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Our film shown at the Phoenix in Exeter

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our film was shown at the Phoenix in Exeter on 27th March as part of a Community Equality Disability Action event. Below is the feedback they sent us.

The audience was really impressed by your film and it got us all thinking about local history and how important it is to capture our aural history before it is lost.  It has actually influenced our adult programme at CEDA, a group watched the film at the end of term and we are hoping to run a course in aural history next term!  The group have made films before but not really interviewed people so we talked about how your group were really good at asking the right questions to make the film interesting.
Thanks again for sending it to us
Best wishes
Dion Sears
Arts Development 
CEDA (Community Equality Disability Action)

I am extremely pleased with the DVD/booklet

Friday, March 21, 2008

I am writing to thank you for the DVD/booklet which you have just sent me.
I am extremely pleased with them both.  I thought the whole package was very professionally made and I was glad to be a part of the project.  The children should be especially pleased with their efforts and the staff who helped them!!
Linda Levi

special assembly to launch the DVD

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hi everyone
We had a special assembly to launch the DVD.  I gave the introduction.  Some of the people who we interviewed came to the assembly to collect a copy of the dvd.
I enjoyed interviewing the people who remembered the fire.
From Lucus and Jamie. 

we launched our DVD

On March 4th we launched our DVD about the Weymouth Pavilion at a special assembly. Lots of people came to watch We liked doing the filming and meeting lots of different people who told us about their memories of going to the shows and dances and all about the fire. 

from Bethany and  Charlotte

Speaking notes – Westfield College ‘Pavilion Past’ project event – 04.03.08

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Committee member David Sekers summed up the project along with the greater role of the HLF. He said: "The project hugely rewarding and really heart warming because it shows that every generation wants to find out about their roots and it is inspiring that the children were so interested in their heritage."

He kindly agreed to share his speaking notes below.

This unique programme - administered by the Countryside Agency, funded by HLF and with additional sponsorship from Nationwide Building Society - awarded over £22 million to more than 1,400 communities over a six and a half year period, and through an award winning website, has created a national archive of local heritage information.

Many aspects of local heritage are in a better state of repair, better understood and cherished as a result of this grant scheme and the HLF, and above all thanks to the energy and commitment of local communities.

This includes:-

Each generation cares about its roots - the places familiar to it; and so it is good to see the next generation here in Weymouth –which is about to change on all sorts of ways - exploring and recording its heritage – with such enthusiasm and inspiring results.

Congratulations to all involved.

Pavilion Past Presentation Script

Friday, September 21, 2007

Welcome to our Pavilion Past presentation. During the last 12months Class 5 from Westfield and HB5 & 6 from St Andrew’s have been working together on our Model Citizens Project. Our aim has been to record people’s memories of Weymouth Pavilion. We hoped to make links with new people and improve our communication skills. So how have we done? Well all these young people are going to tell you.

Here’s Lauren, Charlotte, Stephanie, Hannah and Aaron to tell you how we got started.

Here’s our website: www.pavilionpast.org.uk

Last year Westfield’s Class 5 and St Andrew’s HB5 designed the website. They tried out different pictures and colours. Everybody came up with a name and the classes voted for their favourite. They chose ‘Pavilion Past’

On our website you will find a diary, news, history and lots of information.

There are photos of us and photos of how the pavilion site has changed.

We have used the website to tell people what we have been doing and who we have interviewed. We have written about our visit to the Pavilion and the History Centre. There’s also a report on how Maria Greenwood interviewed me for Wessex FM

People have looked at our site and emailed us with information. We have learnt how to email information to our website. Our website is there for you to look at. We hope you enjoy reading it.

(Website group sit down)

Thank you. Our next group will tell you about the Dorset History Centre. Here’s Tommy, Hugh and George.

The Dorset History Centre is in Dorchester. Adrian Love came from the centre to work with us. He talked to us about the work he does and we had a busy morning looking at old documents and photos. We read old stories and had a go at using a quill pen and ink. The visit helped us understand what Adrian does at the Centre and how we can learn about the past.

In October we went to visit the centre. We learnt how to handle old documents and how the moisture from your hands can be really damaging to old documents. We also learnt not to use pens near them in case they get marked. We saw old newspapers which told us about the Ritz burning down and how the Pavilion was used during the War.
We compared photos which were taken in Weymouth at different times and tried to guess which year they were from.

I really enjoyed going in the strong room and seeing where all the old documents are kept. There were lots of shelves and boxes and it was quite cold. I liked looking at the pirates letter and the wax seal.

Adrian Love from the Dorset History Centre
Adrian talks about the benefits of communities investigating the past and the value of projects such as this one.

History Centre group sit down

Thank you boys. The next group will tell us a bit more about the history of the Weymouth Pavilion site. Elliott, Lewis, Bethan, Kenny and Courtney have a timeline to tell you about.

In the 1900s Weymouth became a very popular holiday resort. It needed a place for people to be entertained so the council held a competition to design a Pavilion. In 1908 the first Pavilion Theatre was opened. It was very grand and lots of concerts were held there. There was an arcade outside and a place for roller skating. The railway went right next to the Pavilion in those days and people got on boats there.

When the World War 2 started in 1939 the Pavilion was taken over by the army. All the area was fenced off and nobody was allowed near it. The Pavilion was used as a gunnery and for anti-aircraft training. All the seats were taken out and stored in the balcony. There was an anti-aircraft teaching dome which was a tent which looked liked the sky. The soldiers had dummy guns and practised shooting pictures of planes. They even had the sounds of planes to make it real. The gunners had to learn the sounds of the planes so they didn’t shoot their own spitfires.

The Pavilion was also used as a place where refugees from the Channel Islands were welcomed when they arrived in Dorset.

In 1943 the Americans came to Weymouth and the Pavilion area became known as HMS Grasshopper.

After the war the army left. The Pavilion was reopened by the Mayor. It was now called the Ritz. Hundreds of people came to see the first show. It was a colourful spectacle.

Although the Ritz had been given a makeover it was still painted every year ready for the Summer season. However on April 13th 1954 disaster struck. A painter accidentally left a blow lamp on and the woodwork began to smolder. The whole theatre was made of wood so it burnt down quickly. Fireman came from miles around but they couldn’t stop the flames. They even tried to get water from the sea. The auditorium and stage completely burnt down. Only the frontage and foyer survived. People reported seeing the smoke for miles. Children rode down to watch the scene. It was devastating. Nearly £80,000 of damage was caused.

The people had to wait until 1960 for the new Weymouth Pavilion to be built. It has changed a bit over the years. Lots of shows have taken place. This Ocean Room has been used for parties, weddings and is even used for wrestling.

History group sit down

As you have heard we have learnt so much about the Pavilion. Chris, Jamie, Jack and Joseph will now explain how we found out some of this information.

We wanted to make a DVD about Weymouth Pavilion. We asked people to share their memories with us.

It was difficult to find people to be interviewed. Some people read our website and gave us information. Only some people would let us film them. We interviewed people the Green Room. We also went to Ladymead Sheltered Housing in Portland and spoke to people there.

Today we are going to show you a short clip of our DVD. We have been editing the film and it’s been difficult to choose just 15 minutes to show you. We couldn’t show every interview so we hope some people won’t be disappointed. The final DVD will be ready to give out to schools in October.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has agreed to share their memories with us and allowed us to film them. I was very nervous being filmed and I know some of them were too. Let’s give them a round of applause.

DVD group sit down whilst we all watch the film.

I hope you enjoyed that short part of the film. As you can imagine we have all learnt a lot this year. Lily, Eloise, Poppy and Mia are now going to explain some of the things we have learnt during this project.

We have all learnt something new during this project. It hasn’t just been about the history of the Pavilion – we’ve learnt lots of new skills too. Some of these are technical skills. Some of these skills will help us with school work. Some skills will help us be better citizens in the future

We have learnt how to use a video camera to film people. We have had to remember to switch the camera and microphone on and off and set the stand up properly.

We have learnt about how a website is created and what it can be used for.

We have learnt how to handle old documents and how they are stored and used.

We have learnt how to find out about the past from books, the internet, old documents and most importantly - people

We have learnt how to listen and find out more by asking good questions. We have also learnt how to think about our answers to questions.

We have learnt how to be polite and helpful

We have learnt to be quiet and patient when people are filming.

We have learnt how to work as a team and support one another. We have learnt how to talk to different people. We have made lots of new friends - older and younger ones.

We’ve had lots of fun working together. Everyone has learnt or enjoyed something different.

Everyone comes back onto the stage and says what they have enjoyed most doing this project.

We would like to finish by saying a big thank you to the Heritage Lottery Fund who gave us a grant to carry out this project.

We would also like to thank Joe who had the idea for our project and has taught us so much. We have really enjoyed working with you Joe, it’s been great.

Thank you all for coming to listen to our presentation today, we hope you enjoyed it.

Pavilion Past Presentation at the Ocean room

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Over 240 people gathered in the Ocean room at Weymouth Pavilion, to hear children from Westfield Technology College and St Andrews gave a presentation about the Pavilion Past project, they have been working on. The children explained how they started the project in September 2006 with producing a website. Both schools then worked with the Dorset History Centre and found out about what an historian is and how to record history. The next group then explained a timeline of Weymouth Pavilion over the last 100 years. Following this a short extract of the film they have made was shown. Ending up with the children talking about the skills they have learnt doing this project.


Karen Bidwell, Inclusion Co-ordinator at Westfield Technology College, said: "This project has brought the two schools closer together in the first of, I hope, many projects. I think it has developed the children's lives in many ways. It shows how schools can benefit by working together."


Joe Stevens paid tribute to everyone who took part: "I'd like to thank the teachers and the teaching assistants from both schools, in particular Karen Bidwell, who has put in so much work to this project. Plus I'd like to thank all the participants who stepped forward and shared their memories with us, and especially those who agreed to be filmed. And importantly the children for all their concentration and hard work, they have been brilliant. It has been great fun working with both Westfield Technology College and St Andrews schools on this project."


The Mayor then came on stage, congratulating the children, saying how much he had enjoyed the presentation and how impressed he was with the work. He then presented them all with certificates in recognition of their work.  


The general feedback afterwards was tremendous, with one audience member Graham Light, and interviewee in the film, remarking how "the film was excellent, really well done, congratulations." Linda Levi, another interviewee in the film, said, "what a great show, it was clear to see that you all worked so hard to get the presentation together, you should be very proud of yourselves. Thanks, for allowing me to share my memories." While Councilor Legg congratulated us on an excellent piece of work, saying, "even I learnt something new about the Pavilion."

The Local Heritage Initiative is about communities investigating, promoting and celebrating their local heritage and showing how people, schools and other groups can come together and raise awareness of heritage through local action. To find out more about the Local Heritage Initiative, go to www.lhi.org.uk.
Nerys Watts, South West Regional Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund said "This is yet another example of what the younger generation can achieve given the opportunity, and how the exploration of their heritage has enabled these young people to develop a greater sense of identity, and an appreciation of the diversity and breadth of their heritage, which they are sharing with a wider audience."
We will be producing the final DVD in October; so will still be working on this project till then. If you know of anyone who would like to contribute please ask them to get in contact, 

final performance at Weymouth pavilion

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We are now preparing for the children's final performance where they will feedback to you their findings and talk about their experience in doing this project. This will be held at Weymouth pavilion on July the 18th from 1-3pm. If you would like to attend please get in touch and we will male sure you get a seat. 

We will send out a detailed programme later. At the moment we envisage that  the children will talk for 20 min and then we will show you some edited highlights from our film for 20min, followed by Q&A session. We are arranging for a photo gallery that will run along one side of the Ocean room, that will feature some of the photos from http://www.pavilionpast.org.uk/photos.html 

if you are interested in attending please get in touch.