Story of village life told in archive film
Last updated at 15:36, Monday, 24 October 2011
HOLLYWOOD came to Kirkby at the weekend as the Beckside Rooms hosted a six-hour rolling programme of unique films about rural life and crafts more than 60 years ago.
Charles Rowntree of the History of Kirkby Group was projectionist as around 30 people at a time enjoyed seeing relatives at work in a blacksmith’s shop and at the slate quarries.
The movies were made by Burnley educational film maker Sam Hanna either side of the Second World War and have been preserved as part of a the North West Film Archive based in Manchester.
The camera was turned on the Soutergate blacksmith John Coward whose traditional workshop is now a house.
He could be seen making and fitting horse shoes and burning iron hoop wheels on to traditional spoked cart wheels.
A peat fire expanded the metal enough to hammer it around the edge of a wooden wheel with buckets of cold beck water then used to shrink it to a tight fit.
Slate dressers at Kirkby quarries could be seen working with incredible speed and precision.
They worked sitting on the ground with the slate balanced on a hobnailed boot and trimmed with a large blade like a machete. Each one took a matter of seconds to finish.
Wagons filled with finished slates were then loaded into wagons and sent slowly down the steep slope on rails to incline foot where they went on weighbridge ready to be sent away by road or rail.
While locals and visitors waited their turn for the films, there was an extensive local exhibition to see.
It included a series of then and now pictures based on old postcards and new views by a Kirkby Photography Club which meets in the Burlington pub at Kirkby.
Three pieces of antique church silver were on display including a collection plate donated by sea captain Richard Kirkby in 1698.
It is inscribed “taken from ye French who had plundered Carthagena in New Spaine”.
One of the displays gave brief details about the Kirkby railway crash of 1939 which involved two excursion trains and left 30 people injured.
You can find out more about how villagers came to the rescue of the passengers on Monday’s Memories Page.
You can have a look at some of the Sam Hanna vintage films on the North West Film Archive website at www.mmu.ac.uk
First published at 10:37, Saturday, 18 June 2011
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
More Kirkby news
- South Cumbria girl gets first in line for thrills on dream holiday of a lifetime
- South Cumbria windfarm’s towering turbines are too intrusive says campaign group (6 comments)
- Two vehicle car crash on Cumbria A595
- South Cumbria A595 campaign takes new twist (1 comment)
- Lollipop lady to retire after 17 years of keeping Cumbria children safe
- Kirkby Gala
- Kirbky pupils set out risks of ‘dangerous’ road
- Cumbria youngsters get the ball rolling to learn sporting skills
- Public will get chance to have say on Kirkby moor windfarm revamp
- Social media crimes in Cumbria on the increase
- A595 wagon hell looms for Furness residents (6 comments)
- Much-loved Cumbria councillor was a “true gent”
- A595 in Cumbria to be closed for roadworks (1 comment)
- ‘Worst floods I’ve seen in 12 years’ - Kirkby resident
- Heavy rain set to hit Cumbria today
- Kirkby community nets £17,700 to build multi-use sports area
- Cumbria train line reopens - short delays (1 comment)
- More than 350 homes left without power near Ulverston
- Cumbria residents say they will fight to get nightmare section of A595 upgraded (3 comments)
- Cumbria village broadband nightmare is finally over for residents
- Inspirational Ulverston girl Alice Pyne’s gran shows how to raise money in style
- Cumbria A595 road safety summit called (1 comment)
- MP welcomes fuel price cut in South Cumbria village (2 comments)
- Safety fears prompt calls for A595 Cumbria works (4 comments)
- Kirkby residents hail Cumbria MP’s broadband crusade (2 comments)