How Hampshire’s archive film is bringing our history back to life

A brand new film project using local archive film for reminiscence activities to help those living with dementia has been launched

Sep 19 2018

Your Hampshire

A new archive film DVD has been launched as part of the Archive Film for Reminiscence project by Wessex Film and Sound Archive.

This summer, staff have been out and about promoting the scheme in a new mobile cinema tent, screening the montage DVD in local communities.

The DVD includes a huge variety of footage, from 1930 to 1982, covering the themes of work, home, holidays, school and the Second World War. Viewers can watch all sorts of Hampshire footage, from rationing in 1940s Britain, to carnivals in the 1950s. The process of engaging with sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the past is known to trigger long-term memories, particularly for people living with dementia.

In its pilot year the project is being funded by the Regional Archive Investment Fund, funded through the British Film Institute, and the montage is available for loan for reminiscence work in care homes and voluntary sector organisations from this autumn.

Zoë Viney, Film Archive Officer, said: “We’ve had some really positive reactions from people, particularly with dementia, who have seen clips or pieces of footage that we’ve shown and have really, really engaged with that.

“With one particular lady, we had images of a telephone exchange in the 1940s and this lady had worked in a telephone exchange and as soon as she saw the pictures of the telephone exchange she became enlivened and she was really engaged and really interested.”

Wessex Film and Sound Archive holds over 38,000 film and sound recordings from late Victorian times to the present day.

Bookings for DVD loans are now being taken from autumn 2018, with charges applying from April 2019.
For further details on the project, please email

Watch a short video with Zoë and the Mobile Cinema tent