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Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - North West: Monday 23rd October, 2002

THE ALEXANDER ARCHIVE

Marjorie Alexander with a cine camera
Footage © BBC. With thanks to Valley Stream Studios
MARJORIE ALEXANDER
MEMORABLE MOMENTS
FILM SET
GARDEN ANTICS
BIRTHDAY PARTY
SNOWBALL FIGHT
  REALPLAYER REQUIRED

Hitler at Nuremberg, King George V at Liverpoolís Sefton Park, the Queen and Prince Philip in New Zealand - itís incredible to believe that all this was shot by just one woman on a cine camera more than 80 years ago.

Social tapestry

After the death of her fiancé in the First World War, Marjorie Alexander bought a Kodak cine camera and continued filming throughout her life.

Born and raised in Heswall, Wirral, Marjorie led a privileged life that took her and her camera all over the world.

Now, for the first time ever, the BBC have exclusive rights to broadcast her amazing footage. As a whole, it forms a rich social tapestry, spanning four generations.

Voyage of discovery

Cine camera
ALEXANDER ARCHIVE PHOTO GALLERY

This unique collection was nearly lost forever. After years spent forgotten in an attic, the entire collection including the camera and projector almost ended up in car boot sale.

Thankfully, film collector Steve Bate rescued the archive and embarked upon a voyage of discovery as he watched footage spanning back as far as the 1920s.

Long forgotten era

The quality of the footage is of an amazing standard when you consider the fact that this was a hand held camera without a tripod.

The camera needed to be wound up which gave enough power to shoot only 29 seconds of film each time.

What began as a hobby, became a lifetime's work and now provides an extraordinary insight into life in the North West in an era long forgotten.

See also ...

On the rest of the web
Wirral History
Wirral Archives
North West Cine Clubs
Heswall Film Society
Museum of Liverpool Life

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