Gazette’s Lost Archive film used to help dementia care

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The stunning work of Gazette photographers from yesteryear is today being used to help those living with dementia.

Hospitals in both Blackpool and Clifton are today showing a special film put together by Gazette editor Jon Rhodes.

From the Lost Archive: Sailors outside The Casino at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the 1930s

From the Lost Archive: Sailors outside The Casino at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the 1930s

It features pictures sourced from The Gazette’s ‘Lost Archive’ – a treasured collection of photographs which capture life in Blackpool and on the Fylde coast over the last 140 years.

These wonderful Gazette pictures – taken from the original glass negatives – were thought to have been lost forever until they were brought back to life in The Gazette’s weekly Lost Archives supplement.

Jon said: “We were approached by Blackpool Hospitals NHS Trust to see if there was anything we could do to help with dementia care at Victoria and Clifton Hospitals.

“It is proven that the use of pictures and other memorabilia can help those living with this dreadful condition.

Thrill ride at  Blackpool Pleasure Beach in August 1955

Thrill ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in August 1955

“So we decided to put together a slideshow of our best shots from the Lost Archives and set it to music.”

The 14-minute film is now being shown in the main reception at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and in the wards at the Vic and Clifton Hospitals.

The slideshow features such stars as The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, George Formby, Marlene Dietrich and Stanley Matthews. It also features the places and people that make Blackpool and the Fylde coast such a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Jon added: “Dementia affects so many people. My family is like so many others in that we have been deeply 
affected by it.

The Beatles at Blackpool Opera House in August 1964

The Beatles at Blackpool Opera House in August 1964

“It was an honour and a privilege to put together a slideshow from The Gazette’s wonderful old pictures which I hope will stoke many happy memories of Blackpool and the Fylde coast.”

The film, which The Gazette has dedicated to the “brilliance and vision” of its photographers down the years, is now being displayed alongside other memorabilia put together as part of Dementia Awareness Week.

Blackpool Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Gary Doherty said: “We are tremendously grateful to The Gazette for the Lost Archive video which will be a wonderful aid for helping our patients living with dementia.

“It is an excellent and innovative piece of work which will be a powerful therapy for so many patients.”

Gazette editor Jon Rhodes with football legend Jimmy Armfield at the launch of Dementia Awareness Week

Gazette editor Jon Rhodes with football legend Jimmy Armfield at the launch of Dementia Awareness Week

And Sarah Sloan, care of the elderly matron, added: “The use of photographs, DVDs and other memorabilia are able to enhance the experience of patients with any cognitive impairment.

“Often, patients living with dementia have reduced short-term memory.

“But by being shown images that are reminiscent of the past, patients can recognise these images and carers and staff can begin a meaningful conversation.

“These images then serve to add quality and meaning to any contact we have with patients.

“ This idea is exemplified in our Memory Corridor. Access to a DVD version of images allows access to the concept of the memory corridor from the bedside which is particularly useful when are patients are too poorly to leave the ward.”

A five minute version of the Lost Archives film can been seen here, on The Gazette’s website, set to the stunning track Today by Lancashire indie band Ring Ring Rouge. It was remixed by Monochrome – aka Ian Carten the former head of performing arts at Blackpool Sixth Form College.

Water skiing on Fairhaven Lake in June 1960

Water skiing on Fairhaven Lake in June 1960

For more infomation and tracks from Ring Ring Rouge or Monochrome visit www.jacktophono.com or via Twitter: @RingRingRouge or @MonochromeMusik

To become a Dementia Friend go to www.dementiafriends.co.uk or www.bfwh.nhs.uk

The shadow of Blackpool Tower is cast over the Winter Gardens in 1939

The shadow of Blackpool Tower is cast over the Winter Gardens in 1939