Volume 6

FILMS AND VIDEOS

 

      My interest in films started in 1928, when (as I have mentioned in Chapter One of Volume 1), we were living in Berghers Hill, Buckinghamshire, and I had been at my prep school in Somerset for 18 months. As I had so much enjoyed the “magic lantern” slide shows given at school during the term time, my parents gave me a toy 35mm projector (hand-cranked) for Christmas, and in the Christmas holidays that year I started my “cinema” activities, showing sho6+rt films to my family projected onto the wall of the sitting room. Needless to say, they (the films) were silent and black-and-white.

      As the pictures projected onto wallpaper were rather dull (even though the projector had a 100 watt bulb) I told my parents that I wanted to spend £2 of my precious pocket money on buying a screen made of silver paper which I had seen in Gamages’ Christmas catalogue.  But my parents said they would give this to me as a birthday present (I always complained that I never got any decent birthday presents because my birthday was so near Christmas), so I was very happy when we went up to Gamages to buy it..

      In the Easter holidays of 1929 I was able to give my first film show using the new screen and wanted my friends to know about it, so I sent them this “advertisement” (as I wanted to be sure that nobody pinched the seats reserved for my brother Dick and myself, I showed which seats I had been reserved!).


I also wrote this letter to a school friend who was staying with us:

      This was the cover of the programme for a show at the end of January 1929, when I was used the new screen for the first time, and the programme for one which I gave on 12th April 1929.

 As the 35mm projector was not a success (it kept breaking down), in the Summer Holiday of 1932  I decided to sell it (for £4) and in its place I bought a second hand 9.5mm Pathéscope projector costing £4.17.6, with a “Super Attachment” costing £1.15 so that I could show longer films on 300ft reels. I notified my “patrons” of this by sending these Notes to them:

   On 26th December there was a “Grand Reopening” of the Regal Cinema with its new projector, when the programme was:

 

To celebrate the event. I sent out the following New Year Greetings for 1933

    
      As a matter of interest, this is what I paid to improve my “Cinema” and how much I had to pay for the films I showed in it:

       In 1932 I went to King’s School, Worcester, and after being there for a term I felt it would be nice if I could film some of the school activities.  I didn’t know anything about filming or cameras, but in December there was an advertisement for a 9.5mm Pathéscope camera costing £6-6 shillings (£6.30), described as “an ideal Christmas present”.  It was the “Motorcamera B” with fixed-focus f/3.5 lens and a “film charger” holding 50ft of 9.5mm film. As I had been given a present of £5 when I won a scholarship to King’s, and had £2 in my pocket money ‘bank’, I decided to buy it.  My parents were planning to make a short visit to Egypt during the 1934 Easter term to meet old friends there, so to ensure that they wouldn’t accuse me of extravagance when I bought the camera I asked them if they would like to take it with them and make the first film with it so that I could see where they had been. They arrived home just before the Easter holidays with four short films which, when they had been developed I spliced together with film cement, added some titles (by filming a card covered with black velvet on which I put white felt letters) and called the film “Scenes in Egypt”.  That was my first film editing effort. 

      When I got back to school at the beginning of the Summer term I began my filming in a small way, starting with shots of the OTC band as it was marching down Edgar Street to the annual “Corps” inspection, boat races between the school and Monmouth and Hereford schools, a rugger match and an expedition of the “Field Club” to Broadway.  In 1935 and 1936 I filmed several school events (more rugger matches, cross-country running, rowing, swimming sports, athletic sports, OTC Inspections and Camps, shots of the some of the masters etc).

      My parents, like so many people in those days, were keen Royalists (always standing to attention when the National Anthem was played), so when the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V and Queen Mary took place in May 1935 we all got up early and went up to London in our Morris Oxford car to watch the parade in The Mall, where we found good seats for ourselves.  I took my cine camera with me, so now have footage of everyone on that parade.  The King died in January 1936, and a week later my father went up to Westminster Hall to see the Lying in State.  We spent that night in a flat in Gloucester Road, from which I filmed the King’s funeral on 29th January.  Pathéscope had an over-night processing service for 9.5mm films so I took my films of the funeral to them that evening, collected them the next morning and showed them to the School in the evening – three days before the recently opened Gaumont Cinema showed them in the Gaumont News: quite a triumph! 

      At the beginning of the Summer holidays that year I represented the School at the Duke of York’s Camp in Southold.  This was founded in about 1925 by Prince Albert, then Duke of York, who was interested in industrial relations, when he started an annual camp which would be attended by boys from public schools and industrial firms in equal portions.  I took my cine camera and in addition to filming camp sporting events was also able to film the Duke of York on three occasions.  On the death of King George V the Prince of Wales succeeded him as King Edward VIII: little did we think that within a few months he would have abdicated and the Duke of York, who spent three days with us in the Camp and who was very friendly with all of us, would have become King George VI.  For the Coronation in 1937 we again went up to the Mall to sit in a very similar place to the one we had in 1935, where I again filmed the procession, after which I also filmed the decorations in Oxford Street and around Westminster Abbey.  That year I also filmed the Hendon Air Display and the “British Empire Athletics Meeting” at the White City  
 
      All these short films I spliced together in what I called The Vigornia News (Vigornia was the name the inhabitants of the city of Worcester gave it some 2000 years ago whilst under the Roman Empire), which gradually got longer as time passed.  Everything I filmed was on 50ft reels lasting 2 minutes, 5 seconds, which I eventually spliced together on a 400ft reel to make a film lasting 16½ minutes, on which I added titles.     

      These films all came out quite well and boys at school wanted to see them, but I couldn’t show them to more than a few people at a time because my projector could only show films on a small screen about four feet wide and I couldn’t find any dark place in which to show them.  So in the 1934 Summer holidays I decided to obtain a better projector and bought a Pathéscope 200B.   This was the first proper 9.5mm projector marketed by the French company Pathé, and had a fan-cooled 200 watt/110 volt lamp in a lamp house lined with asbestos, which was capable of good results on a large screen up to 10 ft wide.  It cost £15 plus £3 for a transformer to convert 110v to 240v.

      As my editions of The Vigornia News were never long enough to justify an evening’s performance by themselves, and as I now had a projector on which I could show films to the whole school in College Hall, I decided to include hired professional films in each programme and formed The W.C.K.S Film Society with three of my school friends (E.C.Luscombe, B.S.Eckersley and A.S.Yarnold), and gave film shows in College Hall on Sunday evenings  in the Christmas and Easter terms. The first of these shows was on 11th November 1934 and the last on 28th March 1937 (Easter Day), shortly before the end of my last term at King’s.  

       Just for the record, these are the 9.5mm films, hired from the Pathéscope film library, which we showed in our film shows (in the order in which they were shown), each of which included the latest edition of The Vigornia News, and occasionally the Pathé News as well.
 

Willy Fritch  in ‘The Spy’      Charlie Chaplinin ‘Waiter’
Henry Victor in ‘Tommy Atkins’      Snub Pollard in ‘The Great Fishing Contest’   
John Gielgud in ‘The Clue of the New Pin’  Charlie Chaplin in ‘The Count’
Brigitte Helm in ‘Metropolis’    ‘The White Hell of Pitz Palu’
Lloyd Hamilton in ‘Dynamite’       Charlie Chaplin in ‘The Gallant Fireman’ ‘Gloria’, the story of an Atlantic air crossingAnna May Wong in ‘Piccadilly’
Walter Forde in ‘Walter’s paying policy’      George Bellamy in ‘The Lion Tamer’   
Walter Forde in ‘Walter wants work’   ‘The Flying  Scotsman’ 
Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony ‘In Zululand’     Carl Brisson in ‘The Manxman’
Jimmy Adams in ‘Sunless Sunday’     ‘Metropolis’ (second time)
Mickey Mouse in ‘The Haunted House’   Walter Forde in ‘Walter tells the tale‘,
Charlie Chaplin in ’Freedom for ever!!’        ‘The Royal Silver Jubilee’ (George V)
Mickey Mouse in‘Down on the farm’   “Q” Ships
Charlie Chaplin in ‘The Gallant Fireman’,  Walter Forde in ‘Walter finds a father’,
Charlie Chaplin in ‘Easy Street’,  

                                
                     
I have mentioned this list of films as it shows the sort of things that interested and amused 15/17 year old school boys in the 1930s.  From this list it is not difficult to see who the most popular film star was in those days!  The films were all black-and-white and silent, so we accompanied them with records played on an HMV portable gramophone – mostly of organ music played by Reginald Dixon, Quentin McLean, Emanuel Starkey and Sidney Torch.  Every programme ended with a tune which was at that time very popular and I regarded as suitable for our ‘signature tune’: it was “Good night, sweetheart”, which in the Nanny State of the 21st Century would probably be banned because it was not suitable for playing in a boys’ public school!

           The front and back cover of a DVD I made 71 years after the last film records everything I filmed for inclusion in the The Vigornia News  


 
For each of these film shows I drew a ‘poster’.  Here are 12 of them:
                 

                      
                       
           

                
    
   

         


      In the Christmas term 1936 I was interviewed by Col. Pullein-Thomson, a career adviser who visited schools, making recommendations for jobs for boys when they left school.   I told him that as I had been born overseas, and my father had worked overseas, I would like to have something overseas. He recommended and arranged interviews with five firms, including Shell, B.A.T., I.C.I, Harrisons & Crosfield, and a small firm who had 31 European officers working in South India – Peirce Leslie & Co.Ltd. (PL & Co).  I was fortunate to be offered a job by all these companies except Harrisons & Crosfield (who regretted that they couldn’t employ me because they regarded cricket as an essential game for their staff to play and I would be of no use to them as I had opted for rowing at school!).  After considering the other opportunities I chose PL & Co because by joining them I would only be 32nd on the seniority list when I started whereas if I had joined Shell, B.A.T or I.C.I. although prospects for the future might be good, I would start by being only be a small cog in a large machine. 

      After leaving school at the end of the Easter term 1937 I started my job with PL & Co. and lived with my parents in Pinner, Middlesex, from where I commuted every day to the London Office, where  I would spend two years, learning the business of the company and meeting members of the overseas staff who were on home leave.  During that period I did a little filming of my family.  The company intended me to go out to India in September 1939, but after Hitler invaded Poland and it looked as though war was inevitable, the Government formed the Militia into which I was conscripted in July, as described in Volume 2.   When this happened I decided to sell my Pathéscope camera and projector as I felt that for security reasons it would not be possible for me to do any more filming until after the war.

      Two weeks after I was demobilised (in August 1946) I sailed for India, where I soon realised what scope there was for filming interesting activities and people.  But it was not until 1951 that I decided to buy another cine camera, and as by then 16mm had taken over from 9.5mm as the more popular gauge for amateur filming, when in Bombay I bought a “Cine-Kodak Royal Magazine”, a camera which had just be introduced by Kodak. It was equipped with a 25mm f/1.9 lens and able to contain 50ft and 100ft magazines. So that I could make close-ups I also bought a telephoto 76mm f4.5 lens and some filters, The camera had a leather case with velvet lining.   Here it is, with its leather case and additional lenses etc.  Colour film was just coming in when I bough this camera, so instead of having to film everything in black-and-white as I had to before, I could now film  in colour, though it wasn’t yet possible to add sound. 

      In 1952 I started my filming in India with one I called Coconuts as coconut palms were the most prominent feature of the Malabar Coast. I then made one about the planting and harvesting of rice, which I called Rice: this was quite easy to do as there were large paddy fields very near my bungalow. That year I went to Mysore with friends from Cochin to see the Dasara Festival which took place in October every year, and filmed the impressive procession as it left the Palace at the start of a journey round the City, with some very good pictures of the Maharajah sitting in the gold howdah on the colourfully decorated State elephant.  Two days earlier I had hoped to film the puma ceremony in the Palace courtyard but unfortunately film photography was forbidden: despite this I managed to do a little surreptitious filming in short bursts, so that I would at least have something of the Maharaja blessing his cars, carriages and animals.  Still photography was, however, allowed, so with my Lexica M5 camera I was able to take several pictures of the puma.  From this footage I made my third film, a short one which I called Mysore DasaraLittle did I know that before long my films of the Dasara Festival would become of historical interest as in 1971  the Government of Indian deprived all Maharajahs of their privileges and much of their wealth, so ceremonies like that Dasara Festival would never be seen again

      In 1954 I saw Kathakali dancing for the first time.  I didn’t understand it, but as it was so colourful I felt that I must try to have a bit of it in my film collection. So I took a few brief shots during performances on three nights in Calicut (where I lived at that time), but they were not good as I didn’t want to disturb the actors or the audience by using flood lights.

      In 1955 I decided to make a film about the growing and harvesting of cashew nuts, the line of our business with which I was involved, which I called simply Cashews.

      In 1956 I also made a short film about the aerial spraying of rubber by helicopters which that year was pioneered by PL & Co on one of our rubber estates (aerial spraying is now standard, but prior to 1956 the vital spraying had to be done by hand-held pumps on the ground).  As with all the films I had made so far, I gave it the simple title of Aerial Spraying.  After the spraying was completed I had a  delightful holiday in Kashmir (before the Indian army arrived in strength to claim Kashmir as part of India) in which I made good use of my 16mm and Lexica cameras by taking pictures in the beautiful and (at that time) peaceful scenery.  The quality of some of the 16mm pictures I took on the Daly Lake were every bit as good as the digital filming which came in fifty years later.  When I returned to Calicut (after visiting Delhi, Agra and Fateful Skirl en route) I made a short film of that holiday which I called, simply, Kashmir.

      By 1957 I had seen several Kathakali performances and had become very enthusiastic about this rather abstruse are form, but was surprised that few of my Indian friends had ever seen a performance or knew anything about it, so in January I arranged for the Kerala Kalamandalam (the main school of Kathakali training) to send its “Junior Troupe” to give an open-air performance of two plays in the garden of Kara Cottage, my bungalow in Calicut, before an audience of about 80 people.   As it was in my bungalow I was able to film the making-up, which I had never had the courage to do before, and also excerpts from two of the plays.    The show was so successful that in February I repeated it, with two different plays, on the occasion of a visit to Calicut by the British High Commissioner, Sir Maurice James, and his wife.  Again, I filmed excerpts from two more plays.  Amongst the young actors and musicians who performed on those two nights were Ramankutty Nair, Kumaran Nair, Padmanabhan Nair, Gopi (actors), Sivaraman and Ganghadaran (singers), Achunny Poduval (Cheda) and Apukutty Poduval (Maddalam): the make-up artist was Govinda Warrier all of whom became famous (five of them are now dead).   From my filming on those two nights I made a short film called Kathakali.

      Later that year we had a visit from a delegation from a Japanese firm to which we wanted to sell  Cashew Shell Liquid (used in paints and varnishes), and when they asked for more information about how it was produced and how the cashew nut grew I showed them the film I had made in 1955.    They asked if they could borrow it to show to their head office in Tokyo, and as the business was important to us, I agreed to do so.  Two months later they returned the film to me, without commenting on it, and when two more Japanese buyers came to stay with me four years later they brought with them a film they had made about Cashew Shell Liquid and its uses. It was all in Japanese, and in the middle of it was my film (complete)! They never asked for permission to copy it, nor did they give me any credit for it, but that didn’t worry me because “imitation is flattery” and I regarded this as typically Japanese behaviour! 

      By 1959 I was a married man, and took Peggy (my wife) to Mysore to see that year’s Dasara Festival.  Again I filmed it (from a different position further up the processional route).  Little did I realise when filming these two Dasara Festivals (in 1952 and 1959) that in 1971 the Government of India would deprive all Maharajahs of their privileges, and after that there would never again be processions like these. 

Whilst I was on home leave in Chelsworth (Suffolk) in 1959, I happened to meet Peter Boulton who in the neighbouring town of Hadleigh ran a firm called Boulton-Hawker Films which made films for EFVA (the Educational Foundation for Visual Aids) which were sold or hired to schools all over the country (in those days 16mm films were widely used in education).  He asked me if I could send him pictures of rice growing and harvesting in South India for a film he wanted to make for EFVA, and sent me a rough shooting script from which I filmed in 1960 what I thought would suit him.   From this he produced a 10 minute film called The Rice Growers with optical sound track and commentary by Frank Gillard, who had been a well known war correspondent during the war.  That same year I made a film called simply Tea consisting of pictures of two of our tea estates in the Nilgiri Hills, which I had filmed on various visits since 1956.

      In 1961 Peter Boulton asked me to take pictures for another education film he wanted to make about the crops of South India.  Again they sent me a rough shooting script for which I filmed pictures of the ‘plantation crops’ of Tea, Coffee and Rubber, filmed on five of our Estates, and the ‘natural crops’ of Cashews, Pepper and Coir.  From this they made a 20 minute film called Tropical Harvest again with sound effects and commentary on an optical sound track.  That same year, with the off-cuts of the material I had taken for that film, and various other items filmed locally, I made my own film called Sundry Produce with pictures of Ginger, Pepper, Cardamoms etc all of which grew in the nearby hills.

      In 1961 I also made a publicity film for P.L & Co about the Coir Industry which was one of the Company’s main activities.  By this time it had become possible for amateur film makers to add sound to their films by arranging for a laboratory to put a magnetic strip down the side of the film on which a commentary or sound effects could be recorded. I therefore acquired a 16mm Bell & Howell “Filmosund” projector with which I could record music or a commentary on a ‘magnetic sound track’ pasted onto one side of the film by a laboratory in London , and made Coir, the first film on which I recorded a sound track to describe the action.  I made the whole of this film in my bungalow, and as the projector was too noisy to be in the same room as the recording was done, I made a small hole in the wall between the sitting room and one of the bedrooms (which had a white wall), started the projector and rushed into the bed room to record the commentary I had prepared for it.  The sound was pretty appalling by present day standards, but at least it was a start to my making of “talkies”!

      Once I had been able to record sound, I felt that I should get a camera which was better than the Kodak Royal that had done me so well.  So I sold the Kodak and bought a Swiss Paillard-Bolex H16RX camera with a 25mm f/1.4 lens, with a revolving turret on which I could put wide-angle and a close-up lenses as well as the standard lens, which made filming much easier.  And whereas I had to use pre-loaded film magazines with the Kodak, this used rolls of 16mm film on 50 and 100ft spools, which made it easier to send ‘Kodachrome I and II’ films to Kodaks in Bombay for developing, but when Boulton-Hawker asked me to take pictures for them they wanted them to be on ‘Ektachrome Commercial’ which could not be processed in Bombay, so I had to post it to Kodaks in London for processing. This meant that my films had to go through Customs in Bombay, with the result that when I was taking pictures for a third  film for Boulton-Hawker about the monsoon in South India (called Monsoon Village) the Customs people had become tiresomely inquisitive and opened five of the cardboard boxes containing unexposed film, with the result that I lost five valuable films, which it wasn’t possible for me to film again as by then the monsoon was over and they couldn’t wait another year before producing the film.

     In Volume 6 I have explained how I became interested in the history of Peirce Leslie & Co.Ltd and was responsible the publication of “Century in Malabar” in their Centenary yea.  

     So in 1962, when I was working on the book, I felt that as I had already taken pictures of many of P.L & Co’s activities, it would be nice if I could make a film to accompany the book, which I also called Century in Malabar, to put on record the present activities of the company, with historical pictures to cover the earlier days.  As I wanted it to be as good as possible, I arranged to record the commentary in the laboratory of Colour Film Services in London instead of the amateurish way I recorded one on a magnetic stripe for the “Coir” film, and for the commentary and sound to be mixed onto an optical  track. 

      In 1964 I was asked by the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India to make a publicity film for them, showing how Indian cashews were grown, harvested, processed and sold on world markets.  I therefore made a film called Pride of India which I thought should have a commentary read by a professional.  When I asked Colour Film Services if they knew anyone who could do this job they recommended Richard Baker, who had just started reading the News for the BBC and was prepared to record commentaries for outsiders.  After a meeting at the Oriental Club, where I first met Richard and handed him the commentary which I had written, we went to the CFS laboratory in Portman Square, where he recorded the commentary while I say beside him and helped him with the pronunciation of some of the words that were new to him. That was the last longish film that I made before I left India.

          Though in 1968 I made a short film of the Ernakulam Temple Festival and in 1970 one of the Tripunithura Temple Festival, part of which I used in the opening sequences of Masque of Malabar when I made that film in 1972. Apart from this, at various times I did quite a lot of filming of local activities and festivals, bungalow gardens etc. From the time I started filming in 1951 to the time I came home in 1971 I kept all the films (the shorter ones in their original cardboard boxes and the longer ones in tin boxes) in my air conditioned bedroom, some of them for as long as 22 years.  Despite the high humidity of the Kerala climate all the year round and the extreme dampness during the monsoon months (June to August), the quality of all these films was still remarkably good when I eventually took them home.  

      Although I was very pleased with the Paillard-Bolex camera, it was rather a large and heavy thing to carry around, so in 1971 I sold it and bought a smaller 16mm camera, a Beaulieu R16B with a 10x12 zoom lens (no longer necessary to use three different lenses, as I had to with the Bolex).  This was the camera I used during my first 8 years in Brent Knoll

      From 1971 to 1977 I filmed the village fetes every year and various other events and activities, particularly those of the Royal British Legion, which I joined as soon as I got home after my stint in India.  As it was by then possible to record sound on a reel-to-reel audio tape recorder I bought a Tandberg on which I recorded commentaries and sound effects. 

  It was on this that in 1972 I recorded all the music of the two Kathakali plays, extracts from which I included in Masque of Malabar, when they were performed at the Aldwych Theatre as part of the “World Theatre Season”

      Ever since I left India in April 1971 I have lived in the village of Brent Knoll, in Somerset.  At first we were living in a bungalow which we had bought in 1965 when Peggy’s father died.  In 1967, when I moved from Calicut to Cochin to become Assistant General Manager, she came to live in it, as the time had come for our daughter Diana to go to school in nearby Burnham-on-Sea.  As the bungalow was too small for all three of us to live in permanently, a year before I left India we asked a local developer, Jimmy Dodrell, to build a house for us on land adjacent to the bungalow, which we designed and called “Malabar”.   Work on the house started in 1970 and Peggy and Diana moved into it in January 1971, four months before I arrived with a vast amount of luggage, which included the valuable farewell presents I had received on leaving India and the films I had made since 1951.  As soon as I saw the house I realised that although it was a comfortably large house there was nowhere where I could do my film editing apart from either the sitting room or the dining room, and I would not be popular if I tried to bore holes in the walls for recording commentaries as I did in Calicut (as I have described on page 14).

      I therefore had a studio for editing my films, and a small cinema in which to show them, built just behind the house. This became a fully equipped miniature cinema with 24 seats, in which I recorded commentaries after editing the films in the studio behind it.  The cinema was ready for use in 1972 and from then until 1985 apart from recording commentaries I gave cinema shows for friends in the village so that they could see the films I was then making of village activities as well as some of the films I had made in India which were very popular as in those days people knew very little about the culture of India.    

 

This was the cinema/studio as seen from the garden of “Malabar”, the picture on the right shows the entrance and two windows of the cinema (on the left) and the window of the editing studio on the right.   On the left end of the roof there was a weather-vane made locally – a steel cut-out of “Bhima”, one of the pandava brothers in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, who appears in several of the Kathakali plays I had filmed.




  
                         (a)                                                          (b)                                              (c)
This was the inside of the cinema which had sound-proofed asbestos tiles as a ceiling and carpet tiles on the floor. On the walls were some of the farewell presents I received when I left India, many of them connected with Kathakali and festivals like the Trichur Pooram which I had filmed and seen several times. Behind the curtains in (a) was a portable ‘cinemascope’ screen on which I showed the films, on each side of which was an alavettam (a fan made of peacock feathers), a papiere maché Kathakali character and a venchemaram (a fan made of yak hair) . On the floor was a 4ft bell-metal lamp which is always on the front of the stage at Kathakali performances, with two smaller versions in each corner. On the wall in (a) and (b) were a gold-plated nettipattam which adorns the trunks of elephants at festivals, and three koodas (velvet umbrellas). This picture, which I took at the 1982 Pooram, shows the elephants with their nettipattams and three men standing on their backs, one holding a kooda on its pole, one holding two alavettams, and one holding two vemchemarams.     

Other items in the cinema were a kumbu, [a horn which forms part of the ‘orchestra’ at the festivals which can be seen in (a) and (b)], a model “Snake Boat” which is used at regattas in South Kerala every October and a 100 year old Travancore Jewel Box  (Travancore was the native state which is now known as ‘Kerala’).  The bell metal lamp was a farewell present from my old friend Mr K.P.Kesava Menon, the editor-in-chief of the Malayalam newspaper Mathrubumi.
      Since video started taking over from film in 1975 there have been incredible technological advances    which have resulted in it now being easy to take long films on a ‘camcorder’, edit them on a computer and copy them onto a DVD (Digital Video Disc).  As this is all so different to what it was in the 1970s, I feel it is worth recording how much time and trouble had to go into the making and editing of films in the pre-video days.
      When I came home in 1971 I decided to invest a large part of the gratuity I had received when I retired on film editing equipment so that I could try to make all the material I had filmed in India, and what I intended to film in the future, into films which although amateur would be as professional as an amateur could make them.   On an ‘Acmade Compeditor’ (left) the pictures and sound were edited, with four 400ft reels on each side, the first two holding the ‘A’ and ‘B’ rolls of the pictures, the third holding magnetic film containing sound effects, and the fourth holding magnetic film with a commentary recorded on it
      The pre-recorded sounds on the two reels of magnetic film were then edited to match the picture as nearly as possible, so one ended up with the ‘A’ and ‘B’ reels of picture film, a reel of sound effects and a real of commentary. These I took to a laboratory in London for mixing the two sound tracks and copying them onto an ‘optical’ sound track so that the film could be shown on any sound projector.  Only after all this ado were my films ready to show to the public!

      Before doing that I had to use a ‘Picture-Sync’ (right) on which I could check that the synchronisation of sound and pictures after their rough editing on the ‘Compeditor’ was exactly right.  On the top was the completed reel of edited pictures and on the bottom the sound on a reel of magnetic film. One could ensure that these were exactly ‘in synch’ by looking at the pictures in the small screen at the top and hearing the sound on the speaker on the right.  Behind the ‘Compeditor’ can be seen the short lengths of picture film that had been cut before being spliced into appropriate places in the film.  The main snag was that once the film had been cut there was no way of replacing a mistake!                                                                            
      For recording commentaries another rather expensive piece of equipment was required! As the Bell & Howell projector could play back optical and magnetic sound tacks but couldn’t record on the magnetic track, I replaced it with a Bauer P6 ‘double band’ projector which took a reel of edited picture film on one side and a reel of blank magnetic film on the other side.  This enabled me to record commentaries for my films. To do this I  started the projector and went into the cinema to read what I had written down,.    This is what the studio and cinema were like when I recorded the commentaries, surrounded by Pooram and Kathakali artefacts to give me the right atmosphere for the occasion!   

      As soon as the studio and cinema were built I started editing the films I had brought back from India.  As people who had seen the short lengths of Kathakali I had filmed found them fascinating and suggested that I should make them into one longish film, I decided that that should be the first one I would make.  Had I known a few years earlier how much interest there would be in Kathakali, I would have written some sort of shooting script before I came home and filmed everything mentioned in it.   But I hadn’t done this, so the only thing I could do was to have a look at every picture I had taken (it was on all 50ft reels) and make some sort of story out of it.  The outcome was what I eventually called Masque of Malabar – a film 1800 ft long which lasted for 43 minutes.
      I had just enough material to make two 10 minute versions of two Kathakali plays, each of which lasted two hours on the stage, but they were of course silent.  To provide sound for them I took my tape recorder to the Aldwych Theatre in London on two nights when these plays were being performed as part of the “World Theatre Season” in 1972 and recorded both plays in their entirety.  This left me with the task of reducing four hours of audio tape to 20 minutes!  As I was not competent to decide which bit of music applied to each shot that I had included in the 10 minute versions, I asked one actor and one musician from the troupe to come to my hotel where I had a small editing machine on which they could see the pictures (on 16mm film) while I played the sound recordings on the tape recorder.  They told me exactly which bit of music fitted each bit of action, which I marked on the tape with chinagraph pencil, and was left with four hours of tape with chinagraph marks at various places, which I then cut at the appropriate place.  Altogether there were over 300 splices in the tapes, bur when they were played with the film the music on the whole show very few breaks in it!

       I entered the film in the ‘Movie Maker Ten Best’ Competition of 1973, in which it was awarded a Gold Star.  The ‘Movie Maker’ magazine, in its review of the entries for the competition described it as    “A quite extraordinary labour of love, conveying vividly the producer’s interest in and affection for the subject. The coverage is perhaps a little too exhaustive for a general audience … By any standards, the training sequences are fascinating … Natural sound is very well recorded and beautifully matched to the visuals… Delivery of the commentary is a trifle flat, but the sheer interest of what it said provides ample compensation.  Getting this material onto film at all was a major achievement and the result is obviously invaluable for students of Indian culture” 
                  Tony Rose, the editor of ‘Movie Maker’ who was one of the judges, told me that it deserved the top prize in that year’s competition, but didn’t get it because it was too long for a general audience: he suggested that I should re-edit it and make it into a film lasting about 20 minutes to be put in the 1975 competition.  It was difficult to reduce a 43 minute to one lasting 20 minutes, but in 1975 I completed a shorter version which I called Malabar Masque and entered it in 14 competitions in 1975/1978 with received 25 awards.  This picture shows the 18 that it received in 1975 at the Cannes, Santa Barbara, Welsh, Scottish, Malta and Swindon International Amateur Film Festivals, at the “Movie Maker 10 Best Competition” the Bristol “Best in the West Competition”.
                  In 1977 it received 8 more awards at the Barcelona, American, Melbourne, Australian and Canadian International Amateur Film Festivals.  Below I have recorded the complete list of these awards.

Cannes International Amateur Film Festival, 1975  1. Coupe du Casino Palm Beach de Cannes
Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 1975 2. Trophy for best foreign film
3. “Top Ten” Award
Welsh International Amateur Film Festival, 1975 4.  Trophy for best film in the Festival
5.  Trophy for best documentary film
6.  Trophy for best use of colour
7.  Trophy for best use of lighting
8.  Challenge Cup for the best use of sound
Scottish International Film Festival, 1975   9.  Trophy for best documentary
10.  Diploma of Honour
Malta International Amateur Film Festival, 1975 11. Award of Merit
I.A.C. Film Competition, 1975    12. Trophy for best use of sound
13. “Very Highly Commended” Certificate
“Movie Maker 10 Best Competition, 1975   14. Gold  Star Award
Bristol “Best in the West” Competition, 1975  15. Cup for best film in the Festival
16. Shield for best edited film
17. Cup for best travel film
Swindon Film Festival, 1975  18. Cup for best amateur film of the year
Barcelona Film Festival, 1977  19.  Placa de honor  
American International Film Festival, 1977 20. Ten Best Silver Medal
21. Plaque for best foreign film
22. Award for best editing
Melbourne International Film Festival, 1977 23. Bronze “Cineman Award”
Australian International Film Festival, 1977  24. Premier Award Trophy
25. Trophy for best documentary
Canadian International Film Festival, 1978 26. Three Star Award

In 1975 I started work on The Indian Scene, a collation of all the short films I had taken in various places I (or, after 1958, we) had visited on business trips and holidays between 1954 and 1971, which I placed in geographical order, from Kashmir in the North to Kanyakumari in the South, visitingen route Kathmandu (in Nepal), Kalimpong, Calcutta, Varanasi (Banares), Kajuraho, New Delhi, Old Delhi, Agra, Fathepur Sikri, Jaipur, Bombay, Madras, Ootacamund, Kodaikanal, Periyar, Madurai, Belur, Halebid, Bangalore, Mysore, Calicut, Cochin, Quilon and Trivandrum. 

      Having assembled and cut all this material I had the task of linking all the places with a commentary which I hoped would provide interesting and historical information about each place.  That took some research, but when I had done that I added what I what seemed to be an appropriate musical background and read the commentary: all this was done in the Brent Knoll studio and cinema, described above.

As the films I had taken in the Mysore Dasara Festivals of 1952 and 1959 had by now become of historical interest, in 1976 I put them together in a film called Memories of Mysore, for which I wrote an introduction to explain the origins of Dasara, and did a little more filming in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to provide suitable background information .  This was one of the most complicated films I made, as I explained in the following Note which I wrote after I had completed it:

      That was the last of the “Indian films” that I edited in the studio after retiring from India in 1971, though between then and 1993 I did further filming in India on fifteen trips I made, firstly as a director of Peirce Leslie India Ltd between 1972 and 1982, and after that on five personal visits to India and France (Paris) between 1983 and 1993,    Apart from that, I devoted most of my filming to activities in the village of Brent Knoll from 1971 to 2004, on 16mm until 1978, when because 16mm had become very expensive, I switched to Kodak 8mm film (and later “Super 8”) for all my work, in the village and overseas, but each roll only lasted 3½ minutes so they had to be spliced together and put on a 400ft reel to make a film lasting 20 minutes.

During this time there were developments in technology which completely altered the manner in which amateur films were made when video became available in 1975, when Sony introduced Betamax (a ½ inch home videocassette derived from their U-matic, ¾ inch format which they had introduced for professional video recording in 1971 and was still being used by the BBC).   Shortly after that their competitors JVC (Japanese Victor Co) introduced  VHS  which resulted in a video format war with Betamax in which VHS came out on top because, although Betamax was considered to be of better quality, longer recordings could be made on VHS, and it was cheaper than Betamax.  To combat this, in 1985 Sony turned to an 8mm video format which they called Video8, which was later improved to Hi8 and later still, a digital format called Digital 8.

           I had been working on video editing for several years with Peter Rose, a film and video enthusiast who lived in Brent Knoll and, tragically, died suddenly at the age of 32.  Having used his U-matic for some of my work, I realised how much better it was than my VHS recorder, so when he died I asked his widow if I could buy it at the very fair price quoted by the firm in London from which he had bought it.  Indeed it proved to be a good investment because it enabled me to add commentaries to some of my films which already had sound tracks.   This was possible because the U-matic recorded sound on two magnetic tracks, one on each side of the picture, so by copying my films from Betamax, VHS or Video8 onto a blank U-matic cassette I could record a commentary on one of the tracks, leaving the original sound on the other, and mix the two together when making a copy on VHS or any other format.  

          The competition between Sony and JVC was most tiresome for amateur film makers, as one kept having to change from one format to another to keep abreast of developments, but the whole filming situation changed again when “camcorders” appeared on the market on which recoding was done on yet another format - Mini-DV, which although only 2½ wide can hold up to 1½ hours of video.  This one, for instance, contains “The Indian Scene”, “Century in Malabar” and “Memories of Mysore” which in their original 16mm film were on three large reels 14, 12 and 10 inches in diameter. Shortly after this Mini-DV was replaced by DVD (Digital Video Disc), which could hold up to 8 hours of video and it became possible to record directly onto a DVD in the camcorder which originally only recorded on to a Mini-DV. 

         This picture of the equipment in my video studio in 2008 shows the U-matic on the left, on top of which is a machine on which I can copy VHS cassettes to DVDs (or vice versa) and can also make DVD copies from the U-matic, Video 8 and Betamax recorders (on the right) and from Mini DVs via a camcorder 8 the other formats.
        My 52-year journey from 9.5mm film to videotape via 16mm, 8mm and Super8 films to Betamax, VHS, Video8, Hi8, U-matic, Mini DV and DVD should have been enough for anyone to do in his life time, but in 1976 everything changed once again when computers appeared on the scene. I firmly resolved not to have anything to do with a computer as I thought I had gone far enough on technical developments, but ten years later it became clear that to keep myself up-to-date with this latest technology, I would have to start using a computer, and much as the idea frightened me, I decided to buy the simplest and cheapest computer on the market.

I therefore bought an Amstrad Word Processor which was very useful as by putting everything on a “Floppy disc” (like the one on the right) I no longer had to spend long hours writing documents and letters on a typewriter, with the tiresome business of making carbon copies for filing (or applying ‘Copidex’ to correct my mistakes!).  No sooner had I made over 40 “floppies”, containing all my correspondence and other documents than I somewhat reluctantly accepted the very kind offer by Anthony Hozier, vice principal of Rose Bruford College (to which I have donated all my videos of Indian culture) of his Gateway PC (Personal Computer) when he upgraded his equipment.  Thus was I converted to “proper” computing, and started not only to learn how to use it but re-educate myself by learning a strange new vocabulary with words like booting up, bytes (with their relatives kilobytes, megabytes and gigabytes), clipart, database, defragmenting, downloading, e-mail, Google, hard disk, HTML, inbox, Internet Explorer, ISP, memory, Microsoft, modem, mouse, Outlook Express, RAM, spreadsheet, toolbar, virus, website, Windows and World Wide Web.

            As the Amstrad could only be used for word processing, I gave it to the Brent Knoll Primary School who were very anxious to have more word processors.  I found my ‘proper’ computer most useful, but as it was rather an old one it started breaking down in a tiresome way, so I had to scrap the Gateway and bought an HP PC which was more up-to-date: but as it took up rather a lot of space on my desk I decided to buy a Dell ‘Laptop’ in its place, which was much smaller and lighter and I could take with me to work on it wherever I wanted to.   As time went on I found it rather a strain to read the smaller screen of the laptop, so in 2008 I made what must surely be my last purchase, another, but smaller HP desktop on top of which I have a 19” monitor.   

       Of all the incredible things one can do on a computer, I think the most remarkable is e-mail which enables one to correspond with people all over the world in seconds and get an immediate reply.  How different all this is to the situation when I first went out to India in 1946!  At that time all letters home went by sea mail and took anything up to a month to arrive (any urgent message had to go by telegram).  As far as business correspondence was concerned, the sea mail arrived regularly on Wednesday mornings, so once one had dealt with it one had a week of peace before the next mail! The daily business between India and the Head Office in London was done by cable using the “PL Private Code” (a hefty book containing all the phrases needed for business) or “Bentley’s Second Phrase Code”.  Every evening we would send a cable to London and the next morning we would receive their reply.  

       Even in 1971, if one wanted to make a telephone call from India to the UK one had to book a time for it to be connected two or three days later, and even within India, when talking from one branch to another one had to make a ‘lightning call’ which could take anything up to three hours to get through.  How different to the mobile phone which, like e-mail, makes it possible to converse instantaneously with people all over the world!

      Although e-mails and mobile phones have made life much easier for everyone, it has, sadly, virtually resulted in the end of letter writing as it used to be (as evidenced by Volumes 2 and 3), with the inevitable result that archive records like this will only be made on rare occasions. And the ability to send ‘text messages’ on a mobile phone has resulted in a serious degrading of the English language, which makes it less important to learn Latin at school, a I did.   

      On the next five pages I will record details of the 120 films and videos I made in the 70 years between 1934 and 2004, which it would take just over 128 hours to watch without a break!

FILMS and VIDEOS MADE between 1937 and 2004

 

ENGLAND IN THE 1930s

1937   The Vigornia News [a]
           (a)   Sundry activities at King’s School, Worcester filmed between 1934 and 1937
            (b)   Royal events    
                   The Silver Jubilee of King George V  in May1935
                   The Funeral of King George V I in January 1936
                   Duke of York’s Camp in 1936
                   The Coronation of King George VI in May 1937
            (c)   Sundry events
                   The Hendon Air Display in 1935
                   British Empire v USA  Athletic meeting at White City in 1936                           37 minutes

INDIA – 1954 to 1993

CULTURES
KATHAKALI
(50 hours 36 minutes)

1957  Kathakali in the 1950s
My first films of Kathakali , showing the make-up and performances filmed In various places at various times between 1953 and 1957   
30 minutes
1974  Masque of Malabar 
A study of Kathakali, showing the training of students, the make-up, the costume,
And ten minute versions of two plays.  Filmed on location in Kerala in various
Places at various times between 1964 and 1973    
43 minutes
1975 Malabar Masque 
An abbreviated version of Masque of Malabar, which won 24 awards in
 International Amateur Film Festivals in 1975/1976   
20 minutes
1983 Melappadam  recorded in Paris             10 minutes
1983 Six plays recorded over five days in Paris       
  1. Bali Vadha     2 hours 35 minutes  
  2. Daksha Yaga   2 hours    5 minutes
  3. Kalyanasaughandika (interrupted)   1 hour      6 minutes
  4. Lavanasura Vadha            46 minutes
  5. Narakasura Vadha Scenes 3 & 4  35 minutes
  6. Torana Yudha  1  hour 27 minutes
1985    Choliyattam  recorded over six days at the Kerala Kalamandalam.   
The Choliyattam (rehearsal without costume) of 16 playsand Todayam
performed by C.Padmanabhan Nair  and M.P.S.Namboodiri    
13 hours 44 minutes
1987 Puruppadu and  
          
30 minutes
  Melappadam  recorded in Kottayam 1 hour
1989 Training of students  recorded at the Kerala Kalamandalam
in 1972 and 1988 and at the Kalabharati School (Pakalkuri) in 1989 
48 minutes
1989 Chutti (make-up) recorded in Paris in 1983 and at Pakalkuri in 1989       41 minutes
1989 Seven  plays  recorded over 6 days at Pakalkuri        
  1. Bana Yudah   2 hours  3 minutes
  2. Kalyana Saughandika Scene 3     1 hour 23 minutes
  3. Kichaka Vadha   2 hours 23 minutes
  4. Nala Charita - First Day    2 hours 41 minutes
  5. Narakasura Vadha Scenes 2-6  2 hours 14 minutes
  6. Rajasooya      2 hours 26 minutes
  7. Sundari Swayamvara  2 hours   5 minutes 
1991 A walk round the kalaris of the Kerala Kalamandalam   
A record of one day’s training of students of Kathakali, Kutiyattam,
Ottanthulal, Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam
1 hour
1991 Puruppadu  recorded in the Kerala Kalamandalam 35 minutes 
1991 Three plays  recorded in the Kerala Kalamandalam  
  1. Duryodhana Vadha Scenes 8 -10   1 hour 46 minutes
  2. Kacha Devayani     3 hours  6 minutes
  3. Ravana Vijaya        1 hour 54 minutes
     
OTHER CULTURES OF KERALA
     
1991 Kalam  (powder painting)
by Kalamandalam Haridas.  Recorded in Trichur  
3 hours 4 minutes
1993 Kutiyattam  recorded at the Kerala Kalamandalam      59 minutes
1993 Mohiniattam recorded at the Kerala Kalamandalam          40 minutes  
1993 Ottanthulal recorded at the Kerala Kalamandalam       25 minutes   
1993   Theyyam  recorded at Veloore, near Payannur    56 minutes
     
FOLK DANCES OF INDIA
     
1984 Billingham Folk Dance Festival 
Indian folk dances by Janavak from Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad
and folk dances of other countries performed by their national artists
1 hour 15 minutes
1991 33 Folk Dances of India
Performed by Janavak.  Recorded over six days and nights
at Darpana Academy of Arts, Ahmedabad 
3 hours  10 minutes
1992 Leicester Folk Dance Festival
Indian folk dances by Janavak from Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad         
and folk dances of other countries performed by their national artists    
1 hour 33 minutes
1997  Milton Keyes Folk Dance Festival                                                       
Indian folk dances by Janavak from Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad
and folk dances of other countries performed by their national artists
50 minutes
1993  Rajasthani Folk Music
Recorded in Umaih Palace, Kotah         
29 minutes
     
OTHER CULTURES OF INDIA
     
1989 Shakti 
Performed in London by Mallika Sarabhai, produced by John Martin         
1 hour 39 minutes
1991 Gilgamesh and Enkida  
Recorded at Darpana Academy of Arts, Ahmedabad
1 hour 14 minutes
1995  Siva Nataraja”  and “Chandalika
Performed in London by teachers and students of Darpana Academy  
1 hour 10 minutes
     
INDIAN FESTIVALS
     
1959  Small Kerala Festivals & Dances
Muthappan Puja, two small Theyams, Pukkavidi, Kaikottakali
recorded  in Kerala villages and on Kerala roads. 
filmed between 1954 and 1959  
15 minutes
1968 Ernakulam Temple Festival     10 minutes
1970 Tripunithura Temple Festival
(partly included in first scenes in Masque of Malabar)
10 minutes
1971 Memories of Mysore
Historic footage of the Mysore Dasara Festival, filmed in Mysore in
1952 and 1959 with an introduction filmed in London in 1971.
20 minutes
1985 Trichur Pooram  
A day at the Trichur Pooram Festival    
36 minutes
     
ACTIVITES OF PEIRCE LESLIE & CO LTD
      
1952 Rice
A film showing the planting and harvesting of rice in the paddy fields
close to “Kara Cottage”,  filmed on various occasions between 1948 and 1952 
20 minutes  
1952 Coconuts
A film showing the production of Coconuts and Coir in the backwaters
of Kerala, filmed in various locations between 1949 and 1952     
21 minutes
1955 Cashews
A film showing how cashew nuts grow, are harvested and processed in the 
Peirce Leslie  Karaparamba cashew factory in Calicut filmed in various places between1950 and1956   
20 minutes
1956  Aerial Spraying of rubber
A film recording the first occasion that rubber trees were sprayed by helicopters
(filmed on PL’s Thirumbadi Estate )  
10 minutes
1959  The Rice Growers
A film made for EFVA (Educational Foundation of Visual Aids) for primary
schools, showing how rice is grown and harvested in South India   
10 minutes 
1960 Tea
The harvesting and manufacture of tea,  filmed on Kil Kotagiri and Kodanaad
Estates in the Nilgiris at various times between in1956 and1960
20 minutes   
1961 Tropical Harvest
A film made for EFVA for secondary schools, showing how Tea, Coffee, Rubber,   
Pepper, Cashews and Coconuts are grown and harvested in South India 
20 minutes
1961  Sundry Produce
Ginger, pepper, cardamoms and other Kerala spices, filmed in various places
between 1949 and 1961)       
21 minutes
1961  Coir
A film made for PL describing the production of Coir Yarn in various places
in the Company’s Zillaparamba Coir Yarn yard and factory 
20 minutes 
1962 Century in Malabar
A film made to celebrate the Centenary of Peirce Leslie & Co Ltd., describing and
depicting the business of the Company from 1862 to 1962 and the part played by
the Company in the development of Tea, Coffee and Rubber Estates and crops
that grow in Kerala – Coir, Cashews and Pepper.
Filmed at various times between 1952 and 1971   
35 minutes
 1964 Pride of India
A film made for the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India about the Cashew
industry, filmed in PL’s cashew factories in Mangalore & Calicut and in the USA,
Canada, UK, Holland and Switzerland.
(filmed at various times between 1962 and 1964)   
24 minutes
1978    Men of Steel 
A film made to record the activities in the forests of Burma in the 1960 of
Steel Brothers, a Company with which Peirce Leslie & Co. Ltd had close
business connections  (copied from old 16mm  films)    
33 minutes
     
LIFE IN INDIA
     
1958 Kara Cottage
My first bungalow and garden in Calicut
filmed at various times between 1950 and 1956
10 minutes
1970 Kara North  
Our second bungalow and garden in Calicut
filmed at various times between 1959 and 1970)  
10 minutes
1980   The Offices and Bungalows of Peirce Leslie & Co
in Cochin, Calicut and Coimbatore
(made in 1980 from footage filmed at various times between 1952 and 1971)  
10 minutes   
     
ARMY
     
1985 41 Years On
Celebrations in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on the 41st anniversary of the liberation of
the City by the 53rd Welsh Division in October 1944 
48 minutes
1995 50 Years On
Celebrations in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on the 50th anniversary of the liberation   
1hour 2 minutes
     
BRENT KNOLL and BURNHAM-ON-SEA
     
1975  Nap-a-Kid  
A comedy written for and performed by boys of St.Dunstan’s School,
Burnham-on-Sea.  Filmed in one day outside the School.   
17 minutes
1977 The Brent Knoll Chronicle”  
Activities in Brent Knoll village every year between 1971 and 1977.   
50 minutes
1982 Recovery” 
A film made for the Burnham-on-Sea Rotary Club for use as an appeal
for support of the treatment of Coeliac Disease 
 14 minutes
1982  Brent Knoll People” - Part 1   (1971/1982) 
Events in the Village from November 1971 to December 1982 
58 minutes
1982  100th Birthday Celebrations  
Party in Orchard Hill Residential Home, Brent Knoll 
23 minutes
1984  Brent Knoll Primary School  
Activities in the Churchyard and in the school in one year 
28 minutes
1988  A.T.Humphrey 1886/1998    
A film made to celebrate the 102nd birthday of the Rev.A.T.Humphrey   
47 minutes
1989   Princess Anne in Brent Knoll  
The Princess Royal opens NSPCC shop in Burnham-on-Sea and two new
buildings in Somerset Court Autistic Home    
22 minutes
1990   Brent Knoll People” – Part 2 (1984/1990)   
Events in the Village between 1984 and 1990  
1 hour
1990  “Cinderalla III”
Performed by Burnham-on-Sea Pantomime Club in Town Hall 
2 hours 31 minutes
1993  In Memory of Admiral Sir Mark Pizey   
Memorial Service in St Andrew’s Church, Burnham-on-Sea, with
extracts from films of his life in the Royal Navy and after retirement  
1 hour 3 minutes
1994 Round and round the garden (by Alan Akebourne) 
Performed by Blake Drama Club in the garden of “Hays”, Brent Knoll   
1 hour 42 minutes
1994   Brent Knoll People” – Part 3
Events in the Village between 1990 and 1994   
1 hour
1995  Festival of Poppies  
In St Michael’s Church, Brent Knoll   
1 hour 12 minutes
1995   Brent Knoll People” – Part 4 
Village events in 1995   
1 hour
1995 Christingle Service  
Christmas service for village school in St Michael’s Church, 1995  
59 minutes
1996   Brent Knoll People” – Part 5  
Village events in 1996   
1 hour
1996 Christingle Service      
Christmas service for Village school In St Michael’s Church, 1996    
1 hour 3 minutes
1997     Brent Knoll People” – Part 6  
The Village fete of 1997  
1 hour
1998   The School Bell   
 Dedication Service of new school bell in St Michael’s Church followed
 by installation and blessing by the Bishop of Bath and Wells in the school. 
45 minutes  
2000  Joseph and his amazing Technicolor  Dream Coat  
Performed in St Michael’s Church by children from Brent Knoll,
 East Brent and Lympsham  
45 minutes
2002    Brent Knoll celebrates the Golden Jubilee   
Village events on the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II 
2 hours 30 minutes
2003 Lest We Forget      
A compilation of films and videos taken over 30 years to record the
Activities of the Brent Knoll Branch of the Royal British Legion
Between 1971 and 2003  
1 hour 50 minutes
2004  A Feast of Music
A concert in St Michael’s Church
by Anup Kumar Biswas (Cello), David Lowton (Organ),
Martin Lee (Piano) and Luisa Puddy (Soprano)  
1 hour 20 minutes

       


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