Press Release

29 September 2011

Canterbury Christ Church University is appealing for people from Canterbury and the surrounding areas to search their lofts and the backs of their cupboards for old film reels that might help piece together the city's history throughout the last century.

Archive Film Clip of Canterbury, filmed by John McCallum
Archive Film Clip of Canterbury, filmed by John McCallum

Senior lecturer, Tim Jones from the Department of Media, Art and Design at the University has already collected rare footage of Canterbury dating from the 1920s – 1970s and is now hoping that residents of Canterbury will be able to add to his research.

Tim said: “We are trying to collect together as many amateur films of Kent, particularly of Canterbury and the surrounding area, before it’s too late. Film does not last forever and for it to last it needs to be stored correctly in a dry, cool, dark location which is not susceptible to wide variations of temperature. Unfortunately the most common place that people store film is in their loft.

“I’ve already come across film that is too badly damaged to be usable and I’ve also heard stories of families who have thrown their film away, which is something you should never do!”

“Instead, we want people to ensure any old footage of the local area they might have in their lofts or sheds is resurrected from the dust and brought to the University. The old films will be examined and passed onto the Screen Archive South East in order to be preserved correctly and transferred into formats that will live on for years to come.”

The collection of rare film footage, 'Canterbury on Film' will be screened to the public for the first time next month and is supported by The Reel History of Britain, part of the BBC's Hands on History project which aims to connect thousands of families with their past through film at events and activities across the UK this autumn.

A selection of never-before-seen footage, collected from the city’s film and cinematic clubs in the 1930s and 1950s, alongside clips of the high street in 1925, the ruined city in 1947 after the devastating bombing of the Second World War and the opening of Ricemans in 1962 will also be shown.

The public screening of archive film will take place on Thursday 27 October 2011, at 7.30pm in the Powell Lecture Theatre (room Pg09) at the University’s North Holmes Campus. The screening will be accompanied by a dialogue about the people who made the film, as well as the equipment they used to capture the footage.

The event has been organised by the Department of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University in partnership with the Canterbury Cathedral Archives.  It is free to attend, but booking is essential.

To book your place, contact the Cathedral Archives on 01227 865330 or by email

One of the archive films can also be viewed here:

A special drop in event for adults and children is also taking place at Canterbury Heritage Museum on Saturday 22 October, 1pm to 4pm. Canterbury in the 1960s and 70s is part of Canterbury Festival and is free for Canterbury District Residents Card Holders to attend. Visitors will have the opportunity to see rare colour footage taken by local amateur film maker, the late Douglas Gaywood, as well as see old photos and memorabilia from the time.


Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University 

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services. With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received ‘outstanding’ grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00