second take


by Anne Walker

It was in 1952 that small group of cine enthusiasts met at the suggestion of Matt Skip, I understand, with the idea of forming a cine society
The attendance must have been quite encouraging as further meetings took place at various venues, then at The Oak Room in 1953. The first public show was held at Foresters Hall, with a programme of I.A.C. films plus a newsreel of Epsom's Coronation celebrations made by members.

Several club films were made, "Five to Five" in 1954 and "Stylish Marriage" 1955 both on 9.5mm. "Take Warning" and "Rush-a Bye-Baby" were also group efforts. The 1957 16 mm film "Home and Away" involved most of the members with crew and cast turning out for weeks and weekends at a time, and including two coach trips to Brighton. Trevor White was writer and producer of this film, which was a great success
Members have produced newsreels of local events; with each cameraman (or woman) having a four-minute film to cover their chosen "news." The demolition of the Granada Cinema in 1959 and the closing of the Odeon in 1972 were both covered along with other items of local interest.
The last film which involved the whole club with most members either part of the crew or acting as "extras" was "The Outstretched Hand" (16mm) made on behalf of the Friends of Manor Hospital (1962). This was only made possible by the enthusiasm of John Kilner, who got us all interested in the film. The film was shown many times all over the country, and helped to raise much needed funds for the "Handshake Club" in Epsom.

Since then, film making has still been taking place, but mainly member’s own films, which over the years have been many and varied. Groups of members have also made short films at our summer meetings at the hall, "That's Your Lot" being one of the most successful
Most of the club productions gained awards in national competitions.
My first memory of the Epsom Cine Society is when Geoff and I, at the invitation of Matt Skipp, went along to a meeting at the Oak Room (October 1956). We were made welcome by Chairman Peter Kenny, and settled down to see a most revealing film of the love life of seals, by Professor Hewer. Nowadays this sort of film is often seen on television, but for those days was quite daring!
The Ebbisham Hall was the venue for a showing of the 1955 Ten Best competition winners, under the guidance of Ian Golding, with a team of keen helpers. An arc lamp projector was needed to cope with the long distance from projection box to screen. The films were well received by the audience, and it was altogether very successful. This show continued to be produced for a number of years, with usually a full house.
The Chairman in the early days was Lesley Froude, with President Freddie Sales, Treasurer Bert Jeans and Secretary Matt Skipp. In 1957 Frank Cole was elected Chairman and in 1961 became our President with Ian Golding and Peter Kenny as Vice Presidents.
The "Ten Best" shows continued at Ebbisham Hall until 1966, then at Ashtead in 1967. Several shows of Members' films were also put on at Ashtead, the venue for the first round of on Inter-Club competition (1967) between Epsom, Cheam, Banstead, Sutton and North Downs clubs.
Ten films were shown, which made up quite a long programme, so we "tea ladies" were only allocated 15 minutes to serve about 150 cups of tea and cakes. This competition was successful, and carried on for several years.

One of the things that has been a great asset to the club has been the various social events enjoyed over the years by members, families and friends, notably the car rallies, where we had to find various locations and make a film, in the one day, using certain "props." Some truly amazing films were produced on these rallies, with usually about
ten carloads of filmmakers dashing around the countryside. The annual Dinner Dances, organised by Frank Cole, were very poplar, right from the early days, up to the 1980's when interest in these events rather died down. The summer outing was a regular item for many years, ranging from as far away as Hatfield House, Dover Castle (in thick fog) and the Isle of Wight, as well as many places of interest nearer home. These trips produced quite a number of members' films, which were enjoyed at club meetings.
It is a pity that some of these very enjoyable occasions have stopped now, but we still enjoy our Christmas Social, a more sedate affair these days, no more "Tramps Suppers" or "Old London" evenings, with most people in fancy dress. My memory of the Tramps Supper was helping Peggy Cole cook sausages and mash for about eighty people and we even provided a small campfire for the "Tramps" to sit by. The more "unusual" parties were organised by our Chairman of 1967-70, Peter Frost also the maker of the hilarious 'Frost Report" films. It is good that our members still like to get together at Christmas for our social evening, always on enjoyable time. (I wonder how many mince pies our lady members have produced over the 40 years, and not forgetting also the many hundreds of cups of tea at our meetings?)

It is interesting, on reading the Minutes of 1953 to see that two of our present members were in at the start of E.C.S. Geoff Brookes, at that time worked as projectionist at a Dorking Cinema, and was also a 9.5 enthusiast, and Ian Golding, a keen maker of films. At the first party Geoff and I attended, at the Green Man, Ewell (1956) Ian's film “The Lost Laugh" had it's world premiere showing.
Our meetings have been held at several venues, from Epsom pubs to Kingswood House School. We used the Oak Room Ebbisham Hall and from 1966 to the present day St Mary’s Church Hall, though with meetings held for a time at Bourne Hall due to the rebuilding of the church hall following a serious fire. (Our “Tramps Party” did not cause this fire campfire I'm pleased to say)

When our Society began the popular film gauges were 9.5mm, 16 mm and Standard 8 mm. With the introduction of Super 8, endless debates took place about the superior (?) qualities over Standard 8, with identical scenes being filmed on both gauges, and shown on two screens side-by-side to compare, but I don't remember any conclusions being reached. Now, sadly Standard 8 is being faded-out, though several of us (including me) have miles of films which, hopefully, we will see from time to time, at home among other "vintage" film makers. Now, to bring our Society up to date we have included VIDEO, which is on entirely different form of film making, and has brought many changes. I hope film and video can both continue to feature at our meetings.

So many people have contributed to the success of Epsom Cine Society; it would fill pages to mention all of them. I feel special mention should be made of Julie and Peter Thompson, who worked so hard on behalf of the Society from 1975 to 1990, also Norman, our Treasurer from 1980 to 1990 and Sylvia, committee member and newsletter editor. Tony Whitworth first joined the committee in 1971, then again from 1979 to the present. Founder member Frank Cole was a good friend to all of us, and now sadly missed, as is John Kilner, surely our most successful film maker.
John was very modest, and we seldom heard about his awards in national competitions until well after the events. His film "Coral Sea" won the Daily Mail Cup, the highest award in the I.A.C. International competition, and this was one of the first, or even THE first amateur underwater film. “Flight to Bermuda” was another notable success, plus his many short films. John could always be relied upon to bring something new to members film evenings
Our President Geoff Walker was our Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer during 22 consecutive years, and Ian, our Vice President has always been of great support to our Society. Our present Chairman Diggy was Chairman in 1976-7 and from 1990, when we become a Cine and Video Society. Perhaps this is a good time to print a "Roll of Honour" of those Chairmen who, together with hard working committees have guided us through the 40 years.

Leslie Froude (3 years); Peter Kenny (2); Frank Cole (5); Geoff Walker (4); John Northcott (4), and Vice President from 1968; Peggy Cole (1); Peter Frost (3); John Kilner (1); Peter Hyde (2); Ken Collinge (2); Julie Thompson (8); Peter Thompson (1); and Diggy (2+).

To end on a more personal note, Geoff and I have spent many happy hours, and made lasting friendships through Epsom Cine Society. Our thanks are due to those enthusiasts who in 1952 founded our Society.

This history has turned out to be much longer than I intended, but reading through the old records was so interesting I got a bit carried away, and our poor old typewriter is about to collapse.

My apologies if I have left out anyone who should have been thanked for their efforts on behalf of the society, but I have tried to think of everyone.

SECOND TAKE December 1992

We came, We shot, We chomped
My Introduction to the Wonder ful World of DV!
Grandeur of the Granada
How 305 Sqaudron was made