Archives-based community project captures memories of life on the South coast.
Compilations of archive films with oral histories gathered during the Movies and Memories - West Sussex Seaside Towns on Film project were screened at the finale recently held at Worthing's Dome cinema.
The finale marked the end of the exciting, year-long Screen Archive South East (SASE) Heritage Lottery Funded project and celebrated the work and achievements of those involved. Over 90 guests attended and included residents from the four towns involved in the project: Shoreham-by-Sea, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis. Project participants included volunteers, day-centre customers and staff, people who had participated in reminiscence sessions, individual interviewees, representatives from local history societies, project staff and representatives from the project's partners West Sussex Record Office and Worthing Library.
The evening was hosted by Frank Gray and Elaine Sheppard, Gillian Edom and Sara Duffy, plus special guest Alistair Fairley from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Heritage Lottery Fund granted SASE £42,800 to lead the community history project in the seaside towns. Taking the theme of Movies and Memories, the project used archive film as a catalyst to discover, share and celebrate the memories and histories of the people in the region.
SASE preserves unique film material that captures many aspects of life, work and communities in the South East across the 20th century. The project made use of a fascinating collection of locally-made films of everyday life in West Sussex, from the 1930s to the 1960s, including; home movies, local newsreels and cine society films, many of which had never been made available to the public before.
The Movies and Memories project staged a series of events and activities using SASE's collection to stimulate memories, stories and oral histories. The project focussed on the older generation who have a strong connection with the region's past and whose memories are at risk of disappearing if not shared and recorded.
The project created a partnership with organisations for the elderly in Worthing and the West Sussex coast and a close collaboration with the West Sussex Record Office and the West Sussex Library Service.
SASE will combine the newly uncovered histories and memories of these seaside towns with the archive films to create a unique DVD, to be shared with community groups, local schools and libraries as a permanent legacy of the project.
For further information, please contact Screen Archive South East.