Herefordshire Life Through a Lens is bringing the work of local photographer Derek Evans out of the archives and into the community. This three-year Heritage Lottery Funded project will create a series of touring oral history films, pop-up exhibitions and catalogue and digitise up to 5,000 images from the photographic archive. It will provide volunteer, training and internship opportunities all across the county.

“When we made the Chewing the Cud film about the old livestock market in Hereford, it was such a success and we had so many inquiries about what our next project would be, that we were inspired to continue recording and celebrating the heritage of the county. And this is it – we’re very excited to be working with this wonderful photographic archive explains co-director Julia Goldsmith of Catcher Media.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the project aims to record 100+ first-hand stories: uncovering nostalgic tales of Hop-picking; revel in Hereford Football Club’s moments of glory; take a spin around the Mayfair’s risqué past; stroll down memory lane with Fownhope’s Heart of Oak annual walk and other rural traditions, and last but not least, it will explore the Derek Evans Studio itself, charting the social history it recorded and the many talents it nurtured.

The first in this series of films Stories from the Hop Yards brims with archive photos, film, and newly-recorded interviews.  Derek’s  extraordinary images of life in the hop fields in the 50’s and 60’s have evoked many fond memories. Herefordshire has long been associated with the apple, but the hop, with its evocative aroma, has been an integral part of rural life in the county for centuries. “It seems that everyone and their granny had something to do with hops back in the day”. The film premieres at Borderlines Film Festival 2018 and is accompanied by a photographic exhibition at the The Courtyard, Hereford featuring both archive and contemporary hop images.

See what’s on for full details of events coming up.

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Images credit c.Derek Evans Studio Archive