Collection Janet and John Lurcook Oral History


This collection features an oral history interview with Janet and John Lurcook, recorded in 2009 and a series of edited clips combining extracts from the interview with archival film and still images. The interview and the clips cover the couple's involvement in the Sevenoaks Cine Society, a kent-based amateur film-making group, during the 1950s.

Collection ID1059Reference codeK 081200
TitleJanet and John Lurcook Oral History
Dates2009 - 2011
ProductionScreen Archive South East, Janet and John Lurcook Oral History interview
Access statusContact Screen Archive South East for details


With a background as a professional photographer, John Lurcook became involved in the Sevenoaks Cine Society in the early 1950s, taking responsibility for photography and continuity for the group's film production. Janet was not a member herself but attended many of the Society's regular social events with her parents who were involved in the group. Janet and John first met at a Society social function in January 1953.

At this time the Society had over 50 members and productions would typically involve a dozen or more people behind, and in front of, the camera. The group was funded through a 5 shilling membership fee and through ticket sales at social events. Across the 1950s, the Society made many amateur fiction films with original story lines, set in the rural Kent town. The Society also made a selection of amateur documentary films as well as recording their own social events and activities.

Though the Society included professional photographers such as John, all were amateur film-makers, actors and crew. John also later took on the role of Programmes Secretary, responsible for printing the Society's tickets and programmes, amongst other activities. John made rare appearances in front of the camera, once playing a cameo as 'the chap who got the girl' in a 1953 production 'Winner Take All' and as a ghost in 'Home from Home'. John also make many of the props for the films and generally assisted on society productions.

The Society's films were eventually deposited with Screen Archive South East and in 2009 the Archive recorded a two hour interview with the Lurcooks, as key members of the Society, capturing their memories and stories from that era.

Films in this collection:

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