The Movies & Memories DVD


This two-disc DVD introduces you to a collection of film clips of West Sussex seaside towns and oral histories captured during the Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Movies and Memories’ project. The DVD is no longer available to purchase, but it can be accessed in libraries and archives in the West Sussex region. Sections of the DVD can now also be viewed online via the Movies and Memories collection on the Screen Archive South East online catalogue.
DVD summary

Disc One provides a selection of highlights from over fifty oral histories that were carried out during the project.  Some are combined with archive films from the region to form new compositions.

On Disc Two original film compilations screened at reminiscence sessions during the project are available to watch in full.  These feature everyday life, work, weddings, community celebrations and wartime footage between the 1920s and 1960s.

Screen Archive South East thanks all of its donors and depositors for enabling us to undertake this community work.  The Heritage Lottery Fund provided this project with key funding and support.

Movies & Memories Project Finale

To mark the end of the 2012/2013 Heritage Lottery Funded project Movies & Memories, Screen Archive South East hosted a project finale to celebrate the work that has been achieved and to thank all the participants that have taken part over the past 12 months.

The finale was held in the Worthing Dome on Thursday 27th June 2013. Guests were invited from the four towns Shoreham-by-Sea, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and some guests travelled from even further afield across the region Southampton, Eastbourne, Worcestershire and Croydon.

Movies and Memories Project Finale

Over 90 guests attended representing all of the ways in which people were able to get involved; volunteers, day centre customers and staff,  people who had participated in reminiscence sessions, individual interviewees, representatives from local history societies, project staff and representatives from the project’s partners West Sussex Record Office and Worthing Library.

The evening was hosted by Dr Frank Gray and Elaine Sheppard, Sara Duffy and Gillian Edom plus special guest Alistair Fairley from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Compilations of archive films with oral histories that were gathered during the project were played to the audience.

Here are some responses from those attending the event:

“Stimulating, exciting, worthwhile. Pleasing that ones own unique life expereince has been preserved in a small part”

“The project was very important because it drew attention to the significant, the ordinary and the everday. I hope that the enthusiasm will lead to other smaller projects organised by groups or volunteers.”

“The whole thing was marvelous thank you”

Movies and Memories logos



Project Finale Thursday 27th June 2013

A quick reminder that next week on Thursday 27th June we are hosting the Movies & Memories project finale. We are so grateful to everyone who has participated over the past 12 months; volunteers, interviewees, day centres, history societies and editors that we wanted to find a special way to round the project up and thank you all.

So we are hosting a screening and high-tea at the beautiful Worthing Dome next Thursday evening.

If you have received an invitation but not RSVP’d yet. There is still time email Sara at

Adur Wonderland Living Maps Pop-Up Shop

Last weekend Movies & Memories got together with ‘Living Maps’ Team who were running the Adur Wonderland Pop Up shop during the annual Adur Festival.  Natalia the artist who produced  the installation has been working with local schools in Shoreham-by-Sea and had been inviting children to ‘pop’ into their shop over the last two weeks to make and design their own model houses to go into a 3D map of Shoreham. To bring the installation even further to life, we projected Movies & Memories archive compilations and oral histories gathered from Shoreham onto the 3D map. Over 250 people came and visited!


Lots of events have now taken place where we have been screening the film compilations we have made but also playing selections of the oral histories Gillian and the team of volunteers have been gathering.   On 31st January we undertook the project’s  first History workshop and screening was received with smiles, once a few initial technical issues were overcome, at the Rustington History Society earlier in February. Just under 70 loyal society members including the Chair Harry Clarke attended the event to watch and listen to a selection of oral history recordings that we have all been gathering from residents along the coast over the last 7 months.

Harry Clarke hosting the monthly Rustington Heritage Society meeting. January 31st 2013

We were pleased to also have Martin Hayes join us, who presented a workshop on how to use the Local Studies Service and access historical documents and records at Worthing Library.  Its vast collection includes 25,000 books dating back from 1614, 2,500 in 200 volumes bound pamphlets from the 1640s, 1746 newspapers and 1.5 million+ photographs and pictures, 3000 maps dating back to 1575, to name just a few..

The headline act however, was the screening of a film called ‘A Variation On A Theme’made in 1973 by Keith Ayling and the LIttlehampton & Rustington Cine Club.  Especially transferred from its unusual 9.5mm film format so that it could be screened for the first time in over 30 years to the invested audience at this event.

Unlike the majority of films in the SASE collection, that consist of footage that capture everyday life over the 20th century  ‘A Variation on a Theme’ is a short fiction film. In fact a romantic ghost story.. The film’s opening scene depicts two male cyclists zooming down a country road, and then decide to picnic in the grounds of a Manor House. Whilst one has a post lunch snooze on a bench the other decides to take a wander into the Manor. It his discovery of an old photographic album that begins the mystery… as he suddenly he finds himself a hundred years previous, dressed as an officer with his bride to be.

The whole event was a great success and we’d like to thank Harry and the society members. We were also pleased to get a news item in the local Rustington Gazette.


We’re still here with news and stories to tell!

We have been frantically busy carrying our oral histories and events – which of course is no bad thing! But it does mean we have lots to update readers with..

‘Dead Man’s Grip’ in Shoreham Port

Firstly going back to February we were lucky enough to film an interview with local and best-selling author Peter James. Peter’s crime fiction novels include Looking Good Dead, Not Dead Yet, Dead Simple and the others in the Detective Roy Grace series.

Before living in converted farm buildings on a historic site outside Lewes, Peter was brought up in Ditchling, Sussex and regularly visited Shoreham, and in fact was in fact the early inspiration for his crime scenes. When thinking back to his childhood he particularly he remembers regularly taking bike trips down to Shoreham Harbour with his father, or on his own

“My earliest memory when I was about 10 when I was allowed to go out on my own on my bike, when I lived down the Withdean Road.  I used to bike down to the sea-front  and I just loved going around the harbour. In those days you could go all around the quay.  My dad would drive, I’d sit on his lap and I’d steer the car, he was pretty brave because we were quite close tot the water.  The memory I have is the smell of it, the smell of coke and watered timber, and slate, oil and rust. Almost to me, the defining smell of Brighton was the smell of that harbor…” Peter James

Peter’s writing is greatly entrenched in the geography and history of Shoreham, “its the perfect location for villains, with all the escape routes needed – close proximity to London, Shoreham airport, the harbour to import and export and many antiques brokers to fence stolen goods” Many of his novels have been inspired by real life tales told by local Sussex police.  Including the origins of one of his most popular books ‘Dead Man’s Grip’.

Since meeting Peter who gave us a contact for Retired Sussex officers we have been following up many  leads and interviewing retired officers who have memories of the area, which will now be incorporated into our reminiscence project.

The full interview with Peter James was screened as part of the Shoreham Port Past & Future event on 26th February.


We’re really pleased to have recruited a professional film-maker and production team to produce the final dvd for the Movies & Memories project. The film company is called United Magic Film Studios, led by Jonny Brooks.  Jonny and his team are based in Worthing and have been producing ‘mini-docs’ documentaries and short films for the last few years.  Check their website out They have also been the behind-the-scenes camera crew for the Brighton Film Festival for the past two years, capturing audiences on film, as well as filming important events and Q+As with established film directors.  We are delighted to have them onboard to add a flair and fines the final dvd.

Keep your eyes peeled they may be there with their cameras at the next event you are at!


Meeting the legendary Rosemary Gowlland

Have you watched our film clips about childhood?

The first person you see in these clips is little Rosemary Gowlland, whose father went to great lengths to record Rosemary’s early life, along with other family events and activities, particularly during the Second World War.  The Gowlland Collection is now deposited with Screen Archive South East

So what happened to Rosemary?  How often we ask this question about people we have seen in film or images from long ago, but never have an answer.  On this occasion I can tell you that Rosemary is very much alive and well and living in a beautiful part of Kent with her husband Peter.  I went to visit Rosemary, Peter and Rosemary’s brother John to film and interview them for the Movies and Memories Project.  During the course of the day I discovered what an interesting and creative man their father, Geoffrey, had been.  He also had great foresight in recording all sorts of interesting details of day to day life.  For example, at the outbreak of war, he filmed the hanging up of the blackout screens, and at the end of the War, filmed their removal and burning.

Rosemary and her brother John are now very much involved in maintaining an ongoing collection of information about the Gowlland family, and many of Geoffrey’s photos can be seen on the Gowlland Family website

While I was there I took the opportunity of interviewing Rosemary’s husband Peter Milton-Thompson, who also had some fascinating stories to tell.  He is, in fact, the great great nephew of Elizabeth Fry and the descendent of a line of clergyman who led interesting lives in their own right.

I had a lovely day with them all, including the most delicious lunch.  I also came away with some excellent material to add to the project’s final DVD.

Bognor Regis 2012 final get together – all set for 2013!

Happy 2013!

In spite of having to fit in the usual many last minute preparations for Christmas at the end of 2012 some of the Bognor Regis Movies and Memories volunteers found some time to meet up at the Regis Centre for a little get together and a cup of tea.

It was a very happy occasion and quiet break from the seasonal madness.  I was really encouraged by the ongoing enthusiasm for the project and the ideas it was generating; in particular, the possibility of continuing the recording of older people’s memories in Bognor Regis into the future.  This is not always easy with a Heritage Lottery funded project, which is only able to continue for a finite period of time, but we still have 6 months in which to pursue the possibilities, perhaps by linking with another similar project, encouraging a local community group to take up the challenge, or even  setting up a completely new group to continue on a more informal basis.  Further ideas and interest would be welcome.

The group also had several suggestions of people who might be willing interviewees.  In fact, even as we spoke, various people walking past were caught in the volunteers’ ‘nets’ and recruited on the spot!

The New Year is going to be an important time for the project as we carry out many reminiscence sessions and oral history interviews.  We will also be showing examples of some of the material we have gathered so far, to demonstrate the range of fascinating memories that we are collecting.

Thanks to all the volunteers in Bognor Regis, Shoreham, Brighton, Worthing and Littlehampton.  We couldn’t do this without you!

Bognor Regis volunteer xmas tea party.  Left to right. Janet, Hilary, Phil, Mary, Sue

Bognor Regis volunteer xmas tea party. Left to right. Janet, Hilary, Phil, Mary, Sue