Celebrating the success of our North East On Film Search & Rescue campaign!

After launching last September, our Search & Rescue campaign has now generated over 800 film submissions from the public – and we’re still on the search for more!

After launching last September, our Search & Rescue campaign has now generated over 800 film submissions from the public – and we’re still on the search for more!

The Search & Rescue campaign, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is part of our North East on Film project.  As part of the project we are asking the people of the northeast - from the Borders to Teesside - to send in their forgotten film and videotape collections so that they will be preserved for future generations. 

These films provide a record of life in our region over the past one hundred and twenty years.  Our expert preservation team and facilities ensure that these windows into our past - scenes of people, places, industry and celebration can be protected, digitised and shared via our regular screening events or online.

Over the course of this project we have had films submitted from all corners of the region, with the earliest film received dating back over one hundred years. We are looking for anything and everything - be it family films of celebrations or holidays, cine club collections, street scenes, educational films, advertising collections, professional films or artist’s film and video.

Filmmaker Chris Anderson is one of the people who have donated their collections to us.  Chris documented life on the Woodhouse Close Estate in Bishop Auckland in the 1970s. His films are a loving record of the residents who lived in the area and we’re thrilled to be able to present his film of the community’s celebrations to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.  The Jubilee was a huge national event and street parties and community events were organised all over the UK.  Captured here on 8mm film, Chris’s film shows the people of Woodhouse Close having a wonderful time and will be sure to spark many memories with viewers who attended Jubilee parties in their own areas.

Chris explains why he chose to send his films to us:

“I attended North East on Film screenings in Newcastle and Hexham and seeing the wonderful footage onscreen I put two and two together. I contacted the Archive, had a cup of tea and a chat, and seeing the care and attention that would be taken I knew that I had to pass my films on.  As a filmmaker, it’s great to have a legacy and have my films protected. More importantly, it’s fantastic to have them used, and be readily available for the public to watch.”

Chris has many fond memories of the day too:

“I was a young man, aged just 16, and I volunteered to work with a lady called Jackie Dodds and a man called Dave Holder at the Council’s Family Services Unit. I was there to document all of the community events that were happening on the Woodhouse Close Estate, and I remember this day well – all the smiling faces, and jam tarts!”

Chris’ Silver Jubilee film is just one of hundreds of films that we are currently assessing and acquiring into our collections, and we are receiving more approaches from the public each week.

Chris' film can be viewed HERE.

North East on Film Delivery Manager Julie Ballands says:

“Our Search & Rescue project has proven so successful, and we’re delighted to be able to protect all of these films for the future. It’s an honour to be entrusted with the precious memories and moments of the people of the north east and each and every one we receive is incredibly important. As a charity we want to preserve as many films as possible and this fantastic project is allowing us to do just that. “


The Archive has been collecting film for over 20 years and will continue to do so. Film preservation and digitisation is an expensive process and right now due to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project, we can more easily digitise the films and videos we receive from the public.   

If any members of the public would like to talk to someone from the Archive about a film or video, they wish to submit please email nefa@tees.ac.uk or call us on
01642 384 022. 

Further information on Search & Rescue is available here

News about forthcoming North East On Film screening events can be found here