I love this time of the year more than any other where cine is concerned. It represents all of my firsts for me personally where this hobby of ours is concerned.
I wind the clock back now all the way to 1973.
My Uncle Fred (ex cinema projectionist) was visiting our house as was often the case in the 70's (families were closer and bigger back then) and while pacing up and down the living room waiting desperately for the local pub to open for his daily fix of Chester's mild, he caught sight of me looking through the bay window using a 35mm pop up slide viewer. (the slides were given to me of myself and my sister very kindly by a neighbour who took the photo's).
He took an interest in what I was looking at and told me to get my mums Kays catalogue out from "under the stairs".
He showed me all of the photographic equipment within the "grown up" photographic pages and then proceeded to the toy section of the catalogue.
"This is what you want r Andrew", he said. He was pointing excitedly to a Casdon Standard 8mm Silent Toy Projector including all of the 50ft colour and B/W shorts within the catalogue.
I was totally mesmerized. To think that I could be sitting with my pals in my Mum & Dads kitchen aged 7 watching all these great little films as a moving film show instead of a boring old slide show that I had presented previously to them, just totally and utterly captured my complete imagination!
That was it. It went on my Christmas list and I was totally smitten with the idea from September right through till December of that year.
(a very long time when you're only aged7!)
From that moment to this very day, just like my love of vinyl records and Manchester City, it simply has never ever left me.
Yes we go off the idea as soon as we meet girls or drive our first cars. But just like any first love in life.... it simply never ever completely leaves us for good.
We are all governed for life, I feel, by our early childhood poignant memories and this is just one of many, that simply never ever will leave me.
The first screening ever for 6 of my mates and myself on Dec 25th 7pm, showing "Woodpecker From Mars" B/W silent will equally never ever leave me either, even if it was at a throw of about 18 inches onto a 15inch screen all huddled around a round kitchen table drinking Vimto! Ha ha
From this story, I am hoping others like Tom etc have a similar vintage story of their earliest memories of the hobby and their first equipment they ever called their own.
Here is the said 200ft silent Standard 8mm 6v bulb Casdon Toy Projector, no shutter required BTW