Screen Wednesday - Staffordshire Film Archive Logon


The archive was founded and developed by Ray Johnson and is housed at Staffordshire University – forming one of the Special Collections. In addition to the original archive films collected, there are many hours of complementary video material generated by Ray to inform and enhance the period films – location filming, interviews, relevant visual materials and complete documentary video productions.

All SFA screenings are free of charge and start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Please note that seats cannot be reserved - arrive early to avoid disappointment.

For more details please visit the SFA website here.

Wednesday 22 November


Taking stock of WWI in November 1917

After the end of the third battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) in November 1917, we look at this pivotal point in the War - the key arrival of the USA into the War and the first major battle to feature tanks - Cambrai - on November 20th 1917. We look at that battle in detail and hear a personal reminiscence recorded many years ago with Gunner Eric Potten of F Battalion Tank Corps who went into battle at Cambrai in a tank and explains all aspects of the operation from his perspective. There is dramatic WWI archive footage of tanks in operation singly and en masse.

There is the premiere of a video made by Staffordshire University Professor Fiona Graham on a WWI tank found in 1998 (buried on the battleground after the war) and now documented (and christened "Deborah") and displayed in a new museum of its own opened this week in Flesquieres, France, where Fiona is filming. 

Philippe Gorczynski MBE led the team which recovered the tank and he has researched its whole history - its a unique reference point to the first tank successfully used in battle. In the video he gives us its history and a guided tour inside and out - and we see 27-ton Deborah being moved and placed in its new location where the museum has subsequently been built around it.

Wednesday 29 November

UNDER THE CLOCK – New Arnold Bennett play

A live performance adapted by Keith Plant from the Bennett short story and presented by Alsager Community Theatre.

Plus: THE HEROISM OF THOMAS CHADWICK- a Bennett short story adapted for television and performed by the Victoria Theatre company in 1967. A newly digitised version of a rare black-and-white video recording.

Wednesday 6 December


Film Documentary on Harvergal Brian

Brian was extremely prolific, writing 32 symphonies. Today, he is often remembered for his First Symphony – “The Gothic” - which calls for the largest orchestral force demanded by any conventionally structured concert work. Composed between 1919 and 1927, it is among the longest symphonies ever composed. It finally had its world premiere in 1978 in the Victoria Hall, Hanley, organised by the North Staffs Symphony Orchestra. Unseen since 1980, this newly digitised film features some of the orchestra – and a performance by the Bedford Singers, of Penkhull.

Wednesday 13 December


A collection of cinema and locally-made archive films from the last hundred years, combined with local reminiscences of the past and some comments from young people of today on the changing nature of Christmas presents.

Wednesday 10 January


A special centenary commemoration

January 12th 1918 saw the worst mining disaster in North Staffordshire’s history – at the Minnie Pit, Halmer End. 155 men and boys died in the explosion, and the death of the leader of the Rescue Team made the final total 156. Archive recordings of personal reminiscences of the explosion, photographs, newspaper reports and films combine with expert insight as a tribute to our coal mining communities.

Wednesday 17 January


A guided tour

Now successfully established as one of our major tourist attractions, this chatty personal guided tour in the company of Radio Stoke’s Den Siegertsz gives us an insight into all aspects of the working pottery factory itself, where many of the classical pottery crafts are still practiced.

Wednesday 24 January - 6.00pm - 9.00pm


Premiere screening of Semester 1 work of final year students of the Media/Film Production degrees.

All welcome.

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Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2EH Registered Charity no. 504600