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Gerald Mee to host film night for Leek Town Mayor John Fisher

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: May 14, 2014

  • 'Railway of Death'

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A film-maker will be presenting an evening focusing on a notorious railway link.

Gerald Mee, who lives in Leek and is well-known for his filming many monumental events, will be showing a number of his edits at The Leek Mayor's Charity Show on Friday (May 16) at The Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek.

Gerald, who is well-known locally for his film-making, said: "I will open the evening with my film 'A Dream Deferred' which tells my father's life story including his life in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) until he returned to join the army during the first World War, and when his parents took over the management of the Red Lion Hotel, almost 100 years ago.

"Sadly my grandfather, Charles Gerald Mee died of influenza in 1918 so the family never returned to Africa.

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"My grandmother later purchased the hotel and owned it until her death in 1946 when it was passed to me.

"The next film will be 'Railway of Death' - a film I made about the building of the notorious railway link between Thailand (Siam) and Burma.

"It is the 70th anniversary of this project in which more than 12,000 men lost their lives, almost one for every sleeper laid on the railway track.

"The third film will be about the 'Restoration of the Nicholson War Memorial in 1994'. Councillor Ken Hulme was Leek Town Mayor in that year and he arranged for the filming of the progress.

"Not many people remember that restoration and cleaning took place only 16 years prior to the recent work."

Gerald's fourth screening of the charity evening will be 'Suchou – City of Silk'.

He explained: "In 2001, I visited China, just two years after the notorious Tiananmen Square massacre.

"It was in the City of Suchou, known as the Silk City that I was able to record something of the early stages of silk production. Bundles of silk thread were shipped to Leek for processing in its mills.I will finish by showing the 1989 film 'Leek and the story of Silk Twisting'.

"This is a film produced by Paul Anderton and Ray Johnson with some material recorded by me, in 1989. This Whittles Mill was the last of it's type in the United Kingdom."

Tickets for the film night on Friday (May 16) are available from the Leek Town Council's office in Stockwell Street, Leek or by calling 01538 381271.

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