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HMD Report: London 2011


HMD London 2011

Organisers: Lucy Smee and Lisa Kerrigan

General volunteers: Andrew Smee, Rebecca Hobbs, Martin Robinson, Rachel
Keene, Michael Coffey, Chris Jones

Cinema Museum volunteers: Ronald Grant, Martin Humphries, Anna Odrich,
George Parnell, Mark Egerton, Alex Craven, Ruth Cox, Will Downie

Projectionists: David Locke, Tony Saffrey, Brian Giles, Grant Lobban

Film checkers: Tim Emblem-English, Sally Golding

Bingo caller: Lesley Ibbotson

Ham made by: Lian Choo Smee

Bakers: Andrew Smee, Lucy Smee, Lisa Kerrigan, Michael Coffey, Laura Riley

Event location: The Cinema Museum, Kennington, London.

Event time: 11am – 5pm

Attendees: 120 in total, with 19 groups of people bringing home movies.

Films shown: 7 x 16mm, 10 x 9.5mm, 15 x 8mm, 8 x super 8

Thanks this year to BBC Hands on History who helped fund HMD London and of course massive thanks to the venue, the fantastic Cinema Museum and to Martin Humphries and Ronald Grant for being such excellent hosts. The cake stall once more did a roaring trade and we all looked spiffy in the Cinema Museum’s collection of usher uniforms. Thanks also to the BFI for donating some DVDs and IMAX tickets for bingo prizes, and to the Cinema Museum, who donated tickets for their upcoming special events.

Lisa and the Cinema Museum organised two great special screenings. In the morning, Phyllis Calvert’s grandson, Thomas Dyton, presented a compilation of her home movies in the main cinema, a reprise of a previous special screening from 2009. Then in the afternoon was a special presentation of film publicist Ralph Cooper’s home movies, introduced by his daughter and other family members. This was wildly popular and sadly we had to turn people away from the main screening room due to full capacity!

Our film checkers and projectionists were nicely busy all day this year as people arrived with home movies throughout the day. The first films of the day were Hoxton in London in the 1970s and the last week at the closing down cinema in Golders Green in the 1980s, both on 16mm with sound. Then we had three 16mm films made by the cartoonist Giles and the note-taker has written for these: ‘Man playing tiny trumpet and drinking meths’. I’m sorry I missed this one. Other scenes from these films include hatching eggs and Ireland in 1958.

Other interesting films included a film found in the loft of a house by a new tenant of the Festival of Britain; my note-taker reports it showed “acrobatics and a crazy train”. Also some films of India in the 1950s, and a huge collection of films of eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain; after our film checkers checked the first few, the filmmaker went home to get some more!

A big highlight was the 8mm home movie collection of Frank Muir, from Frank Muir and Dennis Norden fame, brought by his son Jamie. First we watched a home movie of canals in the Midlands in the 50s, and no one knew it was THE Frank Muir, but then the next film was Peter Sellers in rehearsal for a BBC variety programme called ‘And So To Bentley’. Our volunteer Chris reported that the film looked like a final rehearsal for a live recording, probably at BBC Lime Grove c.1956, and it featured several sketches with Sellers, Dick Bentley and Peter Jones. This is a lost television series so this home movie is a really exciting find and a rare behind the scenes look at TV production in the 1950s. Lisa has been in touch with Jamie Muir (who is also a TV documentary producer) and hopefully he will be donating his collection to the BFI National Archive. Watch this space! The audience also enjoyed seeing a four-year-old Jamie Muir with his Dad, both in splendid bow-ties at London Zoo.

It was an extremely successful event, and a huge thank you to all the volunteers who made it happen and again to the Cinema Museum and BBC Hands on History.

A few photos can be seen here:

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