On 29 October Inside Out broadcast a ten minute documentary detailing the last six months that Paul Fillingham and I have been putting together the Sillitoe Trail for The Space. The trail explores five locations from the novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and at each location we’ve had some form of public engagement. This has included interviewing members of the Occupy Movement in Market Square, a talk on the Victorian Goose Fair at the New Art Exchange, a stroll along the Trent chatting to fishermen, a pub quiz in the Golden Fleece, producing coursework for Design students at NCN, book launches of featured authors, Sillitoe Day at the Nottingham Contemporary with Billy Ivory, recording podcasts at Paper-Stone Studios and Confetti, sending a storyteller to the Raleigh Workers Club in Wollaton, radio and television appearances and many other events.
Cramming all of this in to a ten minute documentary while also explaining the purpose of our project required some serious editing and I’m generally pleased with the outcome and incredibly fortunate to have had the support of Tony Roe – who is a member of the Alan Sillitoe Committee. Paul and I went over to Tony’s house in Ruddington to film the linking pieces. Naturally, Paul was placed in front of a computer and I was interviewed in front of a bookshelf. This was fine except for one minor detail: I didn’t want to be filmed in front of Tony’s collection of books which included numerous offerings from Jeremy Clarkson.
I guess books are the one thing that I would be a snob about but I think this is fair given that we were recording for a serious documentary on a six month project. I’d have looked a bit of a hypocrite spouting on about the importance of local literary figures with old Top Gear peeking over my shoulder. Fortunately, Tony had many more books scattered around the house and so we were able to construct a reasonably representative array of relevant literature.
The most pleasing aspect of the documentary was seeing someone from Occupy as we were unable to use their work in the project in the end due to various reasons. It was also good to see the NCN students discussing their work. They’ll be really chuffed to see themselves on screen and hopefully it will boost their confidence to push their work further. I absolutely hate seeing myself on screen which is why I enjoy the relative anonymity of writing but as I no longer have a television this isn’t really much of a problem.
The documentary will be uploaded to The Space at some point.