Video: Hundreds of old films of York like these could be lost without vital preservation work

A car near York Minster in about 1920. Still from a film in the Yorkshire Film Archive
4 Mar 2019 @ 7.58 pm
| History

There are around 300 old films about York in the Yorkshire Film Archive.

But they could be lost without preservation work.

That is why the archive, based at York St John University, is asking for residents to support a campaign to save the film heritage collections of York and create a permanent legacy for everyone to see and enjoy far into the future.

YFA director Sue Howard said:

  • Time is running out; the original collections, whether on film or video tape, are already deteriorating.

    We need to undertake vital preservation work, as well as digitising the collections so that we can make them accessible.

    We are seeking your support to help preserve our York collections.

Extraordinary record

The Great Peter bell in 1927 in another YFA film
The York collections reveal an extraordinary record of our times, from the changes in industry and employment, to the evolving landscape and architecture of the city centre and beyond.

It chronicles York’s people at work and at home, in school and at play. People turning out for royal visits and the marking of great occasions, local street parties, the market stalls and the local craftsmen all captured on film, all building into a unique visual legacy of York.

A registered charity established in 1988, the YFA has grown from a small collection of films discovered through local community programmes to one of the UK’s leading regional film archives.

The archive is committed to finding, preserving and creating access to its collections for the widest range of audiences.

Target of £10K

Micklegate in about 1920. Photograph: Yorkshire Film Archive
It’s target is to raise £10,000 by spring. Every donation helps to preserve this wonderful York collection and create a moving image legacy for future generations, to explore and enjoy.

YFA manager Graham Relton said their collections included millions of feet of film which captured the story of Yorkshire over the past 120 years. He added:

  • We do hope the people of York will feel able to support us in preserving York’s film heritage collections by donating via our Just Giving site.

    Their generosity will ensure that these astonishing films, featuring over a century of life in the city, can be revealed once again.