Documentary makers seek memories of Big Houses in Westmeath

Documentary makers seek memories of ‘Big Houses’ in Westmeath 

Work is commencing on a documentary video, or series of videos, that will feature memories of life in and around ‘the Big Houses’ of Westmeath.  The producers are looking for people to get in touch with their family memories of life in and around these Big Houses. They are keen to capture the memories of the resident families as well as those of people who worked in, or had other connections with, these houses. The documentary will focus on the years 1913-1923. It is being made by Bailey and Blake Productions, in conjunction with Westmeath County Council, with funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media through their Decade of Centenaries Programme.

“We would love to hear, and possibly record, anyone’s stories of family memories of the past 100 years ago in, and around, the Big Houses. Did your Grandfather or Grandmother work in one of the houses? Did they have any connection with supplying the House as butcher, baker or candle maker? Did their parents? Did they tell you those stories, if so we would love to hear them. We are also keen to see old photographs of these Big Houses, old family photographs from the time that might capture life in and around the local area during the early decades of the 1900s would also be welcome”, says film maker Oliver Fallen of Blake and Bailey Production. He goes on to say that they hope to film on location at and around the Big Houses, wherever they get permission to so.

Big Houses were the homes of local landlords and were often part of large estates. “We are excited to be working with Blake and Bailey Production on this project to collect memories of life in and around the Big Houses. We will be linking in with our Historians in Residence on this project too”, says Heritage Officer Melanie McQuade.

Blake and Bailey are an award-winning production company (www.baileyandblake.com). Their whose work includes a video on ‘The Blacksmith of Moydrum’, which was released during Heritage Week last year:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlwAIigg25E

If you would like to share your family memories (either on-camera or voice recording) or if you have old photographs that you would like to share with the project contact Oliver Fallen: baileyandblake1@gmail.com or text your name and number to 087 2539010 and we will get back to you. Photographs will be scanned and returned to the owners. Alternatively, for people who prefer not to release their old photographs, Oliver Fallen can meet with them and capture these old photographs on camera.

For more details on the project contact Heritage@westmeathcoco.ie or 087 6074496

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