Home movies from Spalding district to be preserved

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If you have old cine films in the attic it won’t be long before it will be impossible to watch them ever again.

The film deteriorates unless stored in appropriate conditions – and in any case, very few people have projectors now – so all those family memories of days at the seaside, weddings and real people doing everyday things will be gone forever.

Chris Ellis (left) at an open day showing people cine film they may never previously have been able to watch.

Chris Ellis (left) at an open day showing people cine film they may never previously have been able to watch.

Then there are the old photographs, so often simply thrown out when a house is being cleared, and reminiscences of what life was like in this area in days gone by.

But those home movies, the old pictures and people’s memories of what this district was once like could be preserved for ever, thanks to The Past Lives Project.

Musicians Dave Sturt, Theo Travis and Chris Ellis are collaborating in the project which will result in a film to be premiered at South Holland Centre in Spalding on Saturday, April 30.

They have put a call out to everyone in the district to take their home movies and old photographs to a couple of open days coming up – one at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum in Spalding on Saturday, January 30 and another at The Reading Room, Holbeach, on Saturday, February 13 (both 11.30 to 3.30pm).

At both venues there will be a vintage cafe offering tea and cake to anyone who goes along with material. What’s more, the cine film can be shown on the day and digitised so that people can actually watch it at home.

The contributed material will then be edited into a film, with a musical soundtrack created by the musicians, and shown on April 30 as well as being made into a DVD.

The film will contain random clips of people’s material and photographs, as well as the voices of people reminiscing, and Chris admits the concept seemed an odd one when he was invited to take part.

However, a film has previously been made, using footage kept at the Media Archive for Central England, which is based at Lincoln University.

He says: “The idea of home movies conjures up images of endless paddling pools and weddings, but I was absolutely blown away by it. It was so evocative.”

Dave agrees: “The response we have had is people are laughing or in tears because it is so emotive.”