Derby Grande Finale

This Saturday 13th June, Past Lives Derby will be unveiled! We’ll be showing cine film footage that we have gathered from Derby residents at QUAD accompanied by a live music soundtrack featuring players from Sinfonia Viva,  young musicians from Derby and South East Derbyshire Music Centres and the Past Lives ensemble.

We’ve digitised Derby footage from 1930s – 1970s, see a preview of one of cine reels below. Much of this footage has never been seen outside of the families who have donated the footage, all of these cine film home movies when brought together show a unique view of everyday life in Derby.

Elephants from Billy Smarts Circus leave Derby Railway Station on Midland Road and travel through the streets towards Bass recreation ground in 1957. Filmed and donated to the Derby Past Lives Project by David Larkin.

Tickets for the performance are selling fast, you can book yours via QUAD’s box office on 01332 290 606

or follow the link below

Feature in Mansfield Chad

Great feature this week of Past Lives project in Mansfield Chad, big thanks to Chad Newsdesk for helping share the project, you can read in more detail here:

Tickets are selling fast for our Mansfield Grande Finale, pick up your tickets via: Mansfield Palace Theatre web bookings or call 01623 633133




Over the last 6 months Past Lives team have been working intensively with Mansfield local community and Mansfield Museum to digitise local cine film, photos and gather oral history. The cine film has been edited to create a new film of the town, and will be shown with live music from local young musicians who have been working with international musicians. Photos digitised though the project will be shown on the day too.

Mansfield on 7th Feb 2:30, one off performance with live music & exhibition, tickets are selling fast, follow the link or call to book your place –  Mansfield Palace Theatre web bookings or call 01623 633133

A full house for the screening of Past Lives Nottingham


It was satisfying to be able to share the finished Past Lives Nottingham film with such a full audience





After several very long days getting the final picture edits and scoring right, we arrive at Lakeside Arts for the get-in and final rehearsal…


Trevor our sound engineer was remarkably fresh for a man just that day returned from a US tour with King Crimson…


A moment to attempt to assemble the score in the right order…

Time to see if it all actually plays as we expect it to…



Deidre (Cello) and Kelly (Violin) meet the score for the first time.


Composer / performers Cameron & Eleanor splitting the piano part into four hands on sight… no mean feat.

Audience in,  lights out, and the screening begins

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The credits rolled to the rousing sound of a march  – MEN OF TRENT  – by Eric Coates written specifically for the Nottingham Police Band in the mid 1950s and specially recorded by them for this showing under their musical director Gary Glover… a great finale…    

After much justified applause, there was a curtain call for our composers Katie Powdrill, Matt Arwhen-Langham, Cameron Wedgewoth and Eleanor Beestin; and then a very special guest…

Mike Riley spotted a picture of himself as a little boy in one of the film images that was published at the beginning of the project; he contacted Lakeside and has since done some great interviews about it on T.V. and in the papers. Mike is a mine of information about Nottingham and and particularly about the Railways – a joy to chat with. He agreed to come along and say hello.


Mike takes the stage


left to right Debbie Cooper, Mike Riley, Composer Matt Arwhen-Langham, Chris Ellis (seated) ; Composers Eleanor Beestin and Cameron Wedgeworth.

Making music in Ironbridge; Premiere 20th September

Musicians Dave Sturt and Theo Travis have been busy working with young musicians from Abraham Darby School (locally known as Ab Dabs).

It’s been great working with Abraham Darby Academy School who have a range of school bands, some of which have performed internationally in Europe and USA. Past Lives Project has enabled a fantastic opportunity for the young people to work across generations; taking inspiration from footage recorded by local people decades ago, and working with that footage to create a new soundtrack.

All of this creativity and hard work is leading up to the Past Lives Ironbridge Premiere at the World Heritage Day event on 20th September at Ironbridge Museum, tickets are available now at £3

Photos from music workshops:

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Ironbridge, Madeley & Telford Past Lives Premiere

Tickets have gone live for Past Lives Project Ironbridge Premiere! We’ve been busy digitising film, running music workshops, heritage days and lots more. All of this translates in to Past Lives Project Ironbridge, the film of your local footage will be shown at the World Heritage Day in Ironbridge.

see the project trailer to get an idea of what Past Lives Ironbridge, Madeley & Telford will look and sound like:

the above film is a trailer for Past Lives Midlands, the film shown on 20th September will feature purely local film from Ironbridge, Madeley & Telford. See Past Lives of your region, brought to life in a new edited film with live music from international musicians, strings from Sinfonia Viva Orchestra, and local young musicians from Abraham Derby School
Follow this link to book a ticket, they’re only £3! See you there!

Ironbridge Past Lives Project tickets

Past Lives Bolsover Performance

On 15th March we showed the Past Lives Bolsover film,  with live music performance to a packed house at Bolosver Assembly Rooms. The film was made from local donated cinefilm edited by Anthony Hatton and the music was performed by Bolsover School Pupils who had worked with Dave Sturt and Chris Ellis.

200 people came to the film and music performance, with people queueing out the door. We’ve had a fabulous time working in Bolsover and been made very welcome, the first region of Past Lives Project tour, and we’re currently looking into local partnerships to allow us to stay working in Bolsover for longer.

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We’re working on recording the music score and creating a DVD of the Bolsover films if you would like to be contacted when the DVD’s are available please leave your details below.

Bolsover DVD Request Form

Bolsover grande finale film & exhibition

Assembly Hall Bolsover, photo courtesy of Picture The Past archive, photo no DCBR000278

Assembly Hall Bolsover, photo courtesy of Picture The Past archive, photo no DCBR000278

This Saturday 15th March we will be at the Assembly Hall in Bolsover.  There is a free exhibition from 1-5pm, and we opening a vintage tea rooms for the day where you can buy tea and cake, and drink it from vintage china. The exhibition will show photos, memories, film clips and recordings from the project. At 5pm we will briefly close to set up the room for…

Bolsover Past Lives Grand Finale! – Films you’ve donated, memories and music that Bolsover has shared has been transformed into a new original film with live soundtrack from international musicians and Bolsover school students.

Join us at 7pm Saturday 15th March in Bolsover Assembly Hall, tickets available via

Past Lives leaflet final 15th March