1997 newspaper article about Reg's cine film that inspired a whole series of documentaries.
In 1995, a man called Reg Blackett, contacted Roger in connection with having some 16mm cine film put on to video. As they spoke, Roger learned that Reg was a keen amateur cinematographer, and is his youth, had filmed an awful lot of the history of Plymouth. One of the things that Reg had so lovingly recorded was the old Saltash ferry. The footage that Reg had was priceless and completely unique, Roger knew he had to do something about it. With his son Phil, and this time his father, Gerald, they started work on a script entitled Plymouth's Historical Ferries & Bridges.
Roger, Phil and Gerald did not really know that much about documentary making, but Roger knew someone who did. Whilst working in the Drake Odeon cinema in Plymouth, Roger worked with a young man called Roger Underwood. When they had left the cinema they had both taken different paths, but both still working in moving pictures. Roger Lilley with cine film and Roger Underwood had become a camera man for the local TV company TSW (now known as Westcountry). Roger Underwood had recently left to set himself up as a cameraman and documentary maker—the timing was perfect.
The two Rogers sat down and started work on the new documentary. Gerald worked on the script and Phil worked on the technical side. When the video was finished it was an instant hit with the local TV and people of Plymouth. So many of them had memories of the ferry journey and it sold out in almost every outlet stocking it.
So, Roger and Phil had started on a new road, documentary making, and have up till now made eight titles of the history of Plymouth, and over 20 titles of historical railways, from the South West and all over the UK.