Stories From The Hill 12: The Warden

 In Stories from the Hill

I have finally bitten the bullet and upgraded my trusted 12 year old Sony EX1 to a new 4K video camera for my live events work. There is a steep learning curve to ascend over the coming weeks but it has been made sweeter by the fact that the Sony Z 190 came courtesy of AFC Helston FC, with whom I will be working over the coming year. I tried the 25x G Lens out in Truro City’s home fixture against Concorde Rangers on Saturday last, which was abandoned 14 minutes from the end. Some of my footage made the local ITV News. For those who are footballers way, it can be viewed on my Piran Films You Tube Channel.


At the other end of the spectrum, I recently purchased an Elmo K-1000 SM 8mm cine projector off E-Bay. It covers both the Super 8 and Standard 8 gauges. Why on earth would I make such a purchase? Well I have many spools of cine films from the 1970s and 80s that I shot and had no means of accessing and then digitising them. They are, incidentally, of a higher image quality than the VHS tapes that I also have had converted. 

I expect you will be able to appreciate my joy when I threaded up a 50’ spool (that is 3 minutes and 45 seconds of footage) and began to see images of some of my former KHS pupils taking part in an extra curricular activity. I was blown away. It was shot in the 1980-81 academic year, just after I left the Hill. I am guessing that it was Malcolm Brecht, from my Thursday afternoon ~Film Makers’ Club who was the cameraman and forwarded it to me. I had forgotten all about it until recently and you’ll have a chance to see the edited highlights in the video “The Warden.


It strikes me that there may be those reading this blog who have not seen the cine film that I made during my time at the school, and with which I was reunited only a couple of years ago. This is my digitised version:





It is conceivable that there are alumni and former staff members who have in their possession spools of film of your time at Kingham Hill School which have not seen the light of day for decades. If you would like to forward them to Nanci or to me, I would be happy to check them out and get them digitised. Video might be a bit more of a challenge unless it is mini DV. Though I have a contact in Newquay who would be able to access VHS tapes for me, so forward them if you so wish.

In today’s video you will not only see the Super 8 footage but also some VHS video that the school got converted to an MP.4 file for me, and some iPhone footage. There’s nothing better than excellent B roll to spice up a Life Story on Video. Well there is, and that is having superb A roll where the interviewee is a great story teller. We have both for you in what will be the first of probably two videos I will make of the former Warden and ex colleague of mine, David Shepherd. It was a great pleasure spending an hour reminiscing with David last month after morning chapel. He was on top form and waxed lyrical about some of the colourful characters on the Hill during his time as Head of English, Bradford House Master and School Warden. I know that you are going to enjoy watching it. 


So what are your memories of John and Flora Essame, the Rev. Bob Shepton,  Bob Herringshaw, Jim Wooliams et al?  Did you take part in the annual School Play?  Did you happen to be on the Hill  at the time of the Rohilla Tragedy in 1959? 







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