Film focuses on 20th century life in Mansfield

Performance of Past Lives at the Assembly Hall, Bolsover
Performance of Past Lives at the Assembly Hall, Bolsover

Home movies have been used to create a new film which will be premiered in Mansfield.

Old cine films showing residents at work and at play have been contributed to an initiative designed to preserve the area’s history.

Contributions include Malcolm Appleby’s film showing the staff of the Granada Cinema on the roof of the cinema looking over Mansfield which is dated from 1960.

Black and white footage of Mansfield town centre in the 1950s was submitted by Keith Morris.

And Dennis White’s cine film shows the last day of the steam winder at Bentinck colliery from around 1980.

The Past Lives Project encourages the public to be creatively engaged with heritage and the arts through the preservation of their films.

Dave Sturt, from Freefall Arts, who spearheaded the initiative, said: “The beauty of working with home movie footage is that it reflects real people’s lives. Most of these films have only been shown a couple of times at family gatherings and then were put away in lofts or cupboards.

“We are able to get the films digitised and professionally edited to produce a unique view of life in the Mansfield area over the 20th century and so provide a lasting legacy.”

A soundtrack is composed and performed by young musicians from the area alongside Past Lives players Dave Sturt and saxophonist Theo Travis and strings from Sinfonia Viva. Dave said: “We are working with the Performing Arts Centre at Brunt’s Academy to develop the soundtrack.”

The music will be performed at a showing of the film in Mansfield Palace Theatre on February 7, at 2.30pm. There will also be a screening of the original Past Lives film created three years ago from home movie contributions from the whole of the Midlands.

Dave said: “After the concert we will hold a legacy day when we will show material that we have collected and have the DVD of the film and soundtrack available.”

The Past Lives project is funded by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund and is touring the Midlands. It has been to Bolsover, Ironbridge and Nottingham and, after Mansfield, will be going to Derby, Buxton, Ilkeston and South Holland.

Dave said: “We hold open days to encourage people to get involved and to bring along old film and old photos. All the material we collect will be put online in our archive for all to see.”

Tickets for Past Lives cost £8, £6 (concessions), £4 (child). Contact 01623 633133 or