Capacity turnout for the Dover preview of Watermark

Schools and arts award

There was a capacity turnout on Tuesday March 6th at Dover Town Hall for the Dover Preview of Dover Arts Development’s new Documentary Feature film about Buckland Mill, Watermark. Ron Wright who appears in the film helped welcome people as they arrived, along with DAD directors Joanna Jones and Clare Smith.

The audience included many former Mill employees, their friends and family as well as The Vice Chairman of Dover District Council, Cllr Paul Le Chevalier, and his escort, Cllr Suzanne Le Chevalier and The Town Mayor, Cllr Mrs Veronica Philpott and her escort Mr Chris Philpott.

Cllr Paul Le Chevalier said “I would like to congratulate DAD and everyone connected with the production of the excellent film Watermark.  I found it to be an exceptionally interesting piece of social history, highlighting the importance of Buckland Paper Mill to the people of Dover. The mixture of archive pictures and real interviews really brought it to life.”

The Mayor was delighted to see her next-door neighbours in the film and said “I thought the film was absolutely brilliant, a wonderful piece of social history and it’s a pity we haven’t got more of this type of work to keep for future generations

Teacher Teresa Beynont and pupils from the Dover Christchurch Academy who had done a project about Buckland Mill were given time out of school to watch the preview. The students’ hand made paper works were displayed in the Town Hall. Teresa said “it was lovely to see the film and made a lovely link to the work the students had produced in school. Thank you for exhibiting the students work they were very pleased to see it there.”

As well as members of the cast, some of the film crew were also present: German Director, Marianne Kapfer, who had flown in especially from Berlin, co-author Dominic deVere, and recent graduates from the University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury Cassie Beckley, Andrea Morris and Robert Bernard.

Marianne Kapfer, said “I was overwhelmed by the warm hearted welcome of the Dover people and the huge level of interest in Watermark, I believe there were around 400 people who came along to see this film about Dover’s long and extensive industrial history.”

Composer Mick Morris who wrote the song Too good to be true used for the reunion dance sequence in the film and Bert Osborne who wrote the Watermark song also attended. Bert said “well done to you all absolutely great!

Magaretta Bundy, widow of the late Dr Alan Bundy and mother of musician Richard Bundy, featuring in the film, said it was “A rare opportunity to feast on such rich history”, while artist Chris Burke said it was “An excellent piece of work. Congratulations to all those people who participated in this imaginative re-creation of the life that animated the empty buildings of the Mill.”

At the end of the film, there was a presentation of Buckland Mill artefacts to Jon Iveson for the Dover Museum collection. Former mill employee David Langley presented his father’s watermark collection, featured in the film, and Ann Pritchard, widow of the late Colin Pritchard, a key contributor to the film, handed Jon a set of three accident books from the First Aid room at the Mill.

On receiving these gifts, Jon Iveson said “From the Museum’s point of view this was a perfect project. It made use of archives and film that we already had; it produced a wonderful film that will be kept for posterity and added these wonderful objects to the museum collection for the future.”

The Film is gaining considerable interest. Screen South, the region’s creative development agency for film, has heralded Watermark as “One of the stand-out success stories of the region” while Dr Tim Strangleman,Professor in Sociology at the University of Kent calls it “A filmic paean to work and working class culture: richly evocative, thought provoking and profoundly moving.”