Sunday 20 March 2011

The View from the Projection Box with Ritz Cinema projectionist Paul Winfield

Well here we are again, well into another year already and lots of films on their way to The Ritz. So without further ado, let’s go!

Now I’m sure, like me, many of you will remember a rather disturbing news story which hit the headlines in May 2003. Aron Ralston was trekking alone in the Utah Mountains when he fell into a crevice and became trapped by a boulder which landed on his arm. To save his own life he resorted to very extreme measures. Now Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle has filmed Ralston’s remarkable story. I’ve seen a preview and let me tell you, this may not be for the squeamish but it is gripping cinema and not to be missed. Look out for 127 Hours.

Javier Bardem is a Ritz favourite and his new film Biutiful (no the spelling is not wrong) has him playing a man in free fall, on the road to redemption. Again, I’ve seen a preview and it’s a dark, gritty drama. Bardem has already been tipped for an Oscar for his role as a man searching to forgive, for love and forever.

I’ve seen a little bit of this one as well - Black Swan - it looks beautiful. While vying for the lead roles in a production of Swan Lake, a veteran ballerina enters into a twisted friendship with a new dancer. Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder and Mila Kunis star and of course, there is great music.

I mentioned these next three films last time and they are coming soon:-

Never Let Me Go. Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield play Ruth, Kathy and Tommy. After a seemingly idyllic childhood, as young adults they have to come to terms with the love they feel for each other and a haunting reality that awaits them.

The Coen Brothers’ True Grit is unmissable!

Gulliver’s Travels looks good fun. Also keep an eye open for these…

Of Gods and Men, Somewhere, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. All of these will be with us soon.

So, until next time, take care and say “hello” when you visit The Ritz.

Music Scene by Rhia Calvert

Rhia Calvert (17) is a young lady from Holbrook with an extremely bright future ahead of her. She is in her second year at Derby College where she is studying Media. Rhia (pictured) has a huge passion for music and spends a lot of her spare time at gigs. She loves photography and writing and hopes to become a professional photographer.

Rhia is interviewing bands and reporting back in forthcoming issues of All Things Local. If you’re a local band and would welcome some exposure within this magazine then e-mail

I've personally felt for a while now there are not enough good melodic rock bands around any more. With genres such as 'deathcore' and 'metalcore' dominating the music scene it seemed I was giving up hope on finding anything different and a little bit unique; but Blood Orange are exactly this. For any metal lover, the Nottingham four-piece are definitely something to look out for. Here's Blood Orange to tell us more...

Can you tell us how Blood Orange first got together and how long you've been a band?
Simon and Steve (drums, guitar) met while in previous bands and formed Blood Orange during the late 1990s. Neil joined in 1997 and Paul in 2006.

Can you tell us some interesting facts about each member?
Steve and Neil are scared of germs and carry alcoholic hand disinfectant everywhere they go! Neil was once an extra in an AC/DC video. On his left hand Steve has the top of his middle finger missing. Simon is an excellent surfer. Paul still gets really nervous before playing live.

How would you describe Blood Orange's sound?
We think we're doing something a little bit different to what else is around. I think Faye Coulman, from Sandman Magazine, said it best. She once reviewed one of our gigs and described us as "Goth-tinged melodic rock" with "intricate melodies both luxuriant and acidic-edged in character" and an "almost manic-depressive energy." I love that description. I don't know why, but bands often seem to find it hard to put their sound into words - ourselves included; but for me, Faye's totally nailed it. If we'd have said it ourselves it'd look like we're being pretentious, but coming from someone else - it's awesome.

What's currently happening with the band?
We're finishing off our album. It's taken quite a while to do, but we're doing it all ourselves so there's been a lot to learn about recording and stuff. Up until now, we've just recorded in studios as cheaply and quickly as possible, but the results have always been disappointing quality-wise. This time it's going to sound how it should.

Where is the band's favourite place to play a gig and why?
Anywhere playing outdoors is fantastic if you've got good weather. Rock City in Nottingham is cool to play just because of its reputation. We've had some great gigs at The Vic Inn in Derby, too. It's really small in there, but there's a good atmosphere.

What's planned for 2011?
Our album will be released early this year, then it's all about getting it heard in as many places as we can, so we'll be gigging a lot to promote it.

To find out more about Blood Orange and to listen to their music go to


Belper Heritage Matters By Adrian Farmer

For the first edition of a new year, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on events that happened in this area exactly a century ago. 1911 was the year work started on the building of Belper’s biggest building, the East Mill, but a look back to other events of that year shows how much life has changed – and how some things change very little.

January 1911 saw the release of figures showing 75 per cent of old people in the Belper Union Workhouse eligible for pensions had said they preferred to stay at the workhouse rather than take the pension and move out. At a meeting of the Belper Guardians, who officiated over the workhouse, this announcement was met by one member’s response: “I thought these old age pensions were going to see the workhouses abandoned!” which raised considerable laughter. Persistent badgering of the authorities by former police inspector John Clark (73) of Belper finally saw a change that month in the frequency pensions were paid, from quarterly to monthly.

Early in the year, the improved street lighting programme for the town took another step forward with better and brighter lamps on Nottingham Road, Bedlam Hill, Over Lane and Long Row. April saw the first appearance of electric lighting for private use in the town centre. Rushton’s cycle and motor works on Chapel Street had electric lights in the workshop and house. The only electric lighting previously seen in the town was at the fair and to light up the front of the Public Hall (now the Ritz Cinema) for an event in 1908.

Illness hit a Belper’s High Street School in the February, with outbreaks of whooping cough and Scarlet Fever closing the school for three weeks. It was Pottery Infant School’s turn in April, with a 14-day closure owing to outbreaks of mumps, chicken pox and measles. The building had to be fumigated and disinfected before it was cleared for opening by the council’s medical officer.

In May, there was a massive explosion at Kilburn brickworks. Mr Gale was breaking up old iron with dynamite and used too much. Iron fragments were thrown hundreds of feet into the air, and one piece fell on the leg of 18-year-old Tom Chamberlain, who had been lying down nearby, looking on. His leg was fractured, and he was taken to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. Several others were hit by fragments, one being knocked off their feet, but no-one else was hurt.

The 1911 census results were released in June, showing Belper's population had risen from 10,934 in 1901 to 11,643 – it has more than doubled since.

George V's 1911 coronation saw bonfires lit at Duffield and Alport, with activities in all the surrounding communities. Many of the elderly were invited to a dinner in Belper River Gardens but didn't attend because the organisers didn’t put on any transport.

September saw Belper's first ever bungalow being built by Fred Blount at the rear of his new hosiery factory on Spencer Road. That month, Milford people were asking for a station to be built for the village, but this failed to receive backing from Alderman Strutt at Makeney Hall, and came to nothing.

If you want to know more about the history of Belper and the surrounding villages, visit St John’s Chapel in the town on the last Saturday of the month, between 10am and 12 noon. Members of Belper Historical Society are available to answer questions and there is information to read and a database of old photographs to explore.

Fashion by Shona Harding from Pearls & Scarlett

I hope you have all recovered from the excesses of Christmas and I am sure, like me, you are currently on one of numerous diets to get off the weight before spring. With diets and sale shopping I get very depressed in January and February.

Firstly I hate having to lose weight and secondly I loathe the hustle and bustle of sale shopping. So I always look forward to the optimism that spring brings; new fashion styles, funky prints and the promise of adding some bright colours to my winter palette of black, black and more black. What makes this spring especially promising is the influence designers have taken from oriental fashion. As well as this we have the trend of animal prints following through from winter to spring.

Firstly we will look at oriental fashions taken straight from the influence of the 70’s, Studio 54 and the style icon, Bianca Jagger. Here we have vibrant colours, floral or tropical flora and fauna teamed with sharp cuts and laser cut jackets. Large bracelet cuffs and tie oriental style belts make accessories a safe bet if you are not sure about going fully oriental all at once.
Autumn/Winter 2010 was filled with animal print and this trend will continue throughout spring. From leopard spots to tiger stripes whatever your taste, a touch of any print will make an outfit look current and on trend. If you feel uncomfortable wearing prints then why not try jewellery, shoes or a handbag?

It seems there is still a throw-back to the eighties this spring. Instead of power dressing jackets and big shoulders, the high street will feature more of a ‘glam disco’ feel. Neon colours and golds are all over the catwalk with Fendi, Dior and Versace all going for all out glamour. If you have an occasion to attend it might be worth ditching the staple black dress and experiment with bright bold colours. Statement belts will help to pinch in the waist and create the curves.

Colour seems to be the real theme running through all the catwalks for spring/summer 2011. Gone are the ditsy prints and pastels and in is a more acidic palette of colours. If the thought of neons in the daytime scares you then tone down the impact with a crisp white shirt. If you can’t bear the thought of all over neon why not just introduce a bright belt or bright patent shoe?

See you next edition, when we get a glimpse of spring/summer 2011.
Shona xx