Canterbury University appeals for old film footage

A Canterbury university has been appealing to local people to search their lofts for old film footage of the city.

Staff at Canterbury Christ Church University want to collect amateur films of Kent, particularly of Canterbury and the surrounding area.

It is hoped the films will provide information about the city's history during the past century.

Senior lecturer Tim Jones said film needed to be stored correctly.

He said: "Film does not last forever. 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."

Image caption Staff from the Canterbury Christ Church University are concerned old film will be lost forever

Preserving history

Mr Jones, who is from the Department of Media, Art and Design at the university, has already collected rare footage of Canterbury dating from the 1920s to the 1970s and is hoping that residents of Canterbury will be able to add to his research.

Mr Jones said: "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 on to the Screen Archive South East in order to be preserved correctly and transferred into formats that will live on for years to come."

A collection of rare film footage, called Canterbury on Film, will be screened to the public for the first time in October at the university campus.

The screening will include a selection footage collected from the city's film and cinematic clubs in the 1930s and 1950s, plus clips of the High Street in 1925.

People will also be able to see footage of the ruined city in 1947 after the devastating bombing of World War II.

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