From Humble Beginnings

In 1951, a small boy was walking to school. As he passed a shop, he looked in the window and saw a 9.5mm hand turned projector. For a moment, he stopped and stared at it. With his mouth slightly open, he was amazed to see a projector for sale and he had only one thought on his mind, ‘He wanted it!’

Day after day, on his way to and from school, he saw the same projector, and wanted it all the more. But one afternoon, on the way home, as he passed the shop and looked in the window, to his shock and horror, the projector had gone.

The young boy was broken hearted. He walked home from school, very slowly, almost in tears, the one thing he wanted most in the world had gone. He came in, slowly shut the front door, put his school cap and coat away and went into the kitchen. There stood his father, and on the kitchen table, the same projector and a small spool of film!

Instantly, his face lit up at the sight of it, and with a big hug for his dad, they put the film on together. The film was a horse running across a field. It was only very short, about one minute long, but as the father slowly turned the handle of the projector, the young boy knew he wanted to see more films.

That young boy was Roger D Lilley FAIA and that true story is how Roger became one of Plymouth’s best documentary makers and one of the UK’s leading expert of Super 8 and Standard 8mm of cine film.

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