The short created by Crewe based filmmakers Jason Davidson and Peter Roch won the coveted prize of History Channel’s Short Film Maker of the Year at this years award ceremony. The prize now means the film will be shown on the History Channel to a nationwide audience in 2019.
The judging panel of experts included broadcaster and historian Dan Snow of History Hit TV, Co-Founder of Trip Historic Elli Lewis, Head of HISTORY Dan Korn, Chairman of the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography Richard Everett and Duncan Wilson CEO of Historic England.
“The film was an incredibly personal story” explained Co-Director Jason Davidson. “The premise for the competition was for filmmakers to tell the story of a local historical site. Just as we began discussing what topic we would cover it was announced by the council that the boundary wall of the old main erecting shops of Crewe railway works would be demolished. This wall has become an iconic structure for Crewe residence ever since it was built and my own granddad and uncle have worked within its walls. I was shocked at how little interest or care the council had taken in considering its historical significance. A huge number of historically significant buildings have been demolished or cleared in Crewe over the years, and our cultural heritage is in danger of being completely erased and forgotten. Galvanised by these feelings we decided to create a film to show just how important this seemingly forgotten wall is to the fabric of our town.”
The Cheshire based filmmakers used archive footage, historical images and personal photographs to bring the story of the wall to life in just two minutes. “The criteria of the submissions was very strict, which meant we had to be very selective in how we told the story” said Co-Director Peter Roch. “We
therefore decided to focus in on how the immensely skilled hands of those workers created the steam locomotives that made Crewe and its railway works world famous, and how these trains helped change both Crewe and the country.”
It was a tense wait until the winners were announced, but the hours of filming and editing were rewarded. “This is only the third film we’ve ever made, so to win the award and for the film to be shown on the History Channel to a nationwide audience is amazing! I’m just really pleased that through this short we can help bring the amazing and forgotten story of Crewe’s past to a wider audience.” Jason also added “we knew that other filmmakers would focus on the stories of castles, grand houses and battles, which all have their significance. However, its the buildings that most of use interact with everyday but take for granted that can have the most impact. The wall may not have the grandeur of a stately home or the might of a castle, but its walls created employment, communities, skills, and pride for generations of working people. We wanted people to take moment to ask themselves if these old buildings are only seen as available land, as the council do, or do they represent what it means to be from our historic railway town.”