North East Film Archive celebrates success of Search & Rescue campaign as hundreds of precious memories are saved

An appeal to find and preserve forgotten film and videotape collections has saved hundreds of pieces of historic footage - and the organisers want more.

By Gary Welford
Tuesday, 28 May, 2019, 11:58

The North East Film Archive launched its Search & Rescue campaign last September to preserve film and videotape footage for future generations.

The campaign, part of the North East On Film project, has generated more than 800 submissions from the public - and it's still on the search for more.

Filmmaker Chris Anderson documented life on the Woodhouse Close Estate in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in the 1970s.

The films provide a record of life in our region stretching back over the past 120 years.

The archive's expert preservation team and facilities ensure that these windows into our past - scenes of people, places, industry and celebration - can be protected, digitised and shared via regular screening events or online at

Over the course of this project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the archive has had films submitted from all corners of the region, from the Borders down to Teesside.

North East on Film delivery manager Julie Ballands said: “Our Search & Rescue project has proven so successful, and we’re delighted to be able to protect all of these films for the future.

The North East Film Archive launched its Search & Rescuecampaign last September.

"It’s an honour to be entrusted with the precious memories and moments of the people of the North East, and each and every one we receive is incredibly important.

"As a charity we want to preserve as many films as possible, and this fantastic project is allowing us to do just that."

Filmmaker Chris Anderson is one of the people who have donated their collections. He documented life on the Woodhouse Close Estate in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in the 1970s.

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Among his footage was the community’s celebrations to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, which he captured on 8mm film.

Chris Anderson's captured the communitys celebrations to mark the Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977.

He explained why he donated his footage to the Archive: “I attended North East on Film screenings in Newcastle and Hexham and seeing the wonderful footage onscreen I put two and two together.

"I contacted the Archive, had a cup of tea and a chat, and seeing the care and attention that would be taken I knew that I had to pass my films on.

"As a filmmaker, it’s great to have a legacy and have my films protected. More importantly, it’s fantastic to have them used, and be readily available for the public to watch.”

The Archive has been collecting film for more than 20 years and will continue to do so.

The North East Film Archive has digitised Chris Anderson's original footage, which was shot on 8mm film.

If any members of the public would like to talk to someone about a film or video they wish to submit, they should email or call 01642 384 022.

To find out more about the North East On Film project, visit

The North East Film Archive is based at Teesside University, and is a registered charity with collections of some 35,000 items dating from the 1890s to present day.