Day one of National Storytelling Week and I want to share this beautiful film with you: A life at the Mill is a film by artist and filmmaker Jeanie Finlay.
In the words of Jeanie Finlay, A life at the Mill is “a collection of video portraits of ten mill workers, past and present, living in and around the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire. The film details the important role that work played in their lives, how it felt; to clean a mill, to work all your life, to face retirement, to shut a mill down and make hundreds unemployed and the hole that was left behind.”
Do watch, it’s a lovely film and really captures the love, working conditions, friendships, happiness and sadness of a life at the mill. A real honour to see and hear people speaking about their lives – storytelling at its very best. I used to live in Derbyshire so know the mills well, but never heard the stories told so well.
My mum used to work as a seamstress, and in lots of different factories in and around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and Ireland, and my dad worked at Stanton Ironworks. Would have loved to have captured them on film talking about their lives.
Mill workers: Doug Waldren, Lawrence Leatherland, Audrey Ankers, Brian Fleay, John Mumby, Mary Bowes, Peter Hodgkinson, Linda Coton, Kitty Weston, Dennis and Barbara Basford, and Tony Bowker.
Visit The Derwent Valley Mills for more information on the mills and visiting the area
A Life at the Mill by Fleet Arts and Glimmer Films. Filmed and directed by Jeanie Finlay, artist and filmmaker. A Heritage Lottery funded project, with additional funding from Derwent Valley Mills Partnership, Derbyshire Country Council, and Derby City Council. Managed by Fleet Arts.
Images: Jeanie Finley