Film ID:
YFA 3654

PETER AND KATE HOLROYD INTERVIEW

2007

Visitor Tabs

Description

Interview with Peter and Kate Holroyd
Transcription compiled 24/04/2008

Interviewees: Peter Holroyd and Kate Holroyd
Interview Date: November 22, 2007
Location: Yorkshire Film Archiv, York.
Length: Approximately 65 Minutes

Approach to Transcription
This transcript is not a verbatim transcription but has been edited to establish a more flowing and understandable prose. There has been no addition to the material, all editing has been either grammatical, or to omit inconsequential or unintelligible sections.

START OF INTERVIEW

INTERVIEWER: if I can just ask a few questions about yourselves for biographical background. Uh, where you are from to start with. Just very simple stuff.
PETER HOLROYD: Well, I'm Halifax born and bred, and I-- some of my early recollections linked to this, apart from still photography where I did a little bit of contact printing when I was ten or eleven years old probably--probably a bit older, early teens--. I do remember probably a bit earlier getting a battery, it was a like a cycle battery thing, which had a lens at the front and you could just put, Mickey Mouse type cartoons through it, and it just projected onto a wall you know. That was basically a toy.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah.
PETER HOLROYD: That's my earliest recollection from that angle, and so it was always a sort of a--. There was something there in the background. A bit later on, I know times had changed, I mean were talking about what late fifties now, but times have changed--. But I did do some art school training whereby (there was no)--, there was some still photography, but there was nothing like filmmaking or media or anything like that it was totally unheard of. Somewhere along the line by the time I was about twenty I got a cine camera, an eight millimetre cine camera, which I still have the receipt for which cost round about twenty one, twenty two pounds. So were talking about late 50s (late), no early 60s now, and then from that I continued as an amateur although I-- I'd become involved in another area, forgetting the arts side because I went into sound if you like, more into the audio side as opposed to the visual side. So professionally I was--, I was involved in an audio side recording, oh anything funnily enough from weddings to church organs to GCE music examinations, things for education and (the like). So I have a very diversified area Mark, in-- in audio visual.
INTERVIEWER: Sure.
PETER HOLROYD: But, that has been my professional life, if you like, without at this point going into any more depth (on the) professional side. But the amateur side--, was shortly after I bought that first cine camera I went on a holiday, and went to Germany, and instead of just taking a reel of film and getting it processed and putting it away in a cupboard I started to cut it and edit it. I was able to buy--with my fathers help, my mother and fathers help--a standard 8 cine projector which had a tape link up, an audio link, so you were able to synchronise your tape with it. So from that I was taking pictures and I was also taking tape recordings. I can't--. (I) didn't that particular year, but a year or two later I certainly took a portable tape recorder with me, and started to put soundtracks on which (not) included music and voiceover but included sound effects which were actually made on site if you like, location recording. So as a hobby, cinematography, and If you like video, has been with me and probably will stay with me for the rest of my life.
INTERVIEWER: Same Question to Kate.
KATE HOLROYD: I was born and bred totally in Halifax, which was answering the question, and then twelve months ago--well we're obviously married--and twelve months ago we moved to Bridlington. Out of the rat race into retirement which is great, and I suppose to answer-- carry on, my father was in cine form about nineteen fifty I would say, and he would've joined the cine club in the 50s. So I grew up with cine in my life as well, from my father's--, my parent's point of view (and) my husbands.

INTERVIEWER: Could you just tell me about some of the practical difficulties of making cine film, and how the practice effects what you eventually produce. What are your thoughts on that?
PETER HOLROYD: Well, I mean the practical side was in those days it was extremely hard to put on a soundtrack. Something that was in synchronisation from whatever length the film lasted was very difficult--
KATE HOLROYD: --But you just shot your film didn't you. You just took shots and then once you got your film back after processing then you'd start and put them together to tell the story.
PETER HOLROYD: You would. Probably, I mean thinking back, you would look at the stuff when it came back from processing, which was round about seven days sort of turn around--from box fourteen Hemmel Hempsted. I can even remember that, Kodak. In a little yellow envelope--whether it was, I mean we're talking about 8 millimetre now. You then put it through a little viewer and hopefully with the rest of the fifty foot reels that came back you could (fit)-- you could get together a little story out of it, and think in your own head a beginning and a middle and an end. You would then put it on paper and then--. I mean, in the years (went) by in a sense the name story board came into it, (and you in) effect were storyboarding it. You were putting the film--, listing what you'd shot and putting it in a story form in writing before you sat down and started to cut it to pieces. Unlike today where you've got video tape, and nobody cuts video tape. They did in the very early days, and it always had a glitch in it. But with 8 millimetre film or 16 millimetre film for that matter, you had to cut it and cement it together, and that was one of the--(not) shall we say problems (because) you could detect it if it was a bad splice you could detect it--, (that wasn't)--. I mean, about one and a half frames or something was overlapped--. You couldn't--well no it wouldn't because you could butt splice it but--. You--. If it was a bad splice you could--, you could see it. So that was a problem. Sound was a problem. Putting--. Getting a door to slam in synchronisation was an achievement, you know, and things like that. So, you know, those were some of the problems that arose. As I said you've got to wait Mark, what seven days for it to come back, and then it--. You viewed it, probably with a bit of excitement. But it was best not to then play around with it because it was what they call green and--, you know, wait a day or two so that it didn't scratch. That was another problem. It--. As probably you are aware form looking at early movie films they do tend to tramline, you get lines down them you know, and it's just that. They can scratch very easily so that's another thing that was a problem. Alright?

INTERVIEWER: Yeah that was excellent thank you. Just a more general question, what for you (was is) the purpose of amateur film? Why did you personally make films?
PETER HOLROYD: Good point. I--. It was a hobby. It was something that you could--. After you'd put the whole thing together and looked at it on a five-foot screen, it was an achievement. It was--, (it was) an expensive hobby for a young person to do. But, it was just an achievement to see an end product on the screen.
KATE HOLROYD: And did you buy your first camera when you were going to America?
PETER HOLROYD: No--
KATE HOLROYD: --You had it before (then)?
PETER HOLROYD: --Yeah. The first camera was when I went to I went to Germany in '60, '63 it was.
KATE HOLROYD: So it was really, it was a way of reflecting, or of (take)--, remembering holidays--
INTERVIEWER: Sure.
PETER HOLROYD: --Yeah. Yeah?
KATE HOLROYD: --Wasn't it? And places you'd been to see (because) in those days you really made holiday films, rather than story films didn't you, to begin with.
PETER HOLROYD: I mean, I know it's possibly difficult for--, younger person to understand (if that's)--. But there was no such thing as colour television, and the only colour you could see was movie film or stills, if you like, and it was an excitement of that. I mean some of my early just general shots was of my cousins wedding, round about again it would be about nineteen sixty three. At their twenty fifth wedding anniversary. I put it onto video for them and, it sounds incredible but they'd never seen--, not only had they not seen movie film of the wedding, but they never seen anything in colour, all their still wedding photographs were in black and white.
INTERVIEWER: That's incredible.
PETER HOLROYD: You know, and this is nineteen sixty three so (you)--. There was--. I know we're slightly digressing, but there was all that side of it, of--, being able to see things, take things-- and as I say--, as Kate's just said, particularly on holiday when (you've) just that two weeks either you were working of (you well) whatever-- and two weeks holidays. Whereby--. Digressing a little bit further, in Halifax, well generally in northern towns, you've got what they call (Wakes) week which was purely a week when virtually the town closed down, (you know), and virtually everybody went away. And then it became two weeks, we--, so subsequently these two weeks were your holiday, your annual holidays, and I just chose movie film as a way to express those thoughts, or impressions, reminiscences. Call it what you may.

INTERVIEWER: Excellent, if can we just move on to talk about the cine club more specifically. Just tell me a little bit about how you first became involved with the club.
PETER HOLROYD: Well I I didn't join till round about sixty, early--, yes sixty seven it would have be when I joined. I found it, a little bit disconcerting if you like. Because--, I think this is a general theme even today with cine stroke video clubs, when people see things on screen which, shall we say, the more experienced members of the club [produced] and thinking ooh ill never get like that. But you know, that did come together and I went to a few meetings and then I remembered--, I couldn't--it's just a, it's just a coincidence?it's all, it's coming back a little now, but Kate's father was secretary and he he'd gone round the week before and said is there anybody that wants to show a film next week, and (well) I said I have a film I've made on holiday if you have time, and I showed it, at the--. I showed it the following week and they were so impressed that they wanted it for the public show. I mean it's unheard of probably today, but a public show, on that occasion--probably round about nineteen sixty seven--.you got two three hundred people there, and you were showing a picture, what, not--. Equivalent of round about five foot, five six foot, to an audience of that size, and it was an achievement. And there was more experienced filmmakers showing film, and that particular film was on Spain, holiday film made because I'd been a youth. Holidays which were less expensive and, you went with young people you know, your sort of age group, and there were people making-- showing films who were more experienced than me but by this time from the standard 8 I'd moved up to super 8, which had only just come out and when I wanted a better camera. The picture quality on the screen was probably more--. Well it was more impressive, not necessarily the techniques of--, but the quality on screen looked good and it did actually win me me fist competition. You know, so--, I suppose you get-- you achieve something, and you just roll on from there and you just want to get better and more experience and you get involved in--. We got involved in team filmmaking--. Within the club you'd produce--. Three or four of you'd get together in three or four teams we'll say, and you'd make a film to a given subject or given articles. You know. I don't know, anything could have been put into the hat in those days. You--. It was (well) friendly competition, if you like. But it was--to come right back to the holiday aspect which started the ball rolling--and again to bring it right home, the same thing applied to C.C. Thomas. It was holiday films that, you know, he concentrated on.

INTERVIEWER: Just the same question again to Kate (really), how you became involved with the club?
KATE HOLROYD: Well I became involved with the club really through my father, because he joined in the 1950's and he had 16 millimetre and I remember--. I mean, we used to have it--. I have a sister and we used to hate holidays for the fact that we used to have to carry half his stuff when we went anywhere. (I mean we didn't)--, holidays were lovely but we were always traipsing. Mum had something, Lesley and I had something, we all had to carry. We were never allowed to carry his camera of course, but I remember going to--. They always had a summer outing for families which was always a lovely day out and we always--at Christmas probably, January I suppose--there was always a Christmas party for families and we just played games and obviously had something to eat and it was a really good atmosphere, and I think as it got--. I suppose once dad got into it and he was secretary we used to have--. They used to have the committee meetings, I suppose they'd have them monthly, and they used to go to each others home and have the meetings there so they were formal but in an informal setting. And there was always supper put on and they--. I always remember them as being really pleasant, you know. There was never any backbiting that I could remember and bickering, but then I started going occasionally with me father as I got older to the meetings on a weekly basis and certainly when I learnt to drive I borrowed his car so I had to drop him off and pick him up if I wanted to use it, and I used to go in at the tail end and see the films. But it was always very well attended, always. They did a really good thriving club.
PETER HOLROYD: It was an--, social occasion really--
KATE HOLROYD: Yes it was, it always was social even on the weekly meetings wasn't it, and if they had anybody new they would help them. If anybody had a problem, you know, they would say well--, they would discuss it and try and help them wouldn't they.
PETER HOLROYD: Yeah. I mean there was, you know, thinking of individuals. The people who were involved were--. I mean, if we go back further in time forgetting the cine club for the moment, the only people that could afford movie cameras were the middle class of the 30s you know upwards. Particularly on the 16 millimetre side which was more expensive to run, they tended to be, what shall we call (them), the gentlemen concerned I mean? I could think of names, which would be meaningless for this but--. Charlie Thomas. Yeah, lets quote him as we're thinking about (it) him. I mean he was the managing director of a machine tool company and there was several personalities who did movie making in the club who were quite well to do, quite well healed gentlemen and could afford to do it. In some ways I regard it in some of them who brought probably, into the club, the likes of rotary ideas. I mean we'll go back to the diners, the dinners were quite formal. They're nowhere near that these days but I mean the actual social occasion of the dinner whereby it was black tie--
KATE HOLROYD: --Evening dress wasn't it--
PETER HOLROYD: Evening dress, and the top table which was the president and his wife and guests, guest speaker and wife or whatever, they would be clapped in, and on, you know, quite a formal thing--, and there would certainly be a master of ceremonies with gavel bringing the place to order, 'gentlemen you may now smoke', which is totally unheard of now of course. But the dinners and the social occasions we were referring to that started up before my time. (We) went through for quite a long time whereby we had, as Kate was saying earlier, there was the annual dinner, a dance, and then there was (a) Christmas party which was more informal and that was generally at some Masonic lodge or somewhere like that. And then there as the club outing which then is in the archives, a reel of film round about half an hour about the outings that the club used to go on you know in the coach. (We used) to go to the dales (didn't we)--
KATE HOLROYD: Hum?
PETER HOLROYD: --For a day, and so it was quite a social occasion. And then you've got from the other angle, I mean I remember in the late 60s early 70s the film festivals. The northern area film festival for amateur film making was in York and the people would come and stay overnight and--, or you could be a day visitor to the film festival, and that was another social occasion when generally the film makers themselves would have a day out and go for a meal at lunch time (and)--. So I--. So as we say, as an all round thing, you didn't just meet on a Monday evening and then go home and forget about it till the following Monday. There was committee meetings and so on. The club as I understand it, our attendance, well not attendance but membership, averaged about fifty for quite a long time and there was one point when it was ninety, plus life members, plus junior members, and it just got to the state where the room wasn't big enough. But of course they didn't all turn up at once--(and the) majority (of) course--you've got partners involved so you could half it as far as filmmakers were involved easily. But there was I would say round about 1975 shall we say, no a bit earlier probably about--. Yeah, early 70s shall we say, there was a--. Throughout the country club[s] were springing up everywhere for film making, long before the name video came into the dictionary--and so it's become--. Well, although I'm living what 80 miles away now I'm still--. I've been to 1 meeting this autumn. I have joined another club, but of course it's now video anyway. But I'm still very much, and probably will stay for the rest of my life, with the club, with the Halifax club. It's gone through its ups and downs in recent times, membership has dwindled, bit its picked up a little, but again--, not as many--. I mean it was left to a certain group to make films, a lot of people used to come so that they could watch pictures you know. But it's just been a way of life and I mean--, I'm sure if Charlie Thomas was sitting here now he'd just say the same thing. The amount of people that he became lifelong friends with, you know, through the cine club.
INTERVIEWER: Excellent. If I could just develop something you said earlier about the actual showing of the films. You said there were public screenings but how else were films shown? Could you just develop on that a bit more?
PETER HOLROYD: What, the actual public showing of?
INTERVIEWER: --Screening of members films.
PETER HOLROYD: Yeah. I mean you'd have meetings throughout the year, whereby you would invite members to show their own little epics right, and form that would be chosen to put on public show. At one point for a number of years I remember there was two shows a year, one for 16mm and one for standard 8 and super 8. Well attended. One night only. A balanced programme was put together with a, you know--. A programme (was) sort of issued and it was advertised in the local press. It might--. In the earlier days it used to be at the Alexandria hall which is now part of the Halifax Building Society premises--. And the fun of setting it up was another story because, you know, if you were lucky enough to have a film shown at the public show you might just present the films to the projectionist stroke sound people who would have set it all up and one thing and another. Public shows went on for a number of years. Another thing, going back, there used to show what we'd call then ten best which were the national ten best amateur films made in the country sponsored by -i-a-c-, that the institute of amateur cinematography, or the film making magazines, people like that who would do this and you'd get a star rating--, and the ten best--. We did have one make a--, around about 1965 actually made or--, made two that did become ten best winners--. So there was a programme of ten best shown to the public. Well advertised in the local press and one thing and another. (But) the outcome of it was that they stopped doing it because people were tending to say, 'well we much prefer the homely type, domestic film pictures, holidays'. Because bearing in mind they'd seen no colour television, films like Charlie Thomas' on screen to say a ten best winner which may be a bit avant-garde which, I mean the language wasn't as choice a it is today but the subject area might be a bit different, and abstract type film making might just win a ten best. So there was, you know, the idea of having films every year that the club had actually made, I mean I've said that, (but) in a way wrongly because I (will have) referred to films that are individually made which were shown but, also team films were also put on the screen on the big screen if you like for the public to see. Alright?
INTERVIEWER: Thank you very much--
KATE HOLROYD: They were chosen weren't they, because you used to take them with you--. You'd used to work towards a competition didn't you--, work towards a competition, and I suppose the best ones were then chosen to go into the public show. But not just--, there were not just holiday films because the used to do a scrap book of Halifax, of what had happened the years before, which obviously people liked to see and the (you've)--. There used to be little short films that were comedies and stuff like that that members had made, so they used to vary it didn't they?
PETER HOLROYD: Yeah, I mean there was silverware to be won in competition, for documentary, for holiday, and I cant remember--. Short, short film competition, it had to be under ten minutes. So those were shown--, which were supposedly the best films that the club had made that year. ( ) Competitions were held, and generally you had to go on a Sunday, you just went in with your film and it was shown and the judges were from outside. It could be form clubs in what, Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, who would come and judge the competition and give you, what shall we call it, a debriefing--, a critique of what they thought was wrong with your film. So that's how a club show would come together. From my side of it, it turned round a little bit because we, in the early 80s, we had--. I had this idea because with so much archive film--and just as we said earlier nostalgia brings people in these days--and I suggested we showed an entire evening of nostalgia, and the Halifax press got a hold of this, sponsored it and gave not only a little bit of the Courier but gave us half a page and we sold out within five minutes. We put it on the following night (as it was) sold out yet again and it went on. We had to--. We couldn't book the hall and then we (tried ) to have another stint at it whereby--, old movie films--and bearing in mind we were showing to even bigger audiences. I don't know three, four hundred I would think, and it all had to be 16 millimetre. Again video was unheard of, transferring onto video projection was unheard of, so it had to be the actual cine-projector. So you were--. You couldn't really show standard 8 to such big audiences, but club members who--. Earlier club members who had made films of the town or events took on a whole new role, and subsequently those have now ended up here, but that was a huge success and they had one earlier this year which I wasn't involved with at the playhouse theatre, and that took on a similar role, and we've just been talking about Huddersfield. They're doing--. They started in '32 1932 and they've got their 75th anniversary if my maths are right this week and the are not showing any films that have been made recently it's all nostalgic films. So in some ways to put it into a nutshell, as far as shows are concerned I mean you--. It was an ambition to be able to show your pictures not only to the club members, but to the public and it was a big event, if you like, within the club calendar was the annual public show. Alright?
INTERVIEWER: Thank you. If we could just move on now to talk about Charlie Thomas himself, (and just) briefly how each of you knew him if that's all right. Maybe, starting with Kate.
KATE HOLROYD: Well I only really knew him through my parents and didn't know him very well, but he was always there and always very nice, him and his wife Margaret, and they just--. Well know--. I didn't really know him very well. They were really friends with mum and dad, but they were just there. I really cant say anything. I probably know Margaret better now becuase he was really tied up with the cine club and I was a child you see.

[Pause in interview as Peter shows some newspaper clippings about Charles Thomas and show programmes of the Halifax Cine Club]

PETER HOLROYD: I met him [in the] mid 60's for the first time. He was the managing director of a machine tool company Stanley Machine Tool company which his father started you know way way back, and he--very similar to the story I just related to you. He picked up a still camera in the 1930s and his friend--and again we're talking something a little bit over the top (for the), you know, for the modern thinking because it'd be extremely expensive--but his friend was going to Singapore, and this is mid 1930's, and he bought himself a 16 millimetre camera and Charlie Thomas was taken by this idea and he initially started from a Kodak camera, still camera, and invested in a standard 8. But by 1939 he'd moved into 16 millimetre. He was--I can only say, I won't pick my words--he was a genius. Although he had the business to consider, he loved the technical side and i'm led to believe he was one of the first people to build an audio tape recorder in the country. It appears that he--, he'd read some article--presumably this was shortly after the war, round about 46 47--some technical journal--and bearing in mind at work he was involved with lathes, precision type lathes for engineering--but he sat down and built himself from bits an open-reel tape recorder. His problem was apparently getting recording tape for it and if my memory serves me right he managed from somewhere or other to get himself a couple of hundred feet of tape and it went very fast through the machine in those days and he could get himself three minutes recording onto the tape, that was his maximum recording time. So he was quite a--, he was quite a genius in doing things. He also--. One other little interesting story was he had several 16 millimetre projectors in the 40s and 50s. (Well) of course in those days they were silent anyway. You could get optical projectors but he had a silent projector. One of the things he wanted to do was increase the output of the lamp. In some of his old stories he tells about how he managed to increase the lamp output, he--. -g-c-e- in America were producing a new transformer, a huge thing which incidentally I still have, a very big thing, and in the states they designed this light and he contacted Siemens whose projector it was and they said, 'oh you'll have to buy a new Siemens projector', and the price was 1200 pounds. Now were going back, probably early 50s, and he thought, 'well I'm gonna have a transformer and I'm gonna build my own', and subsequently he got onto -g-c-e- in America because these parts were not available in the UK and (with no) way of getting it into the country. But he smuggled it in--. His agent for Stanley Machine Tool company In America was sending some parts back to the UK and this transformer was at the bottom of a box. Subsequently he managed to get terrific light output on his projector thereby getting pictures which were oh 5 10 times greater size on a screen. He built the whole thing, and I've got some of the bits and pieces that he did it with. But he was a genius in that side. I mean he talks--he used to talk--about the cine club probably just like we do now. I mean, I don't know if you've seen any of the film of him with his house he built? He had a house built in 1955 and this house had to have a cinema and so into the--, into the loft, which used to go quite a bit. He'd built right across the house a cinema, and he had a workshop at the back and of it and about a third of the way down there was a projection booth, and then there was he actual cinema itself with chairs set at strategic points with ash trays and a screen at the front with curtains and two quad electrostatic loud speakers one either side. It was hooked up to a hi-fi, and we'd be talking about the days of valve, transistors hadn't arrived at this time, and from his little booth he could entertain, press a button and then lights would dim (and) the curtains would come back and (at the) back end of the place was his workshop where if you've seen any of his microscope films that he made under the microscope he used to do them (there) and things like that. He was a very very clever man and he put some of it down in writing (as far as) I could remember, but Margaret his wife, who funnily enough were going to see on Friday. Last time we were with her was about 6 months ago wasn't it? She still lives at the same house and she will be now round about 93 94 or something--
KATE HOLROYD: --Yeah.
PETER HOLROYD: A very very nice lady. Charlie was president of the cine club on two occasions. He was not only that he was also president of rotary. He did quite a bit of work for charity, which was another thing the club, from time to time, got involved with. Some if it quite a lot of it before my time but it used to make films for charity--
KATE HOLROYD: --Cheshire Homes wasn't it, Cheshire Homes?
PETER HOLROYD: --Not Cheshire Homes, it was--. It was one or two organisations it made films for and of course it went out and it--. Club members did--, and we went out and did shows as volunteers for organisations and so he used to do a lot of that as well, fundraising if you like for the club. But Margaret, I spoke to her it was yesterday wasn't it?--
KATE HOLROYD: --Hum
PETER HOLROYD: On the phone. Margaret Thomas, she lives there now and as I said she'll be 93 94, a very nice lady. Charlie died in 1999 aged ninety.

[Pause in interview as Peter talks about newspaper clipping of Charles Thomas' obituary. Interview continues with Peter reading from said obituary]

PETER HOLROYD: 'His great hobby was cine photography which led to video he was also a keen gardener and became an expert on azaleas and rhododendrons', and if you've again seen some of his film of his house and gardens you'll know what I'm talking about. So there we are that's Charlie!

INTERVIEWER: Can I just ask you about your perceptions of his films and his work, and how that--. Were they typical or unusual within the club?
PETER HOLROYD: I mean he was probably a leader because of his equipment and he had his facility upstairs to be able to do things for the club, and probably holiday films. Although as I say, a lot of people would come in to it to do holiday film, (they) came into the club because they were wanting to make holiday film--probably didn't really-- you know. But in that sense, everybody wanted to make a film like Charlie and there was a trend in the, probably in the 60s and 70s, to make as long a film as possible, you know to compete with Charlie Thomas. I mean as you know you've been though some of them. They last a very long time. But because of his--. I do know he did go to elocution lessons so he was very articulate, and he was very musical, musical in the sense that he could listen. Tragically as he got older he ended up with a deaf aid in each ear, but he loved music. Classical music chosen by him plus his voice over, his commentary, which influenced so many others within a small unit--the club as opposed to a I--I mean--. I cant remember -c-c- Thomas making a film that was purely for competition. There is a trend now, and there has been for some years, you make a film for a competition, but he just made a film of his holiday and I mean he would take a tripod with him on holiday--, and if you've held a 16 millimetre movie camera as Kate's father was you know, a 16mm movie camera is very very heavy and to cart one of those around with you on holiday and a tripod, you know, is--and bearing in mind unlike a video camera where you just put the tape in and you just set it running for an hour. Round about four minutes maximum in the camera, so he had to take his film with him, his new stock of film. So, you know, we've gone sideways but yes holiday films--. He influenced so many--, probably so many people in the club and he really enjoyed going out and showing them and people followed within the club and did a similar thing so he had a great influence. He had a great influence on running the club, if you like. He wasn't in any way authoritarian. He would just be--, would give an evening whereby possibly only a little bit of film was shown because it would be of a technical nature, on the technical side of exposure and stops and one thing or another. That's against--. Referring back to that, if the club had a technical evening the attendance went down, (you know), because they were not seeing pictures on the screen. But he did give technical evenings and he would go judging at other clubs. But I mean, he had if you like--. He was a mentor to me and I used to very much enjoy going up to his--. There was another gentlemen, I'm digressing now, who was not as creative but--. He was called Reg Tams. He was not as creative as Charlie, and he used to work on super 8 movie film but he died a few years ago in his 80s. He was a character but when you went up to his house, and he had a little theatre which he'd made form a converted bedroom, his wife would say 'ah go up and look at him he's in his kennel', you know!

[Pause in interview as Peter talks newspaper cuttings and presents some to Interviewer]

INTERVIEWER: As a close, do you still make films?
PETER HOLROYD: Yes. Yeah, I mean I've moved obviously moved from Halifax now. I'm still very much involved and have just recently done an exercise whereby I was, it was a competition entry, but the idea was we were given a piece of music lasting three minutes ten seconds--, make a film to it, obviously in video not movie film. I could have done it on movie film, I still have all the tackle to do it with. ( ) There was some years ago, and it is some years ago, a gentlemen who made a film not in the club, this was nationally. And he bought a cine camera?so it is a few years ago?and he paid ten pound for it and won a competition, it won a national competition. You're working with people, within a club, who are spending a very lot of money. ( ) I mean, a friend of mine had spent thousands, thousands on film--currently on filmmaking--, but yes I'm still involved now that I've moved. I don't know whether you've seen it and in know it's on the internet--

[Interview is interrupted by Alex Southern, Head of Learning at the Yorkshire Film Archive]

PETER HOLROYD: On the internet, though here, there a thing on Charlie Thomas' films which said you'd got to be Hollywood rolled into one.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah I've read that.
PETER HOLROYD: Right, and that is true, because you've got to be interested in music, you've got to be in interested in photography, you've got to be interested in lighting, you've got to be an absolute all-rounder. You're doing this all on your own. Ok, there may be a team involved if it is a group film, but you're Hollywood rolled into one.

[Interview paused, informal and unrelated conversation begins]

PETER HOLROYD: He was very keen on music. In the eulogy move film was referred to, you know, that he'd made all this film over the years and it was his hobby and so on. In fact the obituary tells you a lot

END OF INTERVIEW