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Dave Skertchly

I have been making films since the age of 14, which is 56 years ago! I started with 8mm film and moved on to video in the 1990s. My films are generally made at a low cost; usually something around about around nothing! They are based on things I am interested in. I don’t even try to ape the professionals so I class my films as “craft films” rather like “craft beer”. I use very little equipment, just a low cost camcorder and some editing software on my laptop computer.

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Mary Rose - The True Story

Mary Rose the True Story is inspired by the cartoons made by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin back in the 1960, you may recall Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nogg and let’s not forget John Ryan’s Captain Pugwash.

This film was made using a low cost technique from those days called limited animation.

It cost about £5.00 to make, a huge budget by my standards, but it did take some 8 years. 

It tells the story of why the Mary Rose sank in front of Henry the VIII on that fateful day in July 1545 and we find out that it was “true loves story…strange but true”.

Last Train to Llangoblin

 I am a garden railway enthusiast and a great fan of the Welsh Narrow Gauge railways such as the Ffestniogg railway. I had always wondered why the impoverished Welsh Railways didn’t use rail-busses which were popular in the 1930s rather than the expensive steam engines. I decided to go back in time and build a railbus for my garden railway and find out why.

Redan Road
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Aldershot is full of curiosities if you know where to look. The 19th Century fortress on Redan Hill is just such a curiosity.

The STOL Machine
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Back in my miss-spent youth in the 1970s I was a model aircraft flyer.

 I built this Short Take and Landing (STOL) aeroplane for fun and told the story using my 8mm film camera. The original sound track was on a strange synchronised tape recorder so after converting the film to video the sound track was re-created to tell the story.

The story of G-ATIS
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When my career was at its peak I could afford my own aeroplane. My aeroplane was registered G-ATIS and was once owned by dare devil test pilot Neville Duke so it had a history.

I knew that as I headed towards retirement the good times could not last forever; especially with the stringent medical requirements for pilots.

I recorded the story of my aeroplane on video as I went along so that I could recall the fun times long after the aeroplane had been sold.

Who do I think I am
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The BBC were never going to tell the story of my family so I did it myself by spoofing the format of “who do you think you are”

I Dive the Great Barrier Reef
Making the McLaren
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For 9 years I was manager of the factory which made the carbon fibre chassis and body for the world’s first carbon fibre road car. During the last few weeks of the programme I handed my camcorder to the workforce and asked them to record the unique and special factory, and by good fortune there are lots of unique and special people too, and of course special thanks to Ron Dennis for turning a blind eye

A Round Trip with Dave
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It is one of those childish dreams to ride in your own toys. I set out to use chroma key effects (green screen) to take a trip on my own model railway. This film was made years ago in standard definition and maybe, just maybe, I will remake it in High Definition one day,


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Live from Llatireggub

As Covid 19 struck we found ourselves self isolating. The annual National Garden Railway Show was cancelled, but twelve of us decided to do a virtual show live from our garden railways. With the pressure of a live broadcast, things naturally went a bit haywire but several thousand people tuned in to experience the virtual garden railway show. This is a recording of my half hour slot, disasters and all.

Pietenpol Picnic

I had always been interested in 1930s vintage home built aircraft and here was a chance to fly in a replica built in the 1980s. It has a strange link to an infamous home built aircraft called a Flying Flea.

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Back in the dark days of Covid, the National Garden Railway show was cancelled.

At these shows enthusiasts take along large indoor layouts (sense tte irony) where we can view the models. During lockdown a few of us in the Garden Railway community made videos of our lines and posted them as a form of virtual show.

“Amateur film makers rarely record world changing events, instead we record our families and our homes.

This film is 58 years old, I was thirteen and now I am seventy. We can see changes in currency, cars and new technology such as tights instead of stockings.

“In 1963 it snowed all night and on Boxing day the world was white. The local kids persuaded the farmer to remove the fence at the bottom of Darland Banks, by pelting him with snowballs.

We all improvised our own winter sports, often by stealing metal trays from the Pub to make improvised toboggans .