A Story of Waterloo
by Jack Thurston
I’ve lived in Waterloo since 1996. Over the past six months I’ve been helping Mike Bruce with the digitisation of his A Story of Waterloo, a ‘tape slide show’ that since it was first screened in 1982 has achieved something of a mythic status in community circles. These days nobody has the machinery to play ‘tape slide shows’ so the 600+ slides have been gathering dust in Mike’s attic and the only way of seeing the Story of Waterloo has been on a very poor VHS bootleg copy that I’m told exists, though I’ve never managed to lay my hands on it.
A Story of Waterloo is a really outstanding piece of local history, blending archive material with interviews with local residents (many of whom are long since dead, being in their 80s back in the 1970s and 1980s when the research was done).
A Story of Waterloo is in four parts and covers the period up to the end of the Second World War and Mike has plans to add further parts to cover the post-war era. Yes please! For the digitisation we’ve gone back to the original quarter inch reel-to-reel audio tapes and had the slides cleaned and scanned professionally (thanks to a grant from the London Eye). The whole thing is being reassembled in Final Cut Pro.
The first three parts (up to the outbreak of WW2) will be screened at the Waterloo Action Centre on 2 June. Part four requires some more work as the audio tapes were recorded using a four track recorder. If anyone reading has access to a four track reel-to-reel player, please get in touch. We’ll have other screenings over the summer and a DVD copy will be provided to any community groups who want to put on their own screenings.