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PHOTOGRAPHY AND HERITAGE PROJECT WINS NATIONAL LOTTERY SUPPORT

Home / News & Opportunities / Member News

Date: 07/06/2017

Catcher Media in partnership with Herefordshire Council’s Libraries, Archive and Learning and Achievement Services has received a National Lottery grant of £328,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a major new three-year project entitled: ‘Herefordshire Life Through a Lens’.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will bring the work of local photographer Derek Evans out of the archives and into the community. 

The project, from the makers of ‘Chewing The Cud: Memories from Hereford’s old livestock market’, will bring an exciting mix of films, exhibitions, heritage and training opportunities to the county.

About the archive: The extensive Derek Evans archive contains some 200,000 negatives, 729 exhibition prints and 10 daily log books. An independent report from 2009 stated it had: ‘valuable historical, social and cultural significance’. Derek was a popular and well-known figure, involved in local Liberal politics and with a great love of sport and jazz, as well as being a jobbing photo-journalist for national and regional newspapers and TV companies. He also produced award-winning photographs for magazines and international exhibitions.

Focusing on the 1950s-1980s, the project will uncover photographs, some never-before-seen, and many others unseen for over 50 years, and record oral histories on video. There will be a chance to see: nostalgic tales of hop-picking; revel in Hereford Football Club's moments of glory; take a spin around the Mayfair's risqué past; and stroll down memory lane with many rural traditions like Fownhope’s Heart of Oak annual walk. The project will also explore the Derek Evans Studio itself, which nurtured many talents and which, by covering fascinating local stories, became a treasure trove of the county’s social history.

The photographs in this archive are special - people respond warmly to them, and often recognise local people and tell their own stories about them. There is great humanity and skill in the way Derek depicted people and children, and the photographs show an era that has all but faded from view. Visitors to taster exhibitions remarked:

“This has left me hungry for more. These pictures are like a time machine, allowing us to touch the past, to breathe in and out the subjects, you can smell and hear and feel each scene when gazing into the shots – quite mesmerising.” Anonymous

"It’s heartening to see these photographs that depict so well our local heritage and being made available to the public. Derek Evans was an expert at capturing Herefordshire people and it’s only right that these same people and their descendants can have access to this archive. I think it would be marvellous to see a film about the subjects. We need to capture these stories because they will be lost for ever." Elsie Moreland, 58, Leominster.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, the project will deliver many activities including: negatives will be digitised and made available on www.herefordshirehistory.org.uk; filmed oral histories of people’s memories will be made; newly-produced heritage films and photographic exhibitions will tour the county; schools films will be created; training and volunteer opportunities; out-reach work with hard-to-reach groups and older people.

“Derek’s likes to give photographers a helping hand, and in this spirit our project will foster local talent and offer fantastic opportunities through training, paid internships and employment. We want to celebrate the recent history of the county and help people to show they really value it,” said Rick Goldsmith, Creative Director at Catcher Media.

“We’re really glad to have secured the funding, and we’re very happy to be working with lots of local organisations, like our partners and people like Creative Ageing, SHYPP, Borderlines, Flicks In The Sticks, the Hereford College of Arts. We want this to be something really special. Watch this space as there’ll be plenty of chances to get involved in the coming months! ” added Julia Goldsmith, Project Manager at Catcher.
 
Come along to the first of many out-reach events: A ‘show and tell‘ event at the Leominster Community Centre as part of this year’s Leominster Festival will offer people the chance to share their stories, look at photos and find out more about the volunteering and training opportunities (including digitising negatives, research, oral history, film-making and photography) in the project.

www.herefordshirelifethroughalens.org.uk

The project has also received funding support from Elmley Foundation, The Beaumont Trust, Wye Valley Brewery, Ledbury, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye Town Councils and our crowd-funders.