22nd April 2016
Quite apart from the nostalgic pleasures of revisiting, reviewing and reacquainting ourselves with old and older films, past times, remembered places and departed people, the social value of capturing the changes to our townscapes is becoming more and more relevant and important as the speed of inter-city change increases.
Dave Wilson’s voyage of discovery around the streets of Plymouth, in Remembrance, shows how commercial premises are rapidly changing. Canterbury’s centre, recorded in A Canterbury Tale, is undergoing its third rebuild since the destruction of the 1940’s. Even the sweet shop in Abbotts Langley has gone, no wonder a Dark Shadow was cast. Amongst all this destruction, desecration, upgrading, or urban renewal, the ordinary streets often remain. These real streets, usually ignored by planners, businesses, tourists and visitors are the heart and soul of almost all communities and they have an existing time-line from the moment of their inception and building, up until today. The Welsh cottages built well over a century ago for miners and steel workers, which are shown in Twin Town, where Swansea and Port Talbot appear. The Rugby terraces which housed the workers on the railways; Payroll only, unhappily shows a bridge and a factory: all main train lines used to pass through this midlands town. The ship builders of Liverpool where Brezhnev’s letter was written and the dock workers of east London still retain many descendants of the earlier families; Alf Garnet and the Krays amongst them; there are numerous families with unbroken occupational histories. These are the real streets and real people still live in them. They change but slowly, but change they do and these changes are often unrecorded graphically by historians.
ReelStreets is succeeding in recording many of these locations of lesser national or historic importance, and these are the often less than glamorous roads which, in many cases, go unrecorded, but with your help we are finding the obscure places where films were made, and where real people still live.
Keep these pics coming in, the site is gaining in strength and popularity, recent statistics show that we receive some 65,000 hits every DAY! Which is about 1,700 visits, with about 14,000 pages viewed EVERY DAY. So, we must be doing something right. Please help us to continue by sending in VHS tapes or DVDs, of films we haven’t got, or pulling the stills, or finding and photographing the locations or even, dare I say it, by sending in a few sovereigns.