15 years old and spent approximately 17 years working there.

Mavis showed me this publicity brochure (it was fascinating to look through) she was going along to Erewash Museum nearby to lend it to them for exhibiting. Mavis said she enjoyed her time there and was voted ‘Personality Girl’ at one point in her career. You can see clips from a film about the A.Booth and Sons Ltd factory in Ilkeston by searching our online catalogue.

Kay

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Spotlight on our Full Circle Film Depositors – Art Zarb


Art Zarb in his projection room

We thought it was time to feature some of our talented film makers who have made the Full Circle project such an interesting project to work on. They have not only enriched the film archive with their home movies, but built a rich portrait of midland life.

Art’s cinema

Art hails from Malta originally and came to the midlands at a very early age. He developed an interest in photography and worked as a professional photographer for most of his life. He also worked as a professional cinema projectionist, handling large 35mm reels of film and working on the latest technology in cinema projection equipment.

Art worked as a professional cinema projectionist

You can see the size of some of the reels of film he worked with in the photo on the right. He soon become interested in film making and made many films of life in the clubs where he worked as a photographer, family life and holidays. In fact Art developed such an interest in making and screening films that he built a cinema in his back garden. Some of the celebs from the 1960s he filmed included actress Diana Dors and DJ Pete Murray.

Art’s projection room

Art’s home movies, along with many of the Full Circle collection of films will be carefully stored and catalogued and will soon be available to search for on the MACE online film catalogue. Thanks Art!

Kay

The Filmed Record and Community History – sharing the experience of finding and using film in the community


Venue for the MACE/CAHG regional conference: The Hive, Worcester photo courtesy HivebyTECU Consulting UK

MACE (Media Archive for Central England),  CAHG (Community Archive Heritage Group) and representatives from the Full Circle History groups joined forces last Thursday to raise awareness of archive film and its importance as a historical resource.  The conference took place at Europe’s first joint university and public library at Worcester called The Hive.

Inside The Hive, Worcester: photo courtesy HiveInsidebyWordShore

Full Circle Senior Curator Kay Ogilvie said: “The conference was enriched by the 6 representatives of community history groups screening the footage they found during their search for film in their communities as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Full Circle Project. Our thanks go to John Holloway of Aston on Trent, Anita Syers-Gibson of North Herefordshire, Sarah Bradley of Belbroughton, David Clark of Fownhope, David Amos of Annesley and Bob Massey of Arnold. The films they found were a fascinating window into history and brought the past alive like no other record.”

Full Circle Film cataloguer Catherine English said: “It was great to hear from people who’ve been involved in Full Circle and the positive impact it has had on their groups which will hopefully continue beyond the lifetime of the project.”

Some comments from participants……….

MACE, and all the other regional archives are, without doubt, an essential and positive asset to maintaining film as an important element of our regional heritage. The Full Circle project that has engaged communities to seek out their own corner of England Past has, for our village history group, raised the profile of heritage, enabled individuals to acquire new skills and brought a new dimension to community involvement. We hope this project will inspire others to build on its foundations.”  John Holloway Aston on Trent History Group

Anita Syers-Gibson of North Herefordshire History group

“It was fascinating to hear the organisers of other groups explaining how they came to discover long-forgotten cine film collections in their communities and how they used the films for the entertainment and education of their audiences.Frank Dale used his films to entertain local audiences in village halls and pubs, and now, 60 years later, we are doing just the same – and the Full Circle is complete!” Anita Syers-Gibson, North Herefordshire History Group

“Thanks for yesterday – it was useful to get together and to see and hear how other groups had gone about gathering moving images . We dont know how typical the six of us were compared with others – it would have been good to have had a few more there. The venue was certainly impressive – made our self-help village library seem very small !” David and Margaret Clark from Fownhope

Sarah Bradley Belbroughton History Group

“It was interesting the different ways that people had used the old movie footage. The quality was also very good bearing in mind the age of some of the film footage. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity of giving a presentation to the Conference.” David Amos Annesley Project Officer

James Patterson, Director of MACE said: “I have never had any doubt about the potential importance of moving images in the community context or of their ability to add to our understanding of community history. What struck me about the event was the emotional impact that the material had had in the community and how in some cases an involvement with the Full Circle project has had a transformational effect in the community.

I think that the impact of the project is a testament to all the MACE colleagues who have worked on the project to make it so successful and to our community partners who have embraced film so wholeheartedly.”

Media Archive for Central England (MACE) www.macearchive.org  Community Archive Heritage Group (CAHG) http://www.communityarchives.org.uk/  The Hive, Worcester  http://www.thehiveworcester.org/

MACE supports D.H.Lawrence Festival mining heritage talk and bus tour


Dr David Amos in front of the Headstocks at Annesley Colliery, the pit he worked at for 24 years. This photo was taken on the last day of production on January 30th 2000

Ex coalminer and now academic, Dr David Amos (BA/PGCE-FE/PhD), gave a fascinating talk on the mining heritage of Nottinghamshire on Wednesday at the D.H.Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood, as part of the D.H.Lawrence Festival. David has been helping the Full Circle project to search for film in the area and has found some fascinating mining footage that he was able to incorporate into his mining heritage talk. We at MACE have transferred the original 8mm cine films onto DVD and are storing the originals in our purpose built archive for future generations to enjoy and study.

The last shift for the miners –  The photo dates from 1985 and is taken at Pye Hill No.1 Colliery at Underwood, Notts just prior to its closure in  August 1985

The talk accompanies the Mining Heritage Bus Tour on Sunday – the tour will visit some of the coalmining heritage sites, including Brinsley Headstocks, Underwood, Annesley, Newstead and Digby. It will introduce you to some of the high profile and sometimes controversial characters linked with the former pit sites including Arthur Lawrence (father of D.H.Lawrence), Colin Clarke, Harold Larwood, and George Spencer.

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.

Another Evocative & Thought Provoking Trip Down Memory Lane @_The_Public with Cipher’s Past Lives Tour.


The Public, West Bromwich.

Last Friday I attended another fantastic screening of Cipher’s Past Lives Music to Archive film performance, this time taking place at The Public, in West Bromwich. It was a wonderful opportunity for members of the surrounding West Midlands communities to come and see some of the home-movie film gems that have been found by the Full Circle groups from across the East and West Midlands.


“We all really enjoyed Friday evening’s performance.  You had done an amazing job with the film, touching, amusing, evocative in turns, with some beautiful faces, and really summoning up what it was to live in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.   The music provided a terrific backdrop, really enhancing what was on the screen by creating just the right atmosphere.”
Sarah Bradley, Full Circle Depositor

The Public’s Past Lives audience were treated to poetic family scenes from the 1950s to 70s, shots of Balsall Heath William Edward Street, Woodside, Dudley, The Black Country, Town Sparrows, Percy Thrower Gardens in Edgbaston, Hop Farming in Herefordshire, a trip to the East Midlands coast, kamikaze motorcycles, and much much more.

All accompanied by Cipher’s specially composed live musical score.

If you’ve not yet managed to attend a Past Lives event, then try and pop down to:

  • 7 July Derby – The Quad, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby DE1 3AS (01332 290606) derbyquad.co.uk
  • 8 July Cromford – Gothic Warehouse, The Arkwright Society, Cromford Mills, Mill Lane, DE4 3RQ (01629 823256) arkwrightsociety.org.uk + Workshop
  • 19 July Stamford Arts Centre – 27 St. Marys Street, Stamford, PE9 2DL (01780 763 203) stamfordartscentre.com

Watch this space for a Manchester date in September too!

Cipher’s Dave Sturt and Theo Travis with Full Circle Depositor Sarah Bradley and her brother Robert, whose father Christopher Whitcombe’s family films are one of many to play a big part in the Past Lives Performance.

A scene from The Whitcombe Family Film Collection that has been digitised by MACE’s, Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle film search project.

Photography © Lucie Kerley

‘Past Lives’ – live performance and Full circle archive film


Dave Sturt, Theo Travis, Clare Bhabra and Deirdre Benscik playing a live film soundtrack to images of the Sarah Bradley film collection

Renowned musicians Dave Sturt (fretless bass/sound design), Theo Travis (flute, sax), Deirdre Benscik (cello) and Clare Bhabra (violin) play an evocative soundtrack to this fascinating collection of film from the 1930s onwards. Dave and Theo collaborated with visual artist Anthony Hatton to produce this thought provoking and engaging performance.

The films were collected as part of the MACE/Full Circle film search project funded by the Heritage Lottery. MACE would like to thank all those who deposited their films as part of this project and contributed to the rich screen heritage of the midlands.

Dave Sturt and Theo Travis

Guest musicians Deirdre Benscik and Clare Bhabra are from the renowned  Sinfonia ViVA.

deirdre Benscik and Clare Bhabra

‘A History of Daventry on Film’ sells out at the iCon centre Daventry…


Local people at the iCon centre Daventry for the archive film screening on Saturday

Angela and David with the James Green collection of 8mm cinefilms that have been deposited with the MACE film archive for preservation and copying. James Green is the owner of ‘Kinema in  the Woods’ at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

The iCon centre is a fantastic venue for an event – with its lovely cafe and outside seating areas as well as the large auditorium with digital screening facilities

Angela and David are members of one of over 70 local history groups working with the MACE Heritage lottery funded project called Full Circle. The Full Circle project helps preserve original films and make them accessible to the local community by copying them onto DVD. David and Angela first had the idea of  celebrating the past May Day events when they held an exhibition last year of old photographs. James Green a local man donated his May Day films and other films to the history group, and these rare films were preserved and copied by MACE and screened at Saturday’s event.

David introduces the film evening…..

David was a radio engineer at the BBC when Daventry was the radio transmitter base for broadcasting until it all closed down in the 1990s.  In 1925 the newly created BBC constructed a broadcasting station on Borough Hill just outside the town. Daventry was chosen because it was the point of maximum contact with the land mass of England and Wales. From 1932 the BBC Empire Service (now the BBC World Service) was broadcast from there. David found some old footage of the last poignant day when the whole plant was closed down and many people at the film screening on Saturday recognised their younger selves on screen.

David takes a well-earned break from the evening!

The iCon cafe staff were friendly and efficient

Many local people saw themselves up on the big screen on Saturday – ex employees of the BBC, ladies who ran in the Rugby to Daventry Ladies Run, and ex May Day queens from many years ago.

Scenes from the 1964 May Day celebration shown to a capacity audience

BBC Radio presenter Martin Heath provided an excellent commentary  for the BBC films and footage of scenes around Daventry in the 1970s

David and Angela Adams and Martin Heath of BBC Radio Northants

The raffle was an excellent way of raising funds for future local events

Another Day! Another Fantastic Full Circle Screening by Fownhope Local History Group at Tarrington Village Hall, Herefordshire..



Yesterday I was delighted to spend the afternoon with Fownhope Local History Group and a members  of the Tarrington and Herefordshire communities. The group’s advertised ‘film of the day’ was a fabulous compilation of material, put together by Philip Leach from the Media Archive for Central England, consisting of some great Hop Picking and Farming footage from Peter Davies and John Barnett’s personal cine-film collections. The collections were found by the Fownhope Local History Group and have now been digitised with the help of the MACE’s Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle Film Search Project.

As usual Rachel and her team were on hand to bake lots of delicious cakes and biscuits and pour fresh cups of tea at the interval – which were included in the £3 ticket price!Weston Beggard Hop Farmer John Barnett spoke during the interval about his experience of being a Hop Farmer over the past 50 years and why he chose to record the Hop farming/ cultivation process using his cine camera. His collection has now been digitised and the original cinefilms are being preserved at The Media Archive for Central England.

http://www.macearchive.org/Archive/Title/hops/MediaEntry/49102.html


Claston Farm – Hop Farmer Davies and his wife Pam. Peter Davies discusses with the audience his own experience of being a Hop Farmer in Herefordshire and just how much things have changed during his lifetime.

Overall, it was a great afternoon for learning about Herefordshire and Hops and for looking back at life from the late 1940s to 1970s.

If you have any old films, cine or tape or moving image materials relating to the Midlands region and would like to know how to look after them, please get in touch with us at MACE (Media Archive for Central England) to learn how to preserve them for future generations for years to come.

Photography © Lucie Kerley