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Blackpool to the Front

Blackpool to the Front’ tells the stories of some of the men from Blackpool who fought in World War One. Based on the book by the same name written by Blackpool resident Mark Cronin, the documentary provides an introduction to Blackpool at the outbreak of the war and military historian Gerry White, sets the scene in Ireland and Europe at the start of the twentieth century. The documentary also features some of the relatives of those who fought in the war and they bring to life the men from Blackpool who for a variety of different reasons, went off to war.

700Filming at the Island of Ireland Peace Park in Flanders

The documentary then follows a group from Blackpool, who in April 2018 travelled to France and Belgium to visit some of the places where their relatives had fought and, in some cases, died. This provides an opportunity for the audience to see these locations on the Western Front and to hear what happened to some of the men who fought there. The documentary also includes footage from the Foret de Mormal in Northern France where Denis Jones was killed, the last man from Blackpool to die in World War One. Two sapling trees are presented by forestry officials to his niece Eileen Jones and members from the Blackpool Historical Society and the film concludes with these trees being planted in Blackpool as a living memorial to the men from Blackpool who died.

Presentation of trees by the French Forestry Office to relatives from Blackpool in the Foret de Mormal, France

Blackpool to the Front’ was produced by Frameworks Films, a Cork based production company, in collaboration with the Blackpool Historical Society. ‘Blackpool to the Front’ was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland under their Sound and Vision Scheme and also received support from the Blackpool Historical Society through a Heritage Grant from Cork City Council.

Our Barracka

Barrack Street, or Barracka as it is commonly known by local people, is a much loved street on the southside of Cork City, rising up steeply from the River Lee at the South Gate Bridge to the southern wards of the city. Its story contains a wealth of information about the history and heritage of Cork city from its foundation in the sixth century, to Famine times, the War of Independence and contemporary Ireland. This six part series uncovers six different aspects of the street from its social and military history to its famous Barrack Street band and provide a fascinating insight into a unique Cork street.

Filming in Elizabeth Fort, off Barrack Street in Cork

The documentary was produced by Frameworks Films, in collaboration with the Barrack Street Community Group. A special screening of the documentary was held recently in Nano Nagle Place for those who participated in the film and for local residents and the feedback was very positive. Also at this event Mary McGrath, then aged 102, one of the street’s longest term residents launched the DVD ‘Our Barracka’ along with Mary O’Rourke from the Barrack St Community Group. Emma Bowell, producer of the documentary from Frameworks Films, explained on the night “This documentary ‘Our Barracka’ can only give a flavour of what Barrack St is all about and if it can help to instill renewed civic pride in the street and to keep the conversation going about how Barrack St can develop into the future it will have achieved something.”

Fords - Memories of the Line

Fords – Memories of the Line’ is a documentary about what is was like to work on the assembly line at Ford’s car manufacturing plant in Cork, which operated from 1917 to 1984. Much as the workers built the cars on the assembly line, a group of former workers build a picture, piece by piece, memory by memory, of life on the line. 2017 marked the centenary of the foundation of the factory in Cork and in this documentary, it is the men who built the cars, rather than the man who founded the factory, Henry Ford, who are celebrated, although his role too is acknowledged.

Workers in Fords Motor Plant, Cork (image courtesy of Bill Daly)

The former workers share their memories of what it meant to have a job in Fords, how the assembly line worked, the social life and some of the people and stories they remember from their years working there. Finally the documentary details the closure of the factory in 1984 and the impact this had on the men, their families and the city of Cork. The documentary was produced by Frameworks Films, in collaboration with Ford’s Ex-Workers Group.

‘‘Fords – Memories of the Line’ was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland under their Sound and Vision Scheme for broadcast on Cork Community Television.

© 2021