Available for big-screen presentation,

or via Zoom



Their stories told in film, photos and graphics with
clear and entertaining commentary

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I was there fifty eight years ago


On the 8th of August 1963 I was eight months into a career in journalism, a trainee on the local newspaper at Leighton Buzzard. The story is told from my own experiences and those of three others who became colleagues during my career — one, a photographer who was the first journalist on the scene, the others television news reporters who covered the happenings for ITN, and whose coverage comes out of the archive. The presentation touches on vintage movies of train robberies, moving through time to the beaches of Rio where train robber Ronnie Biggs spent his best years. Was the whole affair worth it for the robbers? They answer that question. Duration: 45 minutes








Probably the longest emigration voyage in history


This tale is told nowhere else and is my most requested offering. It emanates from family history research and relates the story (and stories) of the first families to settle on Vancouver Island off the west coast of Canada. Using entries from the log book of the sailing ship that took them there and through the writings of some on board, it tracks their 1852 journey from home via a five-month sailing ship voyage around Cape Horne, through heat and cold, through snow and winds, through storm and tempest. The presentation then follows the families happenings in their first five years in what was then a new colony, and tells of the legacy they left behind in what is now a tourist destination, the islands capital Victoria. Duration: up to one hour







The Third London Airport Campaign 1969-71 (50th anniversary year)


More than fifty years after plans for a new London airport threatened to destroy the way of life in the whole of North Buckinghamshire this presentation tells the story of the campaign to save its villages. The audio-visual work takes a journey from a little room upstairs at the Swan public house in the village of Stewkley and the drawing room of a country house in the market town of Winslow to the cabinet table in Downing Street.  The route was via the biggest and most expensive planning exercise ever undertaken in Britain, and an affair that became known as the first battle for the environment. Some 12,000 folk turned up at the biggest protest rally in a campaign involving folk in 200 towns and villages in middle England. It was the Prime Minister who chaired the meeting that finally saved North Bucks. The presentation includes a mass of television and amateur footage from the time. Duration: Approx one hour



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Started a long career in journalism as a reporter on the Leighton Buzzard Observer, was press officer for the Wing Airport Resistance Association at the time of the Third London Airport campaign 50 years ago, followed by news editing roles for for BBC radio. Joined Independent Television News in 1971 as News Editor of News at Ten, staying with ITN in various senior journalistic and management roles for nearly 30 years. Later was a consultant in the commercialisation of film and television archives. 

Career highlights included: News Editor for ITVs ground-breaking coverage of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer; was field News Editor for ITN for the visit of Pope John Paul to the UK in 1982; was Field Producer for ITNs coverage of the raising of the Mary Rose; as Head of Electronic Newsgathering introduced the first single-man news cameramen in the UK; as Head of the ITN Archive took annual income from film licensing above one million pounds for the first time.
These days John Flewin curates the not-for-profit Stewkley Film Archive that can be viewed at www.stewkleyfilms.org




Wing (Bucks) Womens Institute (2), Cheddington (Bucks) History Society (2), Heath & Reach (Beds) Womens Institute, Stewkley (Bucks) Local History Group (3), Stewkley Village Hall (village meeting), Leighton Buzzard (Beds) Friday Club (2), Wingrave-with-Rowshaw (Bucks) Heritage Association (2), Leighton Buzzard (Beds) Family History  Group, Buckinghamshire Family History Society (Northern Group); Dunton (Bucks) Parish Church; Stow-on-the-Wold (Gloucestershire) Civic Society (via Zoom), Leighton Buzzard (Beds) U3A (via Zoom), Kent Family History Society (via Zoom), Winslow Rotary Club.



Contact: john@flewin.com