On Saturday 18th February, local charity Bath City FC Foundation hosted the Twerton Premiere of a new documentary called Tickets Please! at Bath City Football Club in Bath. The Golden Memories film project, funded by Great Western Railway’s (GWR) Community Fund, aimed to capture local people’s memories of rail travel since the 1950’s and the film was made by members of Reconnecting Twerton, a support group run by Bath City FC Foundation. This group, of first-time film makers, learnt how to shoot the film themselves with technical support from students and lecturers of Bath Spa University’s Film, TV and Digital Production degree course.
Over one hundred people attended the film screening and there was a welcome drinks reception before the film was shown. British film director, Ken Loach, the President of Bath City FC Foundation gave a speech and Russell Tanner, Co-ordinator of Reconnecting Twerton introduced the eight-strong film crew to talk about their experiences of making the film. The 40-minute Tickets Please! film was followed by some light-hearted outtake clips and a thank you speech by Foundation CEO, James Carlin. Local dignitaries attending the event included the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Thomas Sheppard and the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Rob Appleyard.
The Reconnecting Twerton support group was created in response to the pandemic in 2020 to reduce loneliness and isolation among retired people living alone in the Twerton area of Bath. Initially, the team kept in touch with members by befriending phone calls but soon expanded activities to include home visits, social events, fitness activities and trips around the local area. The film project aimed to empower the members and give them a sense of purpose and inclusion, encourage friendships by sharing stories and memories as well as increasing their confidence and competence in a range of digital skills needed to make the film.
Also involved in the film project were the following organisations and individuals; Freya Moore and Kitty Taylor, students from Bath Spa University’s Film, TV and Digital Production degree course who helped with sound, editing and post-production. Interviews were conducted with senior citizens from Age UK Bath and North East Somerset and from Bath Ethnic Minorities Senior Citizens Association (BEMSCA) which hosted interviews at Fairfield House. Creativity Works ran some planning workshops, film maker Roger Chapman and Pete Stables ran a film and photography workshop for the group and music for the film was composed by Xane and Martin Radford of Vivid City.
Ken Loach, President of Bath City FC Foundation said: “This is a great film project by the Foundation. Most of us have fond memories of travelling by train when we were younger, before the arrival of mass foreign travel and cheap package holidays, holidays by train to local coastal resorts were the norm for working class families. This touching film reminds us of the simple pleasures of rail travel through the entertaining stories and memories of local people. It is a wonderful record of the relationship people had with the railway over their lifetimes.”
Diana Lanham, Co-ordinator, Reconnecting Twerton group run by Bath City FC Foundation said: “Russell and I are immensely proud of what the members of the group have achieved with this inspiring film project. They have each bravely, stepped out of their comfort zones to become part of a team of film makers. They have given interviews, braved all types of weather and have been on countless jaunts in order to get footage. It has been very fulfilling to be involved in the development of the film and to oversee a project that has so benefited people in our local community. And, what fun we have had!”
Steve Toogood, Senior Guards Manager at Great Western Railway (GWR) said: “The Community Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in projects that really make a difference to our customers and communities at a local level. We’re delighted to support this initiative, which has had such a positive impact in Twerton, Bath particularly as our trains operate right through its centre. As a neighbour of Bath City FC and as a defining physical feature in the local area, it is only right that the railway plays its part in keeping our communities prospering and bringing people together.”
“Bath City FC Foundation have been a pleasure to work with and as an organisation, we recognise how powerful their work is. We are happy to have helped deliver such a fantastic project alongside them.”
Heather Milsom, from Twerton, Bath and a member of the Tickets Please! film crew said: “It’s lovely, just brilliant, being able to get out and about, mixing with other people and doing things we wouldn’t normally be able to do. Working with the team on this film-making project has given me a lot more confidence to go out and do things. I’ve gone out with Diana and Russell and now I know I can do these things without having to be with them which is good for me and the premiere made me feel very special.”
To donate to the Foundation visit www.justgiving.com/bathcityfcfoundation
Bath City FC Foundation:
The supporters of Bath City FC hold a majority shareholding in the club following a successful community ownership bid in 2017. The Bath City FC Foundation was established in 2011 and provides opportunities through sport and wellbeing activities for local people to improve their physical and mental health and fulfil their potential. The Foundation provides 28 different football groups per week across Bath and North East Somerset to support all ages within the community.
Great Western Railway (GWR):
The project was funded by Great Western Railway’s Community Fund, which helps to support local communities and address areas of social need. As part of its National Rail Contract with the Department for Transport, the train operator GWR is committed to supporting schools, colleges, councils, community and other not-for-profit organisations by aiding a number of initiatives.