Video: Film makers preserve life and times of Burnley

Recording the life and times of Burnley in moving pictures has been going on in an organised way for over 80 years.


And those involved in the current club are keen to make sure that it goes on for at least as long again.

Members of Burnley Cine Club making a road safety film in the late 1950s

Members of Burnley Cine Club making a road safety film in the late 1950s

From royal visits to scarecrow festivals, from mass public events to road safety films and from road races to maypole dancing the keen cameramen (and women) have charted it all.

Burnley Film Makers has been known by a variety of names over the decades.

Early movie-making in town was done by a group called the Burnley Amateur Cine Association in the 1930s.

Then, in the early 1950s, a group of local businessmen got together to form the Burnley Cine Club.

Filming runners in the annual Burnley 10k road race

Filming runners in the annual Burnley 10k road race

Weekly meetings through the winter months were complemented by outdoor excursions through the summer to film a variety of topics.

“Home” to the club has been a succession of church halls and schools until it found its current base in Higham Village Hall.

Members show their films to peers at those meetings and segments are cleaned for a newsreel each year.

And to take the captured footage out to a wider audience, and see what like-minded movie-makers from other parts of the country are producing, a film festival has been staged each year since 1975, its current home being the Burnley Youth Theatre.

The early days of the club in the 1950s

The early days of the club in the 1950s

Originally shooting in 16mm film and then 8mm and Super 8, the advent of the video age in the 1970s brought about a change in the club’s name to the Burnley Cine and Video Society. This was subsequently changed to the Burnley Camcorder Group and, since 2009, Burnley Film Makers.

Many of the current members have been associated with the group for five or so decades and are keen to share the expertise with anyone interested in taking up the hobby.

As chairman Carl Stredder explains: “Because of mobile phones everyone now walks around with a movie camera in their pocket.

“Many of the films they shoot are really good, but the knowledge of how to edit them is something a little bit different.

“The equipment is not necessarily expensive and we have lots of members who are happy to help with filming and editing techniques.

“Nobody needs to make a firm commitment, but anyone interested is more than welcome to come and see us and see what we are all about.”

Club secretary Keith Widdup added: “As a group we are always on the lookout for interesting things to film.

“If people are having public events which they would like saving for posterity we are more than happy to go along and because there are a group of us we can bring along more than one camera so that a film is not just from one fixed point.

“Joining a group of moviemakers such as ours is the best way of getting advice, assistance and formal instruction in all aspects of our absorbing hobby.

“No prior experience is required and new recruits are particularly welcome.”

The winter series of weekly meetings starts on Wednesday at Higham Village Hall.

Meetings, covering a variety of topics, are held each week until the spring.

More details can be found by visiting the website at www.burnleyfilmmakers.co.uk