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Premier of Past Lives: New film made from local community cine footage (17th September 2014)

Premier of Past Lives: New film made from local community cine footage

On Saturday, 20th September 2014 at 6pm, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is hosting a one-off showing of Past Lives Ironbridge at Enginuity. This new film has been made from vintage community cine film of Ironbridge, Madeley, Jackfield, Coalbrookdale, Wellington, Broseley and surrounding areas from the 1950s onwards and will be shown with a live music performance.

Over the last few months Freefall Arts have been working in the region with the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, meeting local film makers, families, historical societies, archives and others to seek out and digitise home movies of the region. The footage has been painstakingly digitised and edited by film artist Anthony Hatton into a stunning feature that speaks of a time past, and shows people and places long gone or changed.

The Past Lives Ironbridge film features amazing footage of the Ironbridge power station being built in the 1960s, showing the labourers hard at work building it by hand, and the breath-taking vista from the top of the towers giving a bird’s eye view of the region.

Carnivals and fairs also feature in the film, with footage from the 1960s and 70s of Jackfield Summer Fair, Wellington and Broseley Carnivals, Scout parades and Armistice Day Parades in Madeley with footage of local WWI and WWII heroes in procession.

Another local hero featured in Past Lives Ironbridge is Eustace Rogers, the last of a long line of Ironbridge coracle makers. This cine footage was shot by local Jackfield couple George and Edna Morris who, over many decades, have recorded important and everyday events of the region.

The quality of the footage found during the Past Lives Project shows how important social history is within these amateur cine films, and how imperative it is that we save these films for future generations.

Most 8mm and 16mm cine film is silent; so, to bring narrative and emotion to the film, international touring musicians Dave Sturt and Theo Travis have worked with staff and pupils of Abraham Darby Academy School to compose a new piece of music for the film.

“It's been a wonderful experience working with Abraham Darby pupils,” said musician Dave Sturt. “They are all exceptional music students, all grade eight, and very enthusiastic. During the project we brought unedited local footage for the students to use as inspiration to compose to, this was arranged and developed by the professional musicians and will be augmented by strings from Sinfonia Viva Orchestra at the performance on the 20th September”.

Tickets are £3 and should be purchased in advance from the Museum of The Gorge, 01952 433424 or on line at