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.
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
“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
“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.”