Parish Clerks Network

Dorset Echo, Tuesday 6 March 2007

Student’s plea to ex-villagers

A STUDENT film-maker has appealed for residents of a lost village to contact him and take part in a documentary.

Weymouth College student Chris Taviner, 24, wants people who once lived in Tyneham to get in touch.

The village in Purbeck was abandoned in December 1943 when the Army took over the land.

Today it is used as a firing range by the Ministry of Defence and the remaining buildings lie empty.

Chris believes some villagers may still be living locally, and he wants to tap into their memories.

He said: "It is a fascinating and eerie place and from a film-making point of view full of atmosphere and strong visual images.

"The BBC filmed a documentary a few years ago and there were one or two people featured who may still be around. I will be looking to make a 10 or 15-minute film about the village interspersed with personal testimonies.

"Dorset County Museum has agreed to provide a historian to fill in the details of what happened to this place and why it was never reclaimed."

Only the church and schoolhouse remain intact in Tyneham and public access is restricted to certain times of the year when the range is not in use.

Chris, originally from Exeter, is busy completing his video production course at the college and hopes to pursue a career as a documentary maker when he leaves.

With a group of fellow students he recently set up a production company - Mediatank - and could use the Tyneham film as part of his coursework.

He said: "It's actually something of an extra-curricular project for me but I could use it as part of the course. I didn't want to do the usual course project of filming the homeless in Weymouth as I think this is more interesting. Hopefully villagers will be happy to come to Tyneham for the filming but if not we can meet elsewhere."

FOCUSED: Matt Hatchard and Chris Taviner

are appealing to old residents of Tyneham for their documentary


News from 2007