ARCHIVE film footage of Bishop Auckland will be shown on the big screen this weekend as part of a festival celebrating the town’s heritage.

The Bishop Auckland on Film event, at King James Academy on Saturday, September 14, will provide a picture of the town’s past caught on camera.

Looking back over the past century, the screening will feature amateur cine films alongside professionally produced dramas and documentaries.

Among the treats in store are a drama shot in 1945 featuring schoolchildren discovering the history of Bishop Auckland, a Tyne Tees documentary about life in nearby pit villages during the 1960s and footage of Durham Miners’ Gala over five decades.

There are also upbeat films promoting County Durham as a place to live, work and invest, with a tour of workplaces and industries across the area.

The film showing, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, has been organised by the North East Film Archive and Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone, which is a partnership between Historic England and Durham County Council.

Councillor Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We are pleased to be working with the North East Film Archive to showcase fascinating footage which captures the history and heritage of the area."

Julie Ballands, film delivery manager for the North East Film Archive, said: “We are delighted to be part of the inaugural History and Heritage Festival in Bishop Auckland and are looking forward to sharing how the area has been represented on film over the last century.

“We preserve this moving image history so that it can be shared and seen, and it is always exciting to bring the films back to where they were made. The audience may even spot people they know."

The screening will also include clips of Bishop Auckland in the 1970s which were recently donated by local resident Chris Anderson, who will be on hand to talk about the footage.

Jules Brown, historic places adviser for Historic England, said: “Film is a fantastic way for people to connect with their heritage. We are pleased to have been able to take part in this North East Film Archive project and to help people access this valuable record of our past.”

Bishop Auckland History and Heritage Festival, which will explore the town’s past through an extensive programme of events and activities, runs until Saturday 28 September.

Tickets for the screening cost £5 or £3 for concessions and are available in person from King James Academy main office or Gala Theatre box office or online at, where a full festival programme is also available.