Monday, 19 March 2012

Rock on!

I'm sitting in an Alice in Wonderland inspired tea rooms on Richmond Street in Manchester. It feels like a rather surreal place to be drinking tea at 10pm, but then again it's been a very surreal day.

I woke up in North Wales and was on a hill over-looking Hattersley by lunchtime.

Today was the day the good folk of Hattersley got to view our film for the first time. Paul organised a mini-premier in the community centre and the place was absolutely rammed with excited people who couldn't wait to see themselves in the film.

It was such a moving experience for us to watch the film surrounded by Hattersley people in the very community centre where the films were made.

The response was great. I could feel waves of emotion coming from all directions, and was thrilled that the people in the films got to feel like proper stars for the night. There were whoops and cheers and plenty of tears.

I made a little speech, and urged everyone in the crowd to keep fighting for what they're owed when their beloved community centre gets knocked down in the summer.

They'd laid on a proper fancy buffet with cakes and crisps and little sandwiches, and we sat for a few hours after the screening feeling incredibly proud of what we'd all achieved. I spent some time talking to Sheila, who features prominently in Charlie's film singing "Just like the Ivy." She turns 79 on Tuesday but says she has no one to celebrate with. "Aren't you married?" I asked. "I was." "Did you not have children?" "I had four beautiful boys," she said "but they all died at birth. The last one lasted eighteen hours." She smiled wistfully, her eyes began to prickle and my heart broke.

And here we are, back in Manchester City Centre, in a curious coffee shop,  with big smiles on our faces, feeling chuffed to pieces and ready to move on to the next adventure. Nathan is knitting a pair of socks. Rock on!

Pepys' diary entry 350 years ago was all about his uncle's estate in Brampton. The whole issue of his Uncle's will had dragged on to the extent that I'm sure even Pepys himself was bored witless!!

PS - we've got a really cool hotel room, which only cost £40! Look! It's even got a spa bath.

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