It was red carpet night in north Northumberland on Friday when a group of volunteers unveiled an impressive video depicting the passion, tragedy and bloodshed that was the Battle of Flodden almost 500 years ago.
The film is titled Battle of Flodden – Then and Now, and has been produced by the Remembering Flodden Project, with help and support from a number of sponsors, including www.thisisnorthumberland.com.
It has been directed and produced to professional standards and is a gripping watch, telling the story of the build-up to the battle in 1513, the movement of the Scottish and English armies, and the intrigue behind the politics of the time.
It also explores warfare in the 1500s, types of weapons used, and the way in which both the weather and ground conditions as well as the landscape shaped the outcome of the battle.
Clive Hallam-Baker, who oversaw the production of the documentary and who narrates the film, said: “We wanted to shoot a film entirely on the location of the Battle of Flodden itself, and to tell a story rather than a history.
“The idea was to flag up our local heritage and history and also to feature the wild and beautiful north Northumberland countryside close to and around the battlefield.
“To start with, making the film was difficult – mainly because we had no idea of how to make a film; but we knew what we wanted to say and show in the film. And, after two failed attempts we finally got going.
“Once we decided to keep things simple, to start the story at the beginning, work through the middle and finish at the end, things seemed to fall into place. We ended up with an uncomplicated, straightforward story about a vitally important episode in both local and national history. Most importantly – we had fun making the film.”
The film was launched on Friday at Kirk Newton village hall and was well-received. It has already been reviewed by author and member of the Towton Battlefield Society Peter Algar, and this with appear in an upcoming issue of the Battlefields Trust magazine.
Peter writes: “Clive Hallam-Baker takes you on a shadowy journey into the past, against a backdrop of scenery that has hardly changed since that fateful day on 9th September 1513 when brave men fought hand to hand and fourteen thousand died in the space of a few hours, at the Battle of Flodden field. Amazing cinematography and a great soundtrack help set the scene for a fascinating encounter between two old foes. This masterful work is dedicated to the brave men of both sides, who fought an epic battle on that day.”