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The Story of Alton Towers

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Thursday, 1st December 2005 By Dan Ketteringham

A new DVD about Alton Towers has been produced by a senior lecturer in media at Staffordshire University.

Dr Gary Kelsall produced the DVD with help from London-based film editor Simon Lowe. Using images dating back to the 1870s and film archive from the 1920s, the Story of Alton Towers looks at the attraction from a historical and contemporary viewpoint.

The DVD includes materials researched from Pathe, the BBC and private collections. Dr Kelsall, who has co-produced several documentaries, was given access to the Alton Towers archive as part of the research for his PhD.

He said: "It was difficult choosing a direction for the documentary, as Alton Towers is significant in so many ways. As well as it being the former ancestral seat of the Earls of Shrewsbury, the house is well-known as being in part designed by the great Gothic architect Augustus Pugin.

"Many people don't realise that Alton Towers was first opened to the public as far back as the 1830s."

Dr Kelsall launched appeals for materials, including old cine footage, photographs and documents, and organised interviews with former staff and visitors.

He added: "We could only include so much in a single documentary and are already thinking of making a second, this time perhaps concentrating a little more on the house and gardens. In any case, all the many materials collected, including filmed interviews, will be donated to the Alton Towers archive."

Source: The Sentinel


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