Unique opportunity to view a window on our working past

Issued: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 00:00:00 BST

A unique opportunity to view the working past is presented jointly by the Scottish Screen Archive and the Scottish Business Archive at the University of Glasgow tonight, 2 September 2003, at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

John Hume, industrial historian, presents a personal selection of films from the Scottish Screen Archive reflecting on our industrial past through the lens of both professional and amateur cinematographers. With his individual style and extensive knowledge, John will comment on historical footage shot in Scotland's workplaces, including Dundee's jute mills, Templeton's carpet factory, Macfarlane Lang's biscuit works, the Etna steel mill and the Carron iron company.

Industrial heritage is often neglected and undervalued but is vital to help interpret much of Scotland's recent past. 'The places where we spend most of our lives - at work - are so familiar that they often go unrecorded', John Hume explained. 'Yet because they are a part of our lives, and shape our social relations and the way we think, the photographic images we have of work, both moving and still, are often powerfully evocative.

They capture for us the immense creative energy involved and remind us that the ordinary of one generation is the remarkable of the next. In a world replete with labour saving devices, it is good to be reminded of the physical effort and skill which our forebears took for granted.'

This special showing starts a mini season of feature films illustrating Scotland's industrial past.

THE SHIPBUILDERS (1944) based on George Blake's eponymous novel of a Clydeside yard seen through the eyes of its owner and a riveter (9 September)

SEAWARDS THE GREAT SHIPS (1960), the Oscar winning documentary on Clyde shipbuilding (9 September).

THE BRAVE DON'T CRY (1952) a drama based on the Knockshinnoch colliery disaster and starring John Gregson, Alex Keir and Fulton Mackay (23 September).

Supporting the moving images is an exhibition of spectacular images from stills and photographs depicting filmmakers in the workplace and aspects of working life in Scotland.

'The reason for photographing the workplace was very varied', commented Lesley Richmond, University Archivist, ' recording a process, marketing a product, or portraying a company image. For whatever purpose these photographs were taken, they provide insight into past working environments.

These photographs also show the working environment of an industrial photographer's work. Their superb quality demonstrates the skill of the photographer in being able to capture lost industries, processes and places of work. Capturing such moments is vital to retaining a window on our working past.'

Images are taken from the vast business collections held by the University of Glasgow within the Scottish Business Archive and the still image collection of Scottish Screen.

This joint exhibition by Scottish Screen and the Scottish Business Archive at Glasgow University is entitled The Photographer in the Work Place: A Pictorial Record of Working Life and is part of Archive Awareness Month.

Tickets for the all the film shows on 2, 9 and 23 September are available through the GFT box office.

Admission Fee: £4.90 full price £3.50 concessions

For further details contact the Glasgow Film Theatre

Tel: 0141 332 8128

The exhibition runs from 2-25 September 2003 in the Cafe Bar of the Glasgow Film Theatre, 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB

Open: 12.00 to 22.00

Admission Fee: None

Media Relations Office (media@gla.ac.uk)


University of Glasgow contact: Lesley Richmond 0141 330 2089 email: l.richmond@archives.gla.ac.uk or contact the University Press Office on 0141 330 3535

Scottish Screen contact: Janet McBain 0141 337 7401 and email janet.mcbain@scottishscreen.com or Scottish Screen Press Officer Celia Stevenson Tel 0141 302 1722

Still and moving images are available for broadcast

The exhibition is part of events for National Archive Awareness Month. For further information on other Glasgow University Archive Services events, please contact the Duty Archivist at Glasgow University Archive Services on 0141 330 5515 or e-mail dutyarch@archives.gla.ac.uk or view http://www.archives.gla.ac.uk/AAM/default.html

For further information on National Archive Awareness Month events contact Katie Norgrove, Policy and Development Officer, National Council on Archives, Tel 0208392 5378

Email Katie.norgrove@nationalarchives.gov.uk Web site http://www.aamsept2003.com