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Chance to see rare footage of Barrow as part of landmark year for BAE Systems

Priceless archive footage rarely seen in public is to be showcased at an event to be held at the Forum in Barrow later this month.

Organised by the North West Film Archive, at Manchester Metropolitan University, and supported by BAE Systems, 'Furness on Film', which is to be held on October 23 at 19.30, will feature films shot by a variety of film-makers, including those produced by legendary TV documentary maker Ray Gosling, along with amateur footage giving an insight into Barrow over the years.

Geoff Senior, from the North West Film Archive, said: "Because of the area's varied past, there is a wealth of footage to choose from. Shipbuilding over the decades has been part and parcel of daily life here for decades and I've selected a range of films which I hope will spark conversation and bring back memories."

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the UK's Continuous At Sea Deterrent and among films to be shown is rare colour footage of the launch in 1966 of HMS Resolution. Four of the Resolution class carried the deterrent for thirty years until replacement by Barrow-built Vanguard class submarines in the 1990s. Today work is well underway to construct the Dreadnought class of boats due to go into service in the 2030s.

In another film, with sea cadets, VIPs and fashions of the day very much in evidence, Geoff is particularly keen to identify two particular guests: "The poignant footage features a lot of people who we know are involved in the construction of HMS Sheffield, but the presentation of a bouquet to the Queen by twins is a real highlight. Who were they and where are they now? If anyone knows more information it would be good to hear from them to shed some light on their 'day jobs' and how they came to be chosen to be in the limelight on the day."

As well as the films, a newly formed BAE Systems choir, led by University of Cumbria musical director Tim Jasper, will perform in public for the first time. The group has been drawn from across BAE Systems' Barrow site and will be performing classic British songs from the same era as the films.

Laura Lake, event manager, said: "This will be a fitting tribute to all who have worked in and around the Barrow shipyard. I'm sure the night will be a great opportunity to look back at the achievements here, as well as offer a golden opportunity to hear from those who are working hard to ensure the site continues to build on Barrow's shipbuilding legacy."

For ticket information contract the Forum box office 01229 820000


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