The Media Archive for Central England is the public screen archive for the East and West Midlands. An independent charity and company based at the University of Lincoln, MACE acquires, catalogues, preserves and makes widely available moving image materials that inform our understanding of the diverse cultures and histories of communities between the Lincolnshire coast and the Welsh border.
This film is part of Free
From Selly Oak to Birmingham's Head Post Office in a wheelchair - how hard could it be?
From the collection of:
In 1981 able-bodied news reporter Jon Lander spent a day in a wheelchair pretending to be disabled and struggling through Birmingham. The fact that not one disabled person features is telling but Lander does make some good points. He's treated like a piece of luggage by British Rail and in the city centre it's no better with four people having to haul him into the Head Post Office. And as for boarding a bus - it's going to be 20 years before an accessible one turns up.
Jon Lander's film report was broadcast as part of the ATV political series Left Right and Centre. Wheelchair-simulation exercises like these were used a lot to raise public awareness about poor accessibility in the 1980s but their value and impact to remove barriers and change a disabling society has since been questioned.
School programme and Educational film 1961 31 mins Location: Dorton Ho (Sch)
Young imaginations run wild at School for Blind Children.
1985 29 mins
“I’d much rather work at a computer than make wicker baskets” – disabled people hit the mainstream in 1980s Britain
Instructional film/TV programme 1977 30 mins
Early attempts at inclusive swimming for disabled people.
1969 29 mins
Feisty and free-spirited, three disabled people talk frankly and directly about the barriers they experience in the 1960s
Documentary 1972 51 mins
Man Alive! moral panic, sex, and when professionals ruled – life as a disabled couple in 1972
Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins
Occupational therapy turns full circle, as amputee soldiers learn to make artificial limbs for others
Documentary 1947 15 mins Silent Location: Bournville
A look at landscape treatment in residential areas, contrasting Bournville with Selly Oak, Birmingham
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.