EPSOM MOVIE MAKERS

EPSOM MOVIE MAKERS

formerly EPSOM CINE & VIDEO SOCIETY

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Proceedings were called to order and there followed a short silence as Ian Golding, a founder member of the Society and still a keen film maker at a very youthful 85, was asked to say grace before the meal. Then the buzz of conversation resumed and everybody tucked in to what proved to be a truly delicious feast, the food plentiful, very tasty and most efficiently served by attentive waitresses. Such at least was my opinion and I heard no complaints at all from those sitting around me. Full marks to the Thatched House Hotel catering team.

Hunger having been royally satisfied and thirst amply quenched with red or white wine, coffee and tea were served as a prelude to traditional after dinner speeches. I am sure that if truth were told, everybody was secretly hoping that these would not be too drawn out. The room was growing warm, everybody was replete and postprandial euphoria would soon be succeeded by somnolence – not a time to be paying close attention to long and rambling perorations.

But Diggy, resourceful as ever, had come up with another brilliant idea – a quite painless method of making everybody sit up and take notice. He got to his feet and delivered an entertaining and absorbing variation on the theme of "This is Your Life". Armed with The Big Red Book (but it has to be said, not giving a very good impression of either Eamonn Andrews or Michael Aspel), Diggy presented a potted history of the Society from its inception at the White Hart pub in Epsom in 1952 through to the present time. Mention was made along the way of moves to various venues, the Oak Rooms, Ebbisham Hall and finally St. Mary’s Church Hall, Ewell in 1965. The many advances in the development of film technology and their impact on the Society were highlighted. As always, the changes often brought controversy in their wake, but the steady and unstoppable march of progress finally resulted in 1990 in the change of the Society’s name to Epsom Cine and Video Society.

At intervals during Diggy’s presentation, former committee and club members were invited to contribute their own reminiscences. Matt Skipp, another of the founder members, and Secretary 1953-1957, gave an amusing account of the founding and very early days of the Society. Geoff Walker, Secretary 1964-1973, remembered the 1960’s, the era of wedding films, of which the Society produced a total of 111. Also recalled were the profitable annual public shows of club films in Bourne Hall. Geoff then read out a card which he had received from a former member, Nora Northcott, whose husband John had been Chairman from 1972-1973. Now 93 years of age, Nora was not too old to send her personal greetings and congratulations on this very special occasion. The lively social calendar of the Society during the 1960’s was highlighted by Peter Frost, Chairman 1968-1971, who mentioned summer outings, treasure hunts, tramps’ suppers and "Film in an Evening" events. At this point another special message of greeting and congratulation was read out, this time from Peggy Cole, Chairman 1967-68. Tony Whitworth talked technology, nostalgically holding aloft a spool of Super 8 film and later recalling the appearance of the first video cameras in the late 1980’s. Norman Bull, Treasurer 1981-1991 and Secretary 1991-1996, was the last of the five speakers and his were the most recent recollections. Norman described his work establishing the Society newsletter "Second Take", spoke of the uphill task of gradually updating of the club’s projection equipment and brought everything right up to date with mention of the setting up of the club website.

The 21st century having been reached, Diggy finally closed the Red Book and summed up very succinctly by stating that the story of the Society was a combination of change and stability. Against the ever-changing background of technical development the single constant factor had always been, and still was, the club members and their perseverance in making films.

Ian Golding, having been called upon earlier to say grace prior to the meal, was now asked to propose a closing toast to the Society. Ian made a brief speech in which he stated that in any club friendship and fellowship were more important things than the activity itself. He paid tribute to the ladies of the club and to members’ long-suffering spouses for their tolerance of an often expensive and time-consuming hobby and ended by remarking, with more than a hint of nostalgia, that the happiest days were those when there was no sophisticated equipment. A toast to the future of the Society was then proposed and all were upstanding.

The evening’s proceedings were brought to a conclusion by Chairman Ken Kendall, who rounded off with a final vote of thanks to all those whose hard work made possible the smooth day-to-day and meeting-to-meeting running of the club. I have to voice one small quibble here: I was a little surprised and sorry that two or three people were not mentioned by name at this point. Speaking rather shamefacedly as the epitome of a club "passenger", I have attended meeting after meeting where the same people are unfailingly present and on duty, tirelessly carrying out some unglamorous but necessary chore. They deserved to be named and hailed. However, I hasten to add that I suspect that any omission was merely an oversight, or indeed that I may have misheard – apologies if I did – it was getting fairly late by this time, my eyelids were drooping and my thoughts turning towards slumber.

And so a very enjoyable and successful evening came to an end. Dennis winkled the car out of its cubby hole in the car park and we sped off homewards and so to bed. It had been a memorable few hours. I had at last managed to have that long-desired snoop around within the portals of the Thatched House Hotel and, much more importantly, had learned a tremendous amount about Epsom Cine and Video Society. Its story was well worth the telling. Over the years some great characters, plus a vibrant mixture of dedication and creativity, have combined to produce an eventful history and to make the Society what it is today. Congratulations, ECVS, on fifty glorious years and here’s to the next half-century of film-making.

SECOND TAKE April 2002.

previous

PROGRAMME REVIEW
NONSUCH REVIVAL
THE MAKING OF SACRED AND PROFANE
A DAY TRIP TO CHICHESTER
SUCCESS ON A PLATE
BIAFF 2006 - A MEMBER'S VIEW
THE SURREY FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL 2005
THE FUTURE IS RED
COURT SHORTS
TIME OUT
We came, We shot, We chomped
BOB'S BASIC EDITING GUIDE
My Introduction to the Wonder ful World of DV!
Grandeur of the Granada
FILMS ARE LIKE ELEPHANTS
How 305 Sqaudron was made
THE BIG FIVE "O"
MUSIC COPYRIGHT
NORTH V SOUTH 2008
HOT CHESTNUTS
WIDER AND WIDER
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