SAM HANNA'S FILM
|Sam and his precious camera
One genius Burnley film-maker has left an extraordinary
record of life in the North West, spanning over 60 years.
Inside out discovers why Sam Hanna is hailed
the Lowry of Film.
Born in 1903 in Burnley, Sam Hannaís lifelong love affair
with film began in the 1920s when he bought a cine camera.
His first attempts recorded his family at work, rest
and play - often on Blackpool Pleasure Beach. But Samís treasure trove
of memories is far richer than that.
|"This medium was far better than chalk and
|Sam Hanna on film as an educational tool
Wherever he went in Burnley the camera went with him.
The results are a fascinating journey back in time. He filmed everything
from the master craftsman of the North West to royal visits to poignant
|Watch some of Samís footageÖ
Burnley FC v Manchester United, just 18 months
before the Munich air disaster.
The last of the traditional craftsmen who worked
in the North West.
The Hanna family at work, rest and play on
Sam talks about the role of his films in education.
Footage and stills © Bob Hanna.
Sam soon realised his precious camera could be a vital
aid to education.
Sam said in an interview before he died in 1996, "I
got a Pathe 9.5 camera and saw the great potential use in education."
But his early efforts didnít endear him to education
bosses. He said, "In
those days, film wasn't used in education. They thought I was entertaining
and not teaching." But Sam lived long enough
to see that he was right, and that film is a valuable teaching resource.
Mike Townend, Keeper of History at Burnley Museum says,
"Nowadays, people would show these films. Even today, in classes,
to get an idea of what life was like in the town. But at that time, teaching
was very rigid."
Sam would spend hours ensuring he filmed the last of
the few traditional craftsmen who worked in the North West.
His first job at 12 years old was at a cotton mill.
Before becoming a film maker, Sam was a furniture
maker and a teacher.
He was introduced to the Queen and Prince Charles
during their visits to Burnley.
The Queen Street Industrial Museum's Lecture Theatre
is named after him.
Sam was married to his wife Edith for over 60 years.
These craftsmen included thatchers, cloggers, charcoal
makers and barrel makers.
Many of those skills have long since died out, but can
be relived thanks to Samís efforts to ensure they were recorded for posterity.
In the days before video, a forward thinking management
team at Burnley Football Club asked Sam to film their game against Manchester
United, so they could analyse their mistakes.
It was one of the most remarkable and poignant pieces
of footage ever shot by Sam Hanna.
Half of the United team filmed playing with Busby Babe
legends like Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, Geoff Bent, and Billy Whelan,
would all die just 18 months later in the Munich air disaster.
|The Hanna projector
is promoted via posters
Although Sam died in 1996, the magic of his films lives
Burnley recently honoured the 100th anniversary of Samís
birth. His cameras are now displayed in the local
Towneley Hall Museum.
Mike Townend says, "Samís left us a massive legacy."
"You can read things in books, you can listen to
people talking about their history, but to actually see it on film, it's
very, very important."