The Kelvin Hall Campaign fundraising film was a collaborative venture, and we warmly thank everyone who contributed to it in any way.
Featured in our film, in order of first appearance, are:
© Brigitte Lacombe.
© Craig McKay.
- Mark Cousins, filmmaker
- Alan Cumming, actor
- Brian Cox, actor
- Bill Paterson, actor
- Ruth Washbrook, Moving Image and Sound Collections Manager, National Library of Scotland
- Iain Smith, film producer
- Kirsty Wark, broadcaster
- Oliver Bassi, donor
- Virginia Heath, Director, 'From Scotland With Love'
- Ian Rankin, writer
- Martin Scorsese, filmmaker (non-speaking)
Scotland's Moving Image Archive
Scotland's Moving Image Archive is moving to Glasgow's Kelvin Hall.
Mark Cousins: Access to an archive should be like access to a cinema or access to an ice cream shop. Archives are pleasure domes and places are where you go to have fun and discover and explore.
Alan Cumming: So that the idea that an archive is there for us — it's almost like to remember your dreams, you know. I think that's what it’s about. It's remembering Scotland's dreams.
Brian Cox: It's so vital and especially for us because we have such a rich and fecund history, you know.
Bill Paterson: To me it's the most exciting venture and I can't imagine a better use of the Kelvin Hall — except the circus which it was very good at. It had a great smell. (Laughs)
Ruth Washbrook: The move to the Kelvin Hall is going to be phenomenal for the archive because we'll be moving out of an industrial estate out near the airport to the city centre in the West End. We're going to have a new access centre where people will be able to drop in and watch moving images.
Kelvin Hall gives us this brilliant capacity to work with our colleagues more and to have a National Library presence in Glasgow as well. So we'll have the Moving Image Archive there, but they'll also be able to access digital content from the paper collections as well.
I think it's an investment in people's history because this new facility allows us to bring out collections for people to see. The collections are all about the people of Scotland.
BP: I cannot see it being anything other than incredibly popular. I mean people are longing for their past and we now live in a world where we take pictures every second of the day. We're deeply fascinated with the pictures and moving images that were made 50, 100 years ago.
Iain Smith: Time to time when I have a rare idle moment I like to go back in and look at things, particularly of Glasgow and particularly of the past that I can remember. It's very very surprisingly moving for me because I discovered things that I'd actually forgotten and would never have remembered had the film not been right there in front of me. And I find myself sitting in the dark with a little tear in my eye just remembering people that had long gone, which is something that we do.
Kirsty Wark: My family on my Mother's side were one of the earliest tomato growers in the Clyde Valley and they had vast amounts of houses which I remember as a child. A lot of these have disappeared now and I was making a programme about cooking. The researcher found footage of the tomato houses in the archive.
AC: This new archive has so much of life to show us and I'm just really excited about the possibilities of what I could … I can't wait actually. There's so many things that I would like to go and have a look at.
Oliver Bassi: From the 1920s onwards my Grandfather was shooting not only amateur fictional films of him and his friends but also documenting the things he saw around about him — the events and day-to-day life. And what he left behind was not only a personal record for the family, but an archive of events that would otherwise have disappeared into history.
I can't think of any other way other than collecting amateur films like that and preserving them in the archive, any other way they could be preserved for not only our generation but for future generations.
BC: From an actor's point of view it's references; it’s a very necessary resource. You know, you see people behaving in certain situations and you forget about how, you know, because one is getting on … I'm aware of things when I was a child that don't happen now. Just simply the way they do things.
RW: One of the best projects I've worked on over the years was the co-production on 'From Scotland With Love'.
Virginia Heath: We really wanted to really delve into the archive and try and find stuff that perhaps hadn't been used so commonly in films before, because I mean obviously every film that's made about Scotland that has an historical element uses archive.
[Music by King Creosote while footage is shown of seaside/beach scenes in 'From Scotland With Love']
Ian Rankin: Film is an extraordinary thing. I'm not sure I really understand it. It's a curious artefact. I just know that like everything else it's fragile. People's records of things, you know a lot of people will have thrown away their Super 8 and their 8mm stuff that they had in their old cameras in the '50s, and '60s and '70s. A lot of people throw away their old audio tapes and cassette tapes and then people started to throw away their 'VHS-es' of stuff they'd filmed because they didn’t see it as being valuable because they saw it as being ephemeral and I think what you want to do is capture the ephemeral.
KW: The Moving Image Archive is culturally hugely important, historically immediate, but most importantly for me it's an emotional connection with the past and I think we should all feel that, and if the archive helps us feel that, that'll be a wonderful thing.
MC: Once this material is safe and catalogued and made available — voila! Our children and our children's children can watch it and enjoy it. So I mean it's a no-brainer why it has to be done well and why it has to be paid for properly.
AC: It's Scottish, it's the moving image, it's about a culture and a country, it's available to everyone and it's free!
[Music plays while Martin Scorsese quote is shown]
Martin Scorsese: Moving image archives hold our common memory. And for that reason, we need to care for them, and treasure them. That is our obligation. We owe it to future generations.
And films shouldn't be locked away and neglected in a vault somewhere. They need to be protected and preserved, but they also need to be seen, studied, and enjoyed.
I enthusiastically support the efforts to develop the Scottish Moving Image Archive, and I urge you all to support this vitally important initiative.
AC: Hard cash, credit cards, cheques, postal orders, luncheon vouchers. Do they do luncheon vouchers anymore? I don't think they do, but you know — you get my drift.
Archive footage shown in the film
You will find details of the clips shown in the film in the Moving Image Archive catalogue:
- 'Kelvinhall Circus' (1962)
— Performing horses, monkeys, acrobats and trapeze artists at the Kelvinhall Circus, Glasgow. From the Mario Ford Film Collection
- 'The Smiddy at the Road to
— An account of the scenic journey past the Devil's Elbow to Braemar and the arrival of the Royal family to the Braemar Highland games.
- 'Edinburgh' (1955)
— A comprehensive tour of Edinburgh in the 1950s. © Edinburgh Cine & Video Society.
- 'Glasgow Trams' (1962)
— Trams in service in the streets of Glasgow, including interior shots and footage of the last journey of the trams. Templar Film Studios.
- 'The River Clyde' (1937)
— Following the River Clyde from its upper reaches down to the Firth.
- 'MG Car Club Spring Rally; Weekend Rally
Gymkhana at Trossachs; RSAC Scottish Rally at Oban; Concours
D'Elegance; Moorfoot' (1958-1960)
— Various MG Car Club activities from 1958-1960. © Mickel Family
- 'Bonnie Dundee' (between 1932
— A compilation of civic events and street scenes in Dundee from the 1930s to the 1950s.
- 'St Kilda — Britain's Loneliest
— A voyage from Glasgow to St Kilda, containing scenes of the Western Isles and island life of the crofters on St Kilda.