A Moving (Picture) Story

This is more of a story than a photo post, so for those of you who like the occasional read – read on! For those of you who like good photography, perhaps have a look at some earlier posts??!

The “green hut” above dates from the 1920’s ex-army. It sits just outside the town centre in Wimborne, Dorset. I’ve spent hours and hours inside – let me explain…………. I once wrote about how aged 7, I’d taken over the family point and shoot, and built a darkroom, you can read that story here. By the time I was 13 I had progressed to movies and super 8, and had joined my local club. Then called “The Weymouth Cine Club”. A few of years later I had joined the “Wimborne Cine Club” who met in the hut above, every Friday night – September to May. Inside it was like a small preview cinema, raked cinema seating, motorised curtains, lights, a projection box – in short a gem.

For a teenager it was a bit like entering an old peoples home, at any of the film related things I attended I was always the youngest there! It didn’t bother me, and I met some wonderful people. I learned a great deal from some, and made a few life long friends. My films improved, the equipment got better, especially after I started to earn a wage. Eventually video came in, and as it’s popularity grew, super 8’s declined. I believe I was the last person actively using film in the club, 2001 ish! We had competitions, speakers, outings, social’s – it was a great club, full of enthusiastic people.

At one point I got a bit more serious with video, and for a short time had my own little production company, that eventually got amalgamed with a company called Printfax Ltd. I made promo films, documentaries and the odd wedding video, when I had to!! To a degree that killed my interest in making films. It all got too serious with deadlines, and money! At the same time my “passion” for film was waning, my mother was getting very ill with cancer, eventually to pass away. This was a massive loss to all the family, not least my father, and it seemed to push him further down the dementia path. We looked after him at home, until the end. During all that, movies and clubs, and sadly even some of my friends, due to me, seemed to fade into the distance. Getting back to the story of the hut – my visits became more and more infrequent until one un-known visit turned out to be my last.

Just this last week, I had to go into the centre of Wimborne to a street I didn’t know. I googled and it turned out to be right next door to the “hut”. As I hovered over the google earth view the link for the old club popped up and I clicked. I was greeted with: “It is with regret that the Wimborne Movie Makers has closed its doors forever, after 51 years of activity”.

To say I was gobsmacked wouldn’t quite cover it. I have to admit I was up-set. It had been a special part of my life for so long, that I had sort of assumed that it would be there forever! This discovery prompted me to look further, and (here’s a mouthful) to the “Southern Counties Region of the Institute of Armature Cinematographer’s” website, SoCo for short. I was once on the committee, they are an umbrella organisation, – should you wish you can read the full story of the “Hut and Club” and see inside here! Just scroll down a bit!

When I thought about it, my passion for film-making is actually still there, a little light is still on! I have intentions, although nothing ever seems to come of them! I brought a 4K camcorder a few years back, but there are only “2 minutes on the clock”. I guess I thought that one day, when time permitted, I’d get back to the club, now it’s not to be, that door has literally closed, and I’m sad about it. To add insult to injury, in the process of surfing I’ve also discovered that my original club, Weymouth is having a “meeting the discuss whether to still have meetings”. It seems that, younger generations are perhaps not as social? Have mobile phones made people less able to “talk to real people face to face”? Despite the mega advances in video technology has “making a proper film/video” become a thing of the past? If either is true it’s sad.

The real kicker is that I discovered all this exactly one week after the doors shut for good. Had I have known this I would have gone the previous Friday, just one last time, to say goodbye.

I guess the moral is: Whatever you enjoy doing, and whoever you enjoy doing it with, take a moment to enjoy it and appreciate it – one day it might not be there!!!

Wimborne Minster Cine and Video Club AKA Wimborne Movie Makers – Thank you.

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