FAUK at THE BOX! – Members head to Plymouth for AGM and a special celebration

The Box at Plymouth hosts FAUK Members for memorable visit

Back row: Matt Lee (IWM), Brent Woods (YFA/NEFA) Row 2 : James Gibbs (The Box), Sue Todd (BFI) Jilly Payne (The Box), Nick Gladden (NWFA) Middle Row : tbxc (The Box), Mark Knights (Beaulieu) Jane Jarvis (FAUK), Sonji Clarke (CineLab) Row 4 : Claire Skinner (The Box), Frank Gray (SASE (Retired)), Zoe Viney (WFSA), Jane King (SASE) Front row: Angela Graham (EAFA), Clare Watson (MACE), Heather Needham (WFSA), Iola Baines (NASSW)




Face to face meetings for FAUK Members are always well anticipated and this trip to Plymouth on 26/27th April was special in many ways. It was the first time for many of us to make the trip to the South West to take in the wonderful new cultural and heritage venue and home to Member Archive SWFTA which opened in 2020. It was also an opportunity to meet up with Frank Gray and celebrate his long career working with archive film following his retirement from Screen Archive South East last Christmas.

The evening meal at The Treasury (a wonderful venue with it’s own special heritage story) was a great time for members who had travelled from archives and organisations across the UK to catch up and relax ahead of a full morning at The Box.


The meal was preceded by a quick tour lead by Jilly Payne from The Box, up to famous Plymouth Hoe and the great views, despite the grey skies, out across the harbour. The Hoe is home to many statues and memorials commemorating its maritime history but some FAUK Members were particularly taken by the copper cast installation of the ‘bottoms’ and hands of none other than the Beatles installed on The Hoe marking the visit of the group to Plymouth back in 1967 when they were filming The Magical Mystery Tour. Ever the archivists, our own Fab Four – Sue Todd, Frank Gray, Jane King and Iola Baines sat down to be part of FAUK’s archive-much to everyone’s amusement!

Supper at The Treasury. From L to R Nick Gladden NWFA, Sue Todd BFI, Iola Baines NSSAW, Clare Watson MACE, Angela Graham EAFA, Heather Needham WFSA, Matt Lee IWM, Brent Woods YFA/NEFA, Frank Gray SASE(retired) Jane King SASE, Zoe Viney WFSA, Jane Jarvis FAUK, Jilly Payne The Box









Our visit to The Box – hosted by a team of amazing staff throughout, began with a Tour of the Museum, Collections and Moving Image Archive set in a state of the art facility which really made you part of a living building. The wonderful array of ships’ figureheads suspended all around and large interactive map tables where you can chart the development of Plymouth over centuries, really shows the impact of heritage alongside today’s technology.


















Members enjoyed a tour of the Media Lab  and its spectacular display of film and photographic heritage and watched their current film Exhibition Planetary Imagination by activist, writer and filmmaker Ashish Ghadiali exploring the connections between global warming and migration using The Box’s film and television archives.













FAUK’s AGM took place in the spacious Conference Room  with Members joining remotely, including Trustee, Francis Jones from NIS  in Belfast.











The AGM was followed by a series of Presentations proposed by The Box illustrating the use of their moving image archive in current projects.

We were delighted to meet Planetary Imagination filmmaker Ashish Ghadiali who joined us to tell us more about his creative reuse of moving image content and his passion for working with archive film with a welcome opportunity for Q&As with Ashish too. He shared his thoughts on decolonisation linking up with Chloe Hughes, Engagement Programmes Manager for The Box who also presented on the ongoing scoping into Decolonising The Box.

Maddie Hall Content Production & Specialist Facilities Lead – Real Immersive from Real Ideas and  her colleague Alex Buckley (remotely) then presented on their project Experience the Sound, an immersive dome screening production in the Market Hall Plymouth using moving image archive from collections at The Box.





After a busy but inspiring morning, The Kitchen at The Box laid on a delicious lunch and  an opportunity for all to raise a glass to Frank Gray and share cake to commemorate and celebrate his retirement. There were some moving tributes read out from absent friends and colleagues, Sue Howard, Luke McKernan and Marion Hewitt as well as fond tributes from Sue Todd and FAUK Chair, Clare Watson and Frank was obviously moved by such a show of support and appreciation of his decades of work.

“We do something special” says Frank,  “and I think we all know that”

We will be hearing more from Frank Gray in a special interview feature on FAUK website when he talks more about his work at SASE and his continued passion for moving image archive.