Where there’s hope

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There’s every chance the young fellow in the cap is still with us. Any ideas? Image from ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ filmed by Edgar Pritchard and shared with the blog by Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove.

Here’s something I’ve been planning to share with you readers for a very long time, but I had to choose my moment; I needed time to prepare the video for the web and I thought this would fly best on a wet, grey Sunday evening.

Today seems perfect. Ahem. [Tips rainwater out of hat]

I present here, at the foot of this post, ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ a lighthearted 1930s film made by Brownhills chap Edgar Pritchard, brother of Sid (whose diaries, transcribed by Bill Mayo and David Evans are currently selling out their second print run at Brownhills Library – if you haven’t got your copy get in quick). It’s about eight minutes long, and tells the story of a man doing the football pools, a practice that seems to have died out since the advent of the National Lottery.

Edgar also created the 1934 Brownhills Carnival film that has proven so popular. He was clearly some photographer and filmmaker, and obviously a bit of a geek in his own time. We’d all love to know more about him.

The film is part of the wonderful tranche of material Reg ‘Aer Reg’ Fullelove has donated to the blog, and once again I thank him most profusely for his felicity, generosity and wonderful spirit. Reg, you remain an inspiration.

David Evans has spoken to Reg at some length about Hope Springs Eternal, and had this to say:

Hi Bob

This amazing silent black and white film, Hope Springs Eternal, was made by a local Brownhills man and award-winning filmmaker and photographer, Mr Edgar Pritchard, who lived with his brother Sid in their house in Brickiln Street many years ago.

He made the Brownhills Carnival film which has been featured on your blog. This film is quite amazing, and has been offered by our own Mr Reg Fullelove BEM. One of the characters in the film is Edgar’s gardener, Reg’ s father David, and we see Edgar’s own sports car, a BSA Scout. There is a shot of Great Charles Street and Ogley Road.

I am sure that your readers will identify some other shots, and a certain sporting occasion!

This film features some advanced camera techniques for the day… late 1930s, I believe.

Sadly, the vast store of still photos that Edgar Pritchard took during his lifetime seems to have been lost. This is one of three of Edgars films that are known to still be in existence.

I would like to thank our own Reg Fullelove for his part in rescuing this film, and for his kindness in offering it for your many blog readers to enjoy…We may even identify the two mani characters in this film!

Kind regards
David

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14 Responses to Where there’s hope

  1. aerreg says:

    god bless you for the space of hope springs eternal the little boy i will give you his first name is arthur i should have done it but i had chicken pox it was one of two films given to me by sid after edgers death i thank god they were saved i knew the brothers from my childhood and lots of fireside storys of edger he made other films but they were never edited and sadly were destroyed i believe some of his bits and pieces and an award winning film are in the arkives at aberrystworh universaty thank you david and bob for your fellowship did any of you spot the bag lady in the bull ring its a lovely story thanks to my late father telling me so many times god bless

  2. Margaret Thompson says:

    I hold all the copyrights to Edgar’s films and photographs, you may like to check before you reuse them

    • Hi,

      Since the original is held by local historian Bill Mayo, and the DVD copy held be Reg, there is no actual mention of your name or family in connection to this material.

      Obviously, if you have proof of copyright and would subsequently like it removed from public view I have no problem with that – but it would be awfully sad to keep something hidden that is so wonderful.

      The film was actually saved, I believe, from a bonfire on which much of the Pritchard material was burned.

      Cheers
      Bob

    • Pedro says:

      Hi Margaret,

      This film, along with another film I have seen are amazing for the time they were taken.

      As you hold all copyright does this mean that more fantastic photos had been saved from the bonfire? Could you inform if it is possible to view any if this is so?

      All the best Pedro

  3. Pedro says:

    Magnificent film! Thanks to Reg, David and Bob.

    So where is the football ground? I read it as Aston Villa Reserves next, and then Brentford.

    Not Villa Park, maybe the Hawthorns?

    • Pedro says:

      The footballers don’t seem to have numbers on their shirts…

      “On 5 June 1939, the Football League Management Committee finally decreed at its annual general meeting that players on each club would wear numbers 1 through 11 in league matches and that the numbers would be assigned according to position. William Cuff, the incoming Football League president, turned aside a proposal that would have made shirt numbers optional; either all clubs would wear them or none. The vote was 24 for numbering and 20 against. Shirt numbers were first worn in league play during the 1939-40 season, which was abandoned after three rounds of matches on the outbreak of the Second World War. Thus the first official season in which Football League matches featured shirt numbers was the first conducted after the war, the 1946-47 season.”

  4. Pedro says:

    The sound track to the film is from a much later date!

    John Lennon and Sportsview

    • Yew, I believe the original was silent. The soundtrack – which lines up with the action remarkably well at times – was added by whoever ported it to DVD I think

      Cheers
      Bob

  5. Pedro says:

    The mention of Keynsham brings back memories of Radio Luxembourg!

  6. clive says:

    Great video. So pleased it was saved and not lost forever.

  7. Sheila Norris ( nee Jones) says:

    Re Mr. Pritchard the photographer : my Dad, aged 92, says he was well known free-lance photographer. He used to visit the school camp at Conway ( Brownhills Central School) every year to photograph/film the activities. Dad remembers being photographed standing on an older boy’s shoulders. Don’t suppose this survived the bonfire, did it? Would be in the 1930s,I think.

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