A trilogy of videos charting the work of the Swindon Advertiser has been made to mark the end of an era, as the town’s daily newspaper moved from Old Town after so many years.
Flicky Harrison, feature writer with the Adver, and videographer wanted to record the event by capturing footage of the old building in Victoria Road, filming former staff's memories of times gone by, and at the same time showcasing the newspaper today.
“It is not all Drop The Dead Donkey, but life at the paper is never dull and I felt it would be a shame to let Adver Towers, as we nicknamed the old building, disappear into obscurity without some sort of record,” said Flicky.
“The more I filmed and talked to staff past and present, the more I could see that, lovely though the old building was in its prime, it was the people that made the heart of the paper.
“No matter how much technology changes or where we are based, the Adver remains at the heart of this town. It is the people’s paper and all of us who work here are merely custodians.’’
Press Call, the first of the trilogy of videos, records the hustle and bustle behind the scenes of a hectic news room. The film uncovers the relationships between the reporters and emergency services on the frontline of news gathering, what it takes to become a top photographer and how the editor, Pete Gavan, leads his team in what is now a multimedia industry.
Sports editor Owen Houlihan chats about life on the sports desk, feature writer Barrie Hudson lets us into secrets he uncovered in the archives when the paper moved to its current premises at Edison Park in Dorcan and local historian and former Adver journalist Graham Carter talks about the history of the building, including the old office’s legendary ghost.
The second video, The Printers’ Roar, films the press where the Advertiser is printed, while the third records the advertising and marketing department.
“It is the thunder roar as the press bursts into life that is so exciting,’’ said Flicky. “And the amount of work that print manager Jerry Secker and his team in Oxford do to keep the press rolling both day and night.’’
Also featured in the second of the trilogy are former printers and staff who remember when the Evening Advertiser, as it was called then, was printed via hot metal. The video shows Adver reporter Reece Chaplin meeting the printers and hearing their fascinating stories.
The final video in the trilogy is called Taking Care of Business and records the marketing and advertising department’s role in making Wiltshire Newspapers such a successful multi media company. Head of Advertising Wiltshire, Darren Reynolds talks about the changes through the years and the plans for keeping ahead of the game.
The digital media department are filmed creating websites for local businesses, and the video highlights the importance of good working relations between advertising and editorial departments which historically have always been at logger heads.
But Flicky stressed: “My idea was not all about recording the past with this trilogy, I wanted to show the Swindon Advertiseras it is now.
“I wanted to reassure the town that their community paper is still very much a people’s paper, powered by the dedication of the current crop of journalists both in print and up online.
For more details visit www.flicksvideoproductions.com
Links to the Swindon Advertiser Trilogy