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Southend-on-Sea screens 'Bata-ville: We Are Not Afraid of The Future'

We're thrilled when our first film gets a big screen outing !

As part of Focal Point Gallery's splendid show, 'The Peculiar People', Bata-ville screens in Southend Film Festival at 2pm on Saturday May 21st.

Details can be found here...

Vintage Bata awning from Maryport, at Eastside Projects in Birmingham

Bata-ville at Eastside Projects in Birmingham

The nice folk at Eastside Projects sent us this picture of our Bata vintage shop awning as it was hung in The Birmingham Show, which comes down today.

Looks small but that's warehouse shows for you :-)

Maryport Bata factory
date unknown...

Maryport pathos

Frank Zappa sang ' I come from nowhere, and you should go there, just try it for a while. Cos the people from nowhere always smile'.
I have a weakness for nowhere places, as does Nina - we're from there, and for us they are truly somewhere.
Recently posted on the beguiling YouTube site are two archive films featuring our beloved Maryport, one of the 'nowhere' towns featured in our first film ''Bata-ville'. Apparently it was made in 1979 by Thames TV and according to the site its 170 minutes long, which makes me think it must have been a series....
Making the film (just a few years ago but still pre-YouTube!) we were stumped for good archive of the former Bata shoe factory on the outskirts of town and sourced this one aerial photo which appears in the film. It seems so odd now that noone we came into contact with mentioned this film (by - I think - Ray Gosling), assuming it was broadcast that is.
In the first instalment online the sense of a disappointed and downtrodden town which we experienced decades later is pervasive, a talking head even dates the ennui back to the times of Napoleon! Working now in nearby Egremont from time to time, I come into contact a lot with the "Why on earth would you want to do something up here?' line from locals, which funnily enough was the case in West Cumbria in the 70's - when in the film, the presenter comments on the number of locals who have asked him why they're bothering to film Maryport!
I think this might be a clue to why the film was never mentioned to us during our research - the local mindset is so fixed in its belief that noone's interested that the film has been edited out of the collective consciousness - because it refutes that.
As new bits go online I hope to catch a frame or two of the old Bata factory, the shop, or even some of our Bata bus passengers, though if I do I will be just a little sad we didn't source this in time for our film....

You can look at the films here and type in 'Maryport Archive'...