Thanks to the splendid interest shown by the local media, our Dorset Online Archive Film Festival has been a great success.

It was a simple idea: just a selection of films from our collection dating from the 1910s to the 1990s made available via the internet for a week, with the support of Dorset Council. Yet, as simple concepts sometimes do, it really seems to have delighted a great many people.

Quite a few have been in touch with us to say how, after all the restrictions of the Covid-19 emergency, this opportunity to look at local life in the past through the window of moving image has really meant something to them. Many have seen echoes of their own lives and even relatives who are no longer with us.

Covid has prevented us from presenting archive film shows to live audiences. There have been 259 such shows so far, reaching tens of thousands of people. The Online Film Festival has helped to fill that gap. The festival is now over but I am glad to say that it is still possible to see films and hear sound recordings from the Windrose archive.

Our website www.windroseruralmedia.org provides a lot of information about our work which, as well as the archive, uses the media in all sorts of community based projects. If you visit the Windrose Shop on the website you will find a wide range of DVDs and CDs available featuring material from the archive. Windrose is, of course, a registered charity and all proceeds from the sale of DVDs and CDs is used to help fund the archive and our other work.

The website also includes Close Encounters, a map through which you can find locally relevant excerpts from some of our films and recordings.

We did not know that an online film festival would work. It is only because you and other local media were able to provide the vital link to communities around the county that it has.

TREVOR BAILEY

Windrose Rural Media Trust, Gillingham