As part of our exploration of Hillfields we are pleased to announce that three events will take place at Urban Coffee Company. These events are a chance to discuss Hillfields and contribute to our research into the visions that have shaped Hillfields. The format is to watch a film or presentation and to record comments during a discussion about Coventry’s redevelopment and Hillfields’ role within this.
If you are interested in attending please contact @imagine_hill or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 21st August – 4pm to 7pm
Film 1: A City Reborn (1945) scripted by Dylan Thomas (22 minutes)
Scripted by poet Dylan Thomas, this affecting docu-drama recalls the incendiary bombing of Coventry on 14 November 1940. The film focusses on reconstruction and morale: we see the city’s rebirth through the eyes of a young local couple planning for their future, and an engineer interested in the new housing drive. This is one of several 1940s films introducing cinemagoers to the good old ‘prefab’.
Though the city’s industrial infrastructure was a key wartime target, the ultimate casualty was its beautiful medieval centre, and most famously the Cathedral, which were almost totally destroyed. This and other raids cost the lives of over 1,200 civilians. So symbolic was the destruction that Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels boasted about plans to “Coventrate” other cities.
Film 2: Learning for Leisure (1973) BBC Education (26 minutes)
During the Community Development Project era (1970 – 1975) the BBC recorded the community development work of Paul Skelton, Mel Cairns and Richard ‘Slim’ Hallett as they help the HRS Residents Association (Hartlepool, Redcar and Stockton Roads) have their area of Hillfields declared a General Improvement Area rather than a clearance area. This film focuses on how the residents association learned new skills from the CDP team, including producing a report presented to the council.
Film 3: A Coventry Kid Am I (1981) BBC Everyman (40 minutes)
Filmed by Peter Gordon in 1979 this Everyman film focuses on Coventry forty years after the war and their much vaunted rise from the ashes of the Blitz. Peter and his producer, not knowing much about Coventry, found themselves in Hillfields and Foleshill, interviewing newcomers to the city as they make it their new home. At the time Peter received complaints from Coventry residents who objected to how the city was portrayed but the film won wider acclaim.
Friday 28th August 4pm to 7pm
Film 4: Blazed (1995) Maverick Productions (25 minutes)
Shot using the old Sidney Stringer School and using young actors and local people, this drama tells the story of two young people from Hillfields as they contend with their options in life as they leave school.
Film 5: Champion Sound (2005) Metal Dog (30 minutes)
They brought their music and they built the sound system to play it on. A celebration and a history of Jamaican sound system, reggae music and the men who built the sounds in Coventry and especially Hillfields. From the 1950s, Jamaicans brought with them the skills and a tradition that had more influence on the British music scene than any other movement. https://vimeo.com/29317050 for trailer.