1975, realization: Sue Hall and John “Hoppy” Hopkins,, ½ inch, black-and-white, Original (8 mins), 5 mins (excerpts), original in the London Community Video Archive (LCVA).
Interviews with 12 elderly people in West Kentish Town, London. They talk about what life was like for them when they were young while looking at old photos of the area. The tape was replayed in local libraries and was very popular. This was the first UK Local History Video and was used as a model by many practitioners of Oral History.
Press Release by the London Borough of Camden 1978
Following the opening of the new Queens Crescent Library, the videotape Song of Long Ago can at last been shown again in the district where it was made, after an absence of 3 years. This showing will be in conjunction with a Local History exhibition of West Kentish Town, also in the new library. In autumn 1977 this popular programme reached an audience of 1,000 at Kentish Town and Swiss Cottage Libraries. 95% of an audience sample said that they would like more shows of this sort in public libraries. Tape makers Sue Hall and John Hopkins hope to follow up later this year with further library showings, including Stone Circles and Alternative Commercials (in production), plus tapes from the Camden Jazz week in November 1978. “We began cautiously”, adds John Hopkins, “with one tape we knew would be popular. The enthusiasm of Camden’s Librarians has also helped. The next step is to try out a wider range of material with this obviously receptive public”.