Dorset Life on Film
A new celebratory show of old Dorset films from the archive of Windrose Rural Media Trust
Dorset's own media charity, Windrose Rural Media Trust, is celebrating its 35th year. Amongst its many media projects it has, throughout that time, been saving old cine films of local life to enable them to be seen again by the community. The moving images from this now major archive are the nearest thing to truly living history that exists.
Windrose is approaching its 250th show. The Dorchester show on 6th April will, however, be different. In partnership with Dorset History Centre, Windrose has been able to secure Heritage Lottery Funding to enable it to digitise and organise much of its archive. This means that it is able to dig more deeply into the archive and bring out films that have not been seen before.
The show on 6th April will, for example, include previously unseen films of Dorchester in the 1950s, the moving of Wimborne's model town in the 1960s, the Queen's visit to Sherborne in 1952, the Melplash Show in 1957, Coronation celebrations in Wareham and Dorchester in 1953, farming near Weymouth in the 1960s and a Bridport pram race in the 1950s. A short travel film from the 1940s visits Corfe Castle, Wareham, Lulworth, Dorchester and Swanage. The Bridport railway and paddle steamers also feature.
There will also be favourites of Windrose's shows, taking the programme back to the 1910s with a vivid film of one of the famous Verwood potteries, and later films of people who knew Thomas Hardy. 1930s films of Corfe Castle made by two local singers are accompanied by the memories of Dorset sculptor Mary Spencer-Watson. A simple record of Dorchester’s streets in the early 1960s shows how different it was only 55 years ago.
The show will also be an opportunity to hear about the work of Dorset History Centre, including its involvement in the preservation of Windrose's archive; a key element in ensuring the archive's future.
Available from Dorchester Tourism Information Centre, South Walks House, Charles Street, Dorchester, DT1 1EE
Tel: 01305 267992 or Email: DTIC@dorset.gov.uk