Belford Community Cinema Screening

In December 2023, we hosted a Nature Matters screening at the Belford Community Cinema in Northumberland. We headed up by train up to Berwick, which showcased the amazing coastline of the county, and although it was a day of rain it did not dampen the spirits of the screening.

A good number turned out for an evening of archive film, which was hosted in the Bell View Community Centre in the village of Belford.  The cinema put on mince pies and mulled wines for the audience, which added a nice festive touch to the proceedings. 

With each Nature Matters event we adapt some of the content so that it is location specific, and in the Belford screening we put in a number of clips of environmental films focusing on the local area. This blog gives an opportunity to highlight some of the amazing content that was screened.

The first film added to the screening was Craster Kippers, created in 1964 by filmmaker Geoffrey Willey. Based a few miles along the coast from Belford, it follows the story of Craster Kippers, a business that dates back to 1856. The film gives an insight into L. Robson and Sons' company, showing the traditional process of turning herrings into the well-known kippers straight from sea to packet. The reason for including it was to show small scale industry which is in contrast to the vast factory farming/fishing that we witness today.

Watch the full film here

Staying on the coast, we put together a small edit of films that give a survey view of the amazing wildlife and nature of the Northumberland coastline around Belford. It featured shots of people on holiday in Bamburgh, with its famous castle offering a picturesque backdrop. The edit also takes a trip over to the Farne Islands and the plentiful wildlife that inhabit them, including puffins and seals. Dating between the '60s and '70s it offers a look back at the coastline and allows for a comparison to how it looks today.

Watch one of the films featured in the edit

One of the popular sections in Nature Matters screenings is the news footage, which shows a series of environmental stories that have featured in the regional news. Here we placed two North East stories including a group of school children who were running a Save the Whale campaign in 1978 by getting their friends to sign a petition. This was followed by a piece from 2000 which featured the then annual Dipton Slug Show, where there were prizes for best in show, fastest and heaviest slug. Sadly this event appears to no longer exist! 

The final film included as part of the screening focused on the now former Caistron Nature Reserve, which was created alongside a working quarry. The short piece considered how nature and industry can co-exist and showed various forms of birdlife living alongside moving heavy machinery. It was shown in 1993 as a feature in the rural life programme Up Country.

If you are interested in future screenings, keep an eye on the Nature Matters page or get in touch if you would like to host your own screening.