After a difficult 6am start and sluggishly preparing for the day in the dark, myself and Holly managed to do some filming, choose our final destination (Scunthorpe) and be leaving Canterbury by around 7:30am. My initial thoughts when placing the pin blindfolded in Scunthorpe were ones of uncertainty. It is place i knew very little about and for some reason had in my head that it was a seaside town. I think our lack of knowledge about our destination worked in our favour as we did not make any assumptions and certainly did not change the way we filmed to ‘fit in’ with Scunthorpe, so to speak.
As we travelled north to Scunthorpe we took spontaneous detours to Cambridge and Newark, as well as a number of service stations. These places were both equally interesting in regards to landscape, though Cambridge was easier in regards of interviewing due to its bustling tourism. The best interview we received in Cambridge was with Mark Elliot, curator at the Museum of Anthropology & Archaeology for the University of Cambridge. Not only was this a great opportunity as anthropologists but in regards to the film Mark’s academic and passionate narrative summarised Cambridge perfectly, despite his Irish accent.
Newark on the other hand had was quiet. The only people we saw were from a distant in a supermarket where we could not film. Just as i was beginning to feel anxious that Newark would have nothing to offer us we found the the Newark Polish War Cemetry. Though perhaps rather morbid the cemetry was beautiful in it’s own right. Elaborate buildings and vibrant flowers were scattered throughout this vast space. A touch i particularly enjoyed filming were the crocheted bunting and flowers which had been lovingly wrapped around the trees. I feel the filming here was not only visually stunning, but also perhaps reflected in a way our relatively quiet experience in Newark, contrasting greatly to the life in Cambridge and symbolising a quiet part of our journey.
On arriving at Scunthorpe at around 6pm Holly and I were ready to interview anybody we could find, with new found energy and excitement after leaving Newark. However, Scunthorpe did not greet us in the way we hoped. From assuming that Scunthorpe was a relatively large place we were greeted by desolate streets with shut down pubs and restaurants. We wandered aimlessly for a while until we encountered some lovely locals who unfortunately did not want to be filmed, although i managed to record their voices. As they advised on a place where we might find some people one woman stated ‘Pick somewhere more exciting next time!’ This is was our first taste of how perhaps the locals felt about their place. Luckily, by going to the pub they had suggested we found a group of male locals, only one of whom was interested in talking to us. This was Steve Deyes, who, in contrast to Mark Elliot, seemed to lack passion and a sense of place despite living in Scunthorpe for mostly his whole life. I found this very interesting. He discussed with us his life as a doorman and also his past regrets on leaving the Navy. As a character i felt he portrayed a sadness which was absent from earlier on in the day and he was truly fascinating to film, especially for someone we had met by chance,
After a long drive back to Canterbury and an arrival at home at 4am (almost 24 hours on from when we started) i gave a rather sleepy sign off to camera and before i slept i began to appreciate the spontaneity of the trip. Truly it had been an interesting journey and all in the power of a little green pin.