Club members have been closely involved with documentaries about local architectural and planning issues. Subtitled “An Oasis in Suburbia”, our 10 minute film about the Hamptons housing estate in Worcester Park has been received enthusiastically by area residents and other interested parties. The film depicts the social and environmental impact of a project which started in the early 2000s on former brown-field (sewage farm)and features New England style clapper-board buildings, virtually traffic-free roads and extensive areas of grass and wetland. The 645 home mix of privately owned and social housing, plus community buildings, are the subject of interviews and original footage, much of it filmed via drone-mounted cameras.
Two other local community documentaries are currently at the post-production stage. “Daisy Fields” provides both nostalgic and contemporary accounts of the Reigate Road Recreation Ground, including the sporting teams which have used it, the pubs which have sponsored them and nearby Copthorne School. Not far away, North Cheam’s controversial cross-roads features in another Club documentary. Victoria House, the large building on what was formerly the Queen Victoria pub site between Malden Road and London Road, has been derelict since 2006 and is widely considered by locals to be ugly and potentially unsafe. SFM’s film considers the available solutions.
All three films are grant-funded. SFM regularly gets approaches from charities, schools, neighbourhood associations and other local interest groups needing assistance in the making of professional-quality videos, which the Club provides on a free, grant-aided or part-funded basis. Notable examples over the past decade include a film about the culinary and cultural diversity of the London Borough of Sutton, extensive coverage of the borough-wide Imagine Festival in 2009 and an investigation for the national Hyperactive Children’s Support Group into the adverse effects of food additives on juvenile behaviour. Currently in production is a Borough-funded documentary on this year’s refurbishment of historic Beddington Park.