'Most significant' Fens archive footage in years

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton 

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton - Credit: FENLAND ON FILM

Thousands of feet of rediscovered film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton will feature in a new documentary.

Railworld Wildlife Haven's Brian Pearce has entrusted the collection of 35mm film material to Fenland on Film - who are now appealing for help from the public.

“We are very excited to have newly discovered this collection of un-released, high quality 35mm colour movie film," said Brian.

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton - Credit: FENLAND ON FILM

"It is the same high standard of film that would have been used in the best cinemas."

He added that Tracked Hovercraft Ltd were commissioning this film to be used at a later date to promote to the world the latest in high speed guided land transport".

“This was cutting edge technology being worked on by top scientists - that's why Cambridge and Cambridgeshire was chosen for the project and because of the availability of superbly talented people”.

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton - Credit: FENLAND ON FILM

This is the most ambitious project that Fenland on Film has undertaken to date.

“When Brian contacted me to say he had a collection of film reels, I was excited,” said Drew Berry of ‘Fenland on Film’.

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“When he told me that it was 35mm and asked if I would like to do anything with it, I was in complete and utter disbelief.

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton - Credit: FENLAND ON FILM

“Most of this footage won’t have ever been seen by the public before as it was only really shot with the intention of marketing the Hovertrain technology overseas”.

“I consider this to be the most significant discovery of archive footage in the Fens for many years and upon inspection.

"The film material is in excellent condition; the quality we can achieve when this eventually goes for scanning and restoration is going to be incredible”.

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton - Credit: FENLAND ON FILM

Fenland On Film say their goal is to produce a documentary that tells the story of the Hovertrain along with the people involved and they aim to present it in 4K.

"It's the 50th anniversary of the first test run of RTV31 this year, so it’s completely fitting that we should be marking the occasion in this way," Drew added.

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton 

35mm film footage shot during the 1970s during the testing of the Hovertrain between Earith and Sutton will feature in a new documentary. - Credit: FENLAND ON FILM

Together with Drew, Brian and Railworld, Fenland on Film is appealing for technical and financial support to make their dream a reality.

Email Drew via fenlandonfilmuk@gmail.com

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