'The Ditchling Ladies'

'The Ditchling Ladies' - four ladies of Ditchling, two in their nineties, offer entertaining and improbably lively insights on life, loss and love.

A year in the life of Ditchling - told through entertaining and wide-ranging interviews with a group of remarkable women - intercut with scenes from village life. With its many societies, a lively village school, a Fair established by Royal Charter in the 14th century and an impressive line-up of celebrity residents, including Dame Vera Lynn who features in this film, Ditchling offers a rich and varied canvas.

Interviewees include the weaver Hilary Bourne (1911-2004), whose credits include the tunic worn by Charlton Heston in Ben Hur and the distinguished silversmith and writer Dame Winefride Pruden.

Photograph Dame Winifrede

'The Ditchling Ladies' is a film about the quiet dramas of the human condition with stories told by people who often go unheard.

It is about memory, hope, loss and love.

Yellow Brick Road

To contact Luke Holland at ZEF Productions Limited, or to purchase DVDs of the series, 'A Very English Village', please click this image.

The Ditchling Films
Screened on BBC TWO in January 2007, this series of five documentary films for the award-winning BBC 'Storyville' strand, had an earlier outing on BBC FOUR.

Going for the Kill
The Ditchling film series opens with 'Going for the Kill', in which Luke follows a year in the life of Sussex farmer and Master of the local hunt, Gary Lee, at the time when the contentious Hunting Bill was being debated in Parliament.

Salad Days
A village production of this hit musical of Cold War England, offers insights on backstage Ditchling - an exercise in nostalgia, or updated escapism for a new dark age?

Looking for Mr Gill
An exploration of the legacy that Eric Gill, maverick genius of the Arts and Crafts Movement, has left to Ditchling, the early twentieth century setting for his controversial experiment in art and community.

Closing Time
Ditchling campaigns to save the village pub from a commercial assault that makes a nonsense of democracy and of community. Across the UK one pub is lost every weekday.

Film reviews and comments
'An elegiac 90-minute film...an engrossing and deftly crafted documentary.' The Sunday Times. Read more newspaper reviews and viewers' comments.

Interview with Luke Holland
Transcript of an interview by the BBC with the film-maker, Luke Holland, about the making of the five-part documentary series, 'A Very English Village'.

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