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The Projectionist's House - January 2019

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mookster

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I was tipped off about this house by a friend of mine who discovered it after all the undergrowth that had buried it for years was cut back in preparation for development of the land. There are planning notices up on the edge of the property and new fencing up around it so it likely won't be long until the building is demolished and land built on, although it's amazing that the house itself is still standing.

I spent most of the time in here trying not to fall through the floors, there is loads of stuff in the house but the floors are some of the worst I've seen for ages and most of the clutter is rapidly disappearing into the void under the house. The attic was filled with film and video-related equipment but again I spent much of my time up there in the cramped space trying not to fall through the large gaps in the floor!

It's obviously been empty for decades but was a great little find that isn't long for this world. I could have spent longer poking around but we had other places to be and I felt at any moment I might go crashing through into the basement myself so in the interests of personal safety decided a short shoot was best...

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The large black box contained a rolled up vintage projection screen and stand, way too big to get out or even try to move.

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With the house now exposed and visible to everyone I can see it's demise coming even quicker sadly, so I'm glad I managed to see it.

Thanks for looking :)
 

BikinGlynn

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That’s pretty excellent, I suppose it’s best as many people do get to see this as poss before the bulldozers come!
 

Hugh Jorgan

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A nice find. Probably the previous owner did cine film for locals, maybe there was a few reels lying around under that muck.
 

Sabtr

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Oh gosh I had real flash backs with this one. OK story time..

I left school to work at Ashington Colliery in Northumberland. We had a whole day of safety lectures - it was far easier for the instructors to plonk us into a room with film projectors and let us watch (it was mostly eye injuries..). That done, they also unboxed more footage. These reels - hundreds of them, probably thousands plus old B&W photos - showed the mine and underground. The real thing and not staged. These were the Ashington Colliery Group of Mines films and bloody special. I was engrossed. We only got to see a few bits including some showing our instructors as they were as teenagers like we were.
Long story short the mine closed and was flattened. Those films and photos? I heard that they were thrown down a shaft just outside the building where we were shown them. Seems some were quite flammable and no-one wanted the hassle of storing them. Yup unique priceless documentation of mines which made what became the largest mining town in the world and thrown down a shaft. I sometimes weep when thinking about it..

What I'm saying is (I know - our lives could be different) if I was down there I'd be harassing the developer to get your hands on stuff. Heck (about to be ticked off here) I'd probably lose a few reels in my rucksack. We all know fine well that no-one will care about those reels of film but they will be unique and damned special. It appears that the ex=resident was part of a cine club. That tells me they'll have done their own footage and not just bought films to watch.
Forget the machinery (nice Land Rover BTW)and try to rescue some footage. It might be cr*p but hey at least you'll know.

* Spank me - I mentioned borrowing artifacts.

Some damned interesting stuff there. Why do we have nothing like that up here??
 

Dirus_Strictus

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Sausage,

Old Nitrate film stock is highly dangerous and soon decays into an explosive mess - even when stored under good conditions. Transferring images onto safety film and then destroying the old unstable film is the only way to save the images. Transferred thousands of feet during my working days. If you want more on this 'find', follow the Braintree Cine Club link. Actually the equipment is typical of the era, when the monied amateur was trying to add sound to their home movies. Home movies never interested me; my working tool was the B&W Full Plate still image and this transferred over into my personal photographic preferences.
 

Sabtr

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Yeah some would have been just that - the older burny stuff. Still annoys me that they wanted to bury the past as soon as possible with the collieries.
The actual bloke who shot the Ashington Combine images and film is who I'd describe as my hero in the photography world - literally, in more ways than one, in at the deep end. Some of his work survived with his last set of images being the development of a new mine - Longhirst Drift.
 

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