image.php-18Over the years the Isle of Wight has seen many changes, in particular the townscapes of the Island have altered beyond all recognition. Where we now shop for convenience foods once stood a thriving cattle market; a bus station was once a bomb site; and cinemas have been converted into pubs, shops, and clubs
We quickly accept all these changes and forget what our surroundings once looked like. Our children grow up imagining these buildings have always been in existence and accept them as part of their daily life. Do you remember when Newport had a Railway viaduct, or when Steam trains ran to Ventnor, and when Shanklin had a pier? Luckily for us Image Films can jog your memory and help you recall lost buildings, places, and faces of everyday Island life over the last eight decades with their collection of moving images of the Isle of Wight.




image.php-13 Before the invention of Video, and the electronic age, the enthusiastic moviemaker, who wished to capture holiday memories or special events, used cine film, which, as with video today, came in many different formats known as gauges; 35mm, 16mm, 9.5mm and 8mm. Over time thousands of reels have been taken of the Island, by holidaymakers and locals alike. Once processed they were projected in darkened rooms for family and friends perhaps once or twice a year, and then placed in a box in the attic to be forgotten until the next generation discovered them. Unable to view the film, because of the lack of suitable equipment, and the knowledge to operate it, the reels were usually consigned to the dustbin and lost forever. But now, with the help of digital technology, Image Films have been able to salvage some of this footage and rediscover forgotten scenes and events filmed on the Island by amateurs. Image Films’ collection consists of many commercially produced films, as well as many amateur gems that have not seen the light of a projector for at least sixty years. Browsing through the cans of film you can come across such diverse subjects as go-karting at Ryde airport in the 60’s, boating on the river Yar at Alverstone in 1946, Princess Flying boats in the Solent, and Crop circles at East Cowes in the 50’s. A popular subject for filming was, and still is, carnivals; and Image Films have film in their collection of Ryde in 1956, Bembridge in 1953 and Shanklin in 1960; as well as a procession at Ryde for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 which includes footage, in colour, of decorated boats on Ryde canoe lake. Image Films believe that the original makers of these movies intended for the footage to be seen and to this end are producing a series of DVD’s to bring these unique images to a wider audience.


image.php-20“Captured on Cine – Reels One to Eleven”, are out now and feature old film footage of many long gone Island scenes, including Ryde Esplanade in the 1950’s with colour footage of Steam trains on the pier and Quay Street coach park. Blackgang Chine, Flying Boats, The Queen Mary Hedge as well as Seaview Pier and Bembridge are all featured. Also shots of the Arch Rock in Freshwater Bay before it collapsed into the sea in 1992. These DVDs are not just a collection of old films of the Island but also show the same scenes as they are today and provide a record of recent changes to the Island landscape. Image Films have filmed around Newport for “Every Week Come Tuesday – Captured on Cine – Reel Two” and they have recently unearthed a series of films, produced by an amateur moviemaker, Mr Frank Mellanby, that provides the bulk of this DVD. Mr Mellanby was the proprietor of Nicholson’s, a photographic chemist on Ryde Esplanade, and also a member of the local cine society, serving as chairman until his death in 1973. Due to his involvement with the photographic trade Mr Mellanby was able to purchase and use the best cine equipment available at the time. This has resulted in some top quality colour film of Newport in the 1950’s and, in particular, the weekly Beast Market held in South street, the site now occupied by the supermarket chain Morrisons. The main interest in this film is for vehicle spotters. Some of the registration numbers shown include 028 DL, LDL 872, and NDL 196. These vehicles carry such names as H.W.Lockhart Ltd, C.Penn and Sons, and W.A. Corney. Where are these vehicles now? Rusting away in some backyard perhaps? Image Films would like to know, so that they can film them for future past and present sequences.
image.php-21Do you have any cans of film gathering dust in the attic? Image Films is always interested in viewing these collections as you never know what could turn up. Family films can be transferred to DVD, with music and titles added if required. Contact Image Films now, you never know, your film could feature in a future edition of “Captured on Cine”.  Contact Us