Research work exploring amateur films of Canterbury receives award

20 October 2015

Since his first appeal to the public for amateur films of Canterbury in 2011, Tim Jones has discovered a diverse range of rare, exciting and unseen footage of the City.

Now, Tim has been presented with a John and Peggy Hayes Canterbury Award 2015 for his commitment to sharing this unseen historic footage with the local community.

For almost four years Tim, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University, has been extensively researching, archiving and screening hundreds of amateur films of Canterbury, which date back as far as the 1920s.

Research work exploring amateur films of Canterbury receives award

From left to right: The Lord Mayor of Canterbury's husband, Robert Waters, Cressida Williams, Tim Jones and The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Sally Waters

Unique footage of T.S. Eliot at the first performance of Murder in the Cathedral in 1935 and footage of a local millionaire playboy who inspired the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Count, Louis Zborowski, are archived within Tim’s collection. Many of the films record Canterbury before the destruction of the Second World War and before modernisation changed the city forever.

Tim regularly holds film screenings where the audiences are encouraged to discuss the films and share their knowledge and memories of the era.

The John and Peggy Hayes Canterbury Awards commemorate John Hayes, who was Head of History at Christ Church until his death in 1980, and his wife Peggy, who died in 2011. Peggy was a great supporter of local History and she initiated the prize in John’s memory, which is managed annually by Canterbury City Council.

Tim Jones, said: “I was thrilled to receive this award in recognition of my research work. During the past four years I have come across such interesting collections of amateur films of the area that have provided an important historical record of the city. It has been a real pleasure to share these with the local population.

“I was also pleased that Cressida Williams received one of these awards too, as she gave me much encouragement when I first started this work.”

Each year, The Lord Mayor of Canterbury presents the awards to the authors of two of the best pieces of work, focused on Canterbury, published in the year. This year, Cressida Williams, Head of the Cathedral Archives, joined Tim in receiving the award which highlighted how local organisations have collaborated to preserve the history of the City.

To celebrate the success of the project and his award Tim is holding two screenings this month to showcase the best clips from his first screenings back in 2011.

The screenings will take place on 24 and 31 October at 2pm at Canterbury Christ Church University’s North Holmes Campus. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased on the door or booked in advance by phoning 01227 782955 or bought online at All profits from ticket sales fund further research in the area and the archiving of more film footage.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With almost 18,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 95% of our UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:42:00