New film captures the history of town street

Residents of Percy Terrace
Residents of Percy Terrace
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A fascinating new DVD giving an insight into two centuries of life on a north Northumberland street is being launched tonight, as a result of a collaboration between residents and an Alnwick museum.

The digitalised film, Where We Live – Stories From Around Percy Terrace, will be unveiled at the Bailiffgate Museum by historian John Grundy.

People from the Alnwick street have been working with the town venue for six months to uncover 200 years of history, as part of the museum’s Bailiffgate – at the Heart of the Community initiative.

The success of the project is beyond what was originally anticipated as residents researched, created their own website, opened their homes, closed off their road, played music, attended monthly meetings and discovered stories that had been hidden from history.

Children were also involved in the project.

Research has unveiled information about the families who lived in the houses, their occupations, the way the houses changed over time and more.

Stories were collected from people who worked on the street, such as a local milkman, delivering to the houses in the 1950s.

Residents also masterminded the clearing of all cars from the street at the start of June to enable filmmaker Harry Henderson to film the street as close as possible to what it might have looked like in the last century.

A group photograph was taken and each family were filmed at their gate.

Harry has worked with residents to reveal the historic features of their homes on film, taking viewers on a guided tour.

In some cases, residents, to add a touch of authenticity, even filmed their own family in Victorian dress.

Jane Mann, museum trustee, said: “It has been fantastic to work with the people who live on Percy Terrace.

“Their enthusiasm has been infectious.

“I would particularly like to thank the steering group for keeping everything on track.”

Each house will receive its own DVD and copies will be shown in the museum.

The information which has been collected is displayed on the museum’s website – www.bailiffgatemuseum.co.uk – and it is hoped research will continue.

The museum plans to work with other areas of the town.

At least two other streets, inspired by the Percy Terrace initiative, have begun projects of their own.

Peter Reed, member of the steering group, said: “We’ve discovered a lot about where we live, and the people who lived here before us.

“We’ve enjoyed it, and it’s been a good way for us to get better acquainted.

“All I would say to anyone who is thinking about something along the same lines is, ‘If you don’t go ahead you’ll never know what you might have found out’.”

The launch, at 7.30pm, is by invite only. Call the museum on 01665 605847.