Windrose: Dorset Archive Films and Memories


 SATURDAY 22nd APRIL at 7pm


Windrose Rural Media Trust (formerly Trilith) is a west-country based charity which aims to trace, conserve and catalogue video, television, film and radio, particularly in rural areas, to retain a permanent record of the past.

Over more than 30 years it has amassed an extensive archive of material, much of which needs digitising to stabilise the material and make it accessible for future use. As a charity, Windrose has to raise all the money needed for this work.

The Historical Society has similar aims. We have for a number of years been recording and filming many older residents of the village, some of whom were born here.

Their memories and experiences are highly valued and we aim to get more people involved in this.

The Historical Society hosted a film show with Windrose in 2001, one of many similar events the latter has organised over the years. 

It is run by people who have a professional background in media work, mainly through the BBC. This year, we are extending this theme to show some short archive film, plus live interviews along the two topics of changes in agricultural practice and in village life over the last 50 years.

To give the evening a local focus, we have invited Will Best and Fred Horsington, who have long experience of farming in the valley, along with Jane Stannard, who has lived in Godmanstone for 70 years, to share some of their recollections.

The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and to share their own memories.

The films being shown are:

On the farming theme:

Winter on the Farm

A professionally made film showing winter work on a farm near Loders in West Dorset during the Second World War.

Wimborne Market in 1945

This captures a morning at a small livestock market during the dying days of the war. It also reflects the fading of tradition in rural communities.

Last Day at Sturminster Newton Market

By way of contrast, this film shows what was happening to Dorset’s markets in the 1990s. It shows the very last day of Sturminster Market and encapsulates the feelings of some of its long-term users.

The Binder

Retired farmer Jack Dimond talks about some home movies he had of an old binder that he and his father used in the 1950s. He still had the binder and so Windrose set out to film him explaining how it worked to provide some footage to go with the original films. It quickly turned out that Jack was also a natural story teller.

Village Life

Blandford Coronation Celebrations 1937

In common with many towns, Blandford staged its own celebrations around the coronation of George V1. The local cinema commissioned a film of those events.

Symondsbury Village 1930s

The result of someone taking a camera into their village and filming everyday life as it goes on. The film features local trades, school, village cricket, a shoot and a section titled ‘tea and politics.’

Bridport Railway

A journey along the Bridport to Maiden Newton branch line just before it closed in the 1970s.

Compton Martin 1940s

To Somerset for another village portrait. This film has been included because it captures everyday village life in a particularly atmospheric and touching way.

Charlie Wills

Filmed in the 1960s, this features one of Dorset’s most renowned traditional singers in his 94th year.

Tickets are now on sale from Cerne Abbas Village Stores at £7, which will include a glass of wine or soft drink.