Welcome to our News Page, where regular updates will keep you informed about forthcoming events, recent developments, and other LFA news that may be of interest.
THE NEXT GENERATION
During the winter months of 2008-9, we were joined for one day a week by Alex Wright, a third year student at Lincoln University who was completing a course in general conservation. He was keen to include some film work but since the University was unable to provide him with anything of the kind, we agreed to take him on as a voluntary trainee and give him the opportunity to try his hand at it.
It soon became obvious that he had a natural aptitude for the work. He learned quickly, and before long he was able to undertake some very useful tasks, checking, cleaning and repairing a collection of films dating from the 1920s and 30s, thereby helping to reduce our backlog. Conservation work on two of these films became one of his official practice projects, and was featured in the students’ end-of-course exhibition which we attended by invitation. We were delighted, though not surprised, to hear that he had obtained a very creditable 2:1 degree.
Alex has kept in touch with us since completing his course, and is now working at the Gloucester Archive Office on a wide variety of restoration projects. We send him our best wishes for the future and our thanks for having given us the pleasure of his company.
Of great interest to Bostonians will be film of the 1967 Trade Fair held in Central Park as a show case for local industry and the town’s principal retailers. Amongst the exhibitors are some once-familiar names that are now all but forgotten, so we can pretty well guarantee that it won’t be long before people are telling each other ‘Oh yes! I remember them.’ This was an era when a seemingly endless stream of ever more sophisticated domestic appliances competed for the housewife’s attention, so the marquees were crammed with the latest must-haves such as dishwashers and rotissomats. Boston had probably never seen so many rotating plastic chickens all in one place.
A brief but delightful item rescued in the nick of time on its way to the dustbin shows the Stamford School swimming sports at the town pool in about 1947, and a parade by a small squad of the school’s cadets wearing O.T.C. style caps and uniforms. They must have been amongst the last to do so, for in April 1948, the O.T.C. Junior Division was replaced by the Combined Cadet Force, who were equipped with berets and WW2 style battledress.
To the dramatic footage we already held showing the aftermath of the 1953 Floods there have now been added some remarkable scenes that neatly complement (rather than merely duplicating) them. Our previous footage featured Sutton and Skegness, but the newly accessioned material was filmed in Mablethorpe by an amateur cameraman who managed to talk his way through the police cordons by flourishing a ‘borrowed’ Press pass. Don’t ask.
In the days when we still had the traditional old-fashioned winters, skating was a regular feature of Lincolnshire life, as two newly accessioned items remind us. One was taken at Burghley Lake in the early 1930s, the other near Boston during the famous big freeze of 1963. Both, of course, depict the usual combination of perilous incompetence and breathtaking, seemingly effortless, skill, but First Prize undoubtedly goes to the father at Burghley, seen towing his four-year old daughter behind him in a wooden crate.
Plenty of new material continues to reach us, but there is usually a considerable delay between its arrival and its appearance in our Catalogue. Quite apart from essential restoration work which may take several months, it often requires a good deal of painstaking research work to establish important details such as when and where the film was shot, and what events it depicts. So there are generally a dozen or more items in the pipeline that are still being worked on and aren’t yet ready to be fully listed. However, we can always give you an update on these if you have a particular interest in finding out about them.
AIA INITIATIVE AWARD
In November 2009, the Association for Industrial Archaeology honoured us by selecting us to receive its prestigious Initiative Award for a group that has ‘taken on a challenging task in an innovative manner’. The previous September, LFA had presented a special Archive Film Show during the Association’s annual conference which in 2009 was held at Lincoln University and hosted by the Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology. From amongst the various presentations and sites visited during the five-day event, the Association’s Council and membership chose LFA for the Initiative Award and Dogdyke Pumping Station as the best site visited.
The Association’s President, Professor Angus Buchanan, presented the awards on 25th January 2010 in the Lecture Room at Spalding Gentlemen’s Society.
In recognition of the AIA’s generosity, we plan to include a special introductory title at the start of the show versions of films whose restoration has been funded by their grant.
Our latest DVD, entitled ‘Mud, Dykes and Draglines’ was released in November 2009 and has already attracted very favourable comments, one of them from as far afield as the Isle of Man. As a subject, Land Drainage may seem rather prosaic, but those in the know have found the new DVD enthralling. Using a combination of previously unseen archive footage and specially shot contemporary material, it illustrates the traditional tools and methods by which the fertile fenlands were made (and kept) suitable for agriculture. It’s a fascinating story, and the skilled workmanship which the job entailed forms a vital part of the region’s heritage.You can find particulars about how to order this, and our other DVDs, by visiting Primetime Videod Mud, Dykes & Draglines web page.