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Cine film offers fascinating glimpse into the past
CINE film dating from 1909 to the 1960s has been set to music for a performance exploring life in Salisbury and south Wiltshire through the last century.
Those Were The Days My Friends! uses film clips accompanied by traditional Wiltshire folk songs performed live by Amanda Boyd and narration by Trevor Bailey, who created the project.
Many of the extracts have been provided by local people who wanted to share moments in history captured by their families with a wider audience.
Footage and photographs have also been donated by Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, and this will be a rare chance to see them on the arts centre’s large screen.
The films include a visit to Warminster by George V in the year before he became king, Salisbury fair in the 1930s, the city’s market, army activity on Salisbury Plain in the 1920s, farming in Zeals almost 100 years ago and historic parades involving the Salisbury Giant.
Although it was captured on cumbersome cameras long before the digital age, Bailey has been impressed by the clarity and quality of the footage.
“This is a wonderful chance to see what life was like for people living in this area all those years ago,” he said.
“The films they made then are fantastic, and show us all sorts of things from the first cars to community occasions.
“These days we are all so busy living in the here and now that we rarely take time to look back and think about the past.
“But we are all pieces of the puzzle and we all fit into our local community.
“This is the story of the people of south Wiltshire in days gone by but it still has huge relevance and interest today.”
One of the greatest challenges for Bailey was selecting material from the large amount available.
“With some clips we use every frame while others we have had to edit,” he said. “This is a storytelling exercise. The narration, songs and music weave in and out of the films as we travel to different places.”
Bailey, who works on a wide range of media and radio projects, has produced similar shows in other parts of the country with great success.
“People are very keen on local history,” he said. “They like to have that connection with their ancestors.
They had interesting and colourful lives and these films show that.”
CDs and DVDs will be available to buy after the performance at Salisbury Arts Centre tomorrow.
* Those Were The Days My Friends! is at Salisbury Arts Centre on Friday,
September 20, at 8pm. Tickets are £10/concessions £9/members £7
Call 01722 321744 or go to salisburyartscentre.co.uk
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