Saturday, 25 February 2012

Drawing Lines and Washing Lines

When Wood Street Draws is playing drawing games at the Launderette, 111 Wood Street today. Drop in between 2 and 4pm.

The sun is out, 
the windows are our drawing board, 
and there's a big sofa to sink into 
with our doodle books.

Friday, 24 February 2012


Emily and I spent the evening at the BFI library in Stephen Street looking through their databases. We were discovering what material they held from the Film Studios on Wood Street.   We logged a few hundred references to Broadwest Films  in The Bioscope, Pictures and the Picturegoer and Kinematograph Weekly (for us to revisit) and viewing copies of 3 films, 2 incomplete, including 'The Snare' (1918) and 'Loudwater Mystery' (1921).  We also saw some still photographs of Violet Hopson in Rachel Low's fantastic and comprehensive The History of the British Film 1895-1929.  There were some wonderful synopses: here is one from 'Missing the Tide' (1918) " From the novel by Alfred Turner.  Wife leaves cruel husband too late, her lover has wed nurse." The film 'Under Suspicion' was "set in Russia.  An American Major fights a duel with a Russian Police chief to save the brother and husband of the Countess Nadia." Finally from 'The House Opposite' (1918) "From the play by Percival Landon.  Agent's jealous wife witnesses murder whilst visiting lover.  There are many lessons to be learnt it seems!

Violet Hopson (left) in The Ware Case, 1917

The Gentleman Rider, 1919

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Valentin Road

Yesterday we had a couple of visitors who made this lovely scene, and then put themselves in it. We also had a great story passed on about the cinema on the Market site... apparently when they showed Westerns a horse would be brought in and galloped up and down the isles to get everyone in the mood! Wow how great is that?
The first workshop at Woodside primary School will take place on Friday, watch this space for the children's comments and report on the day. They will be making props and preparing artwork for the animation, its all hush hush so you'll have to wait and see what they think and get up to!
Also, here is a photo of Valentin Road, the site for the final screening of the film yet to be made. We think the work will be a site specific piece with cameos by a few local this space.

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Casa Cafe Draw

Casa 05 is to host our next session
 of drawing games for
When Wood Street Draws 
on Saturday 18th February. 
We'll be there from 10.30 - 12.30

Drop in and enjoy a late breakfast, an early lunch, coffee and cake, 
Casa 05's warm welcome
and plenty to  
sketch      doodle      draw

Find Casa 05 at 1a Golden Parade, 
a section of Wood Street, 
between Havant Road and Wyatt's Lane,
just opposite Images in Frames.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


We had a great many submissions, making a fabulous display, which was appreciated by the hundreds of visitors to Wood Street Indoor Market on Saturday 11th February.

Guy Haywood's artwork - "THE SKY'S THE LIMIT" raises the spirits, voicing a very positive sentiment which many people should be happy to adopt: there are no limits to what we can achieve! Belinda Chan's artwork was highly commended and a version 
Jet's artwork (also highly commended) is being adopted as a project logo for the reverse of the bag.

A limited edition of 1000 bags will be distributed by various host shops and settings
along the entire length of Wood Street in March. A list of all host venues will be posted here later this month.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The drawing games begin

Join Della and Morag on
Tuesday 14th February
for our first session
of drawing games. 

Drop into Wood Street Library
between 10.30 to 12.30.

We have been preparing the playing cards for the Telepathic Snap Sketch Test, making the When Wood Street Draws Fortune Teller,
and sorting out plenty of big sheets of paper for Table Top Doodle Dialogues.

Everyone's drawings, doodles, and sketches will be displayed in a book showing the whole collection, a visual compendium of what happens in Wood Street.

We will be playing more drawing games in and around Wood Street in February and March. You will find us in local cafes, local businesses and in public spaces. You can pop in and join us for 5 minutes or for the whole session. It is free and open to all, children should be accompained by an adult.

We will be announcing future sessions on this blog, and look out for posters in the area. If you would like to suggest a venue for a When Wood Street Draws session, contact: and

Join us to sketch, doodle and draw. 

Crown Picture Palace

We've started on a model of the cinema that used to be located in Wood Street Market, using a photograph as a reference.


Although it was a rainy Monday, there were a few visitors to the market today.

Max's Dick Turpin and Black Bess pursued by a policeman

Jodie's family

Dick Turpin

Emily and I are trying to piece together the extraordinary history of Wood Street's film production companies up until the 1930's. 

Information on the internet is quite sparse, so it's useful to talk to visitors to the unit, and Emily and I will be off to Vestry House and the BFI this week.  British Filmcraft Productions Ltd, which were at one time based in Wood Street, made a four part series called The Adventures of Dick Turpin in 1929, here is a still from 'Outlawed', showing Kenneth McLaglen and Betty Simmons.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Wood Street Market blast off!

Lizzy spent the day in the Picture Palace, number 6  Wood Street Indoor Market for the launch of the new shops filling the empty market units. We had set up an OHP and a little screen for visitors to make shadowy pictures. We were thinking about the cinema in Wood Street where the screen was in the middle, and visitors could pay a bit less to go round the back.  It was free on both sides today!  We also projected some of our previous projects and some lovely clips of archive footage of Wood Street film studios and the Wood Street walk provided by WACC.  We wanted to find out all we could about the cinemas and film studios that used to be in Wood Street, and we now have a few places and people that we can contact to find out more. We were quite overwhelmed by the warmth and curiosity of visitors to the market. With Ashley's help, we gave out 150 of our special leaflets, that's alot of folding!  We hope that some of the visitors we met today will pop back in again.  Lizzy will be in number 6 on Monday, see you there!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Our sign is now up and we are getting ready for the exciting Saturday event at the Wood Street Indoor Market Valentine launch. We will be showing some films and animations and a little display of the background inspiration for the project. Please pop in and make a shadow on our shadow screen!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Woodside School and some entertaining local characters

Just had the most entertaining afternoon in the Stow. Took a class of 8-10 year olds in imaginative thinking at Woodside School - A huge thanks to Lisa and everyone for their participation.
I asked them - imagine anything you like that could be going on behind the hoarding beside the school. Well, the kids just went for it, robots, rainbows, zombies, zoos, flowers, butterflies, eggy man (!) giant worms, lots of love! Great stuff!

Also to the library and the young mums I met, kindly asking me to pop back for a chat next week. And Andy for his help. Then off to the shops - good response and a few stories there, some already a bit dubious that I cant go into, from the carpet shop up to the Pie n Mash, the drycleaners (with the HUGE bulldog), the organic shop over to the funeral directors then up to the Cricket Club, with a wee jaunt to the Market for a chat. If I dont get some juicy gossip from those that I met - well cor blimey, I's off to get some ale down!

In construction.

Lizzy and I are working on leaflets, signs for the unit, kettles and biscuits so that we can welcome visitors to the Wood Street market and start the business of collecting memories of the cinemas on Wood street. Lizzy went to The Walthamstow Amateur Cine club and had a fascinating evening watching short films and had a chance to watch a film they have made about the subject.
We'll let you know when we make progress on the kettle and biscuit tin. We will be there next week on Monday and Wednesday. Do pop by.