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About the project and the archive

The project will result in a number of touring films, exhibitions, an accompanying suite of films made by children, education packs (for schools and dementia groups) and a media-rich website, among other things.

Working with Herefordshire Libraries, images will be scanned and made accessible via the Herefordshire Histories website. Topics will include: Hop-picking, Hereford Football Club, the Mayfair, Fownhope Heart of Oak celebrations, and the Derek Evans Photographic Studio 1950-80s.

HARC who hold the archive, are also project partners. "The archive (…) could become a fantastic resource for a wide range of interests in social history, politics, culture, farming and rural life amongst others.” Independent report on Derek Evans’ archive by Russell Roberts 2009.

The project will involve volunteers, trainees and internships which offer clear career pathway opportunities to people recruited from across the county. The wider Herefordshire community will also be involved in the project, with specific targeted groups that include: disadvantaged young people, migrant workers, showmen, Romany travellers, students, and older people.

About the archive: The extensive Derek Evans archive contains some 200,000 negatives, 729 exhibition prints and ten daily log books. A 2009 independent report stated it had: ‘valuable historical, social and cultural significance’. Derek’s work was highly respected and wide ranging. He was a popular and well-known character, involved in local politics, with a great love of sport and jazz. He was a hard-working photo-journalist for both national and regional newspapers, and TV companies, with valuable and useful contacts across the county and surrounding areas. He even found time to produce award-winning entries to national and international exhibitions, with prestigious features in photographic magazines.

Focusing on the 1950s-1980s, the project will uncover photographs (some never-before-exhibited, and many others unseen for over fifty years) and record oral histories, which will recount 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 explore the Derek Evans Studio itself, a place that nurtured many talents, and which, by covering fascinating local stories, became a treasure trove of the county’s social history.

The project is led by Catcher Media Social CIC, a not-for-profit company in partnership in partnership with Herefordshire Council’s Libraries, Archive and Learning and Achievement Services. Funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and by The Elmley Foundation, The Beaumont Trust, Wye Valley Brewery, Ledbury, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye Town Councils and our crowd-fund supporter