In Memoriam

Eleanor Green

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Eleanor’s role as a researcher for the Two Minutes team was a double debut for her. Not only was it her first time working with us, it was also her first professional employment. At both, she excelled. She quickly made herself indispensible to the team, both socially and professionally, bringing enthusiasm and enlightenment into our lives and our project.

Eleanor’s work on the Two Minutes project was exemplary, even to the point of excess, there was nothing she did not know about eclipses, Cornwall or Celtic mythology. It was than an enthusiasm for the subjects, or the film, it was a commitment to the project, the idea and the team, a commitment that we all shared, recognised, and welcomed.

She also built this website for us, allowing people to come to us and our project, sharing her passion with the wider public, and I think the public have responded to her.

While it is tragic to see such a promising career cut short, it is even worse to be robbed of such a valuable and treasured companion.

We shall all miss her.

Cat
(Jessica Smythe-Brown)

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Cat was also new to our team, and to film making, but, like Eleanor, fitted in almost straight away. Whatever she may have lacked in experience Cat made up for in enthusiasm, both for her task and for the film making process.

It seemed, sometimes, that there was nothing that Cat hadn’t tried, at one time or another, but film making was what she came back to, was what she had decided to devote her life to, and this commitment shone through in her work.

I am sure that Cat would not have stopped at running the sound for small documentary teams, but would easily have gone on to bigger and better things, such was her drive and her ability. It is tragic to see the early end of such a promising talent and such a dedicated and enthusiastic person.

She shall be missed.

A message from the Producer

As most of you will be aware by now, the Two Minutes project has been abandoned following a series of tragic accidents.

We will, however, be keeping this website open, partly as a tribute to those who have died, and partly because I know some of you have been following our project and might well be interested in any news. On which subject I would like to thank all of you, both in the site forum and in the e-mail list, who have sent their sympathies regarding the deaths of our fellow workers. They shall all be missed.

I have now included a few words about Eleanor Green, our researcher, and Cat (whose real name was Jessica Smythe-Brown), our sound engineer. Both Cat and Eleanor went missing on the morning of Wednesday the 11th, and although we were hoping they would be found again, the death of our director, Roger, and the later discovery of the body of our friend, Ray, did nothing to give us cause to hope.

Cat was found on a beach on the morning of Thursday the 12th. She had apparently drowned, having fallen from a cliff face during the night. Eleanor’s body was discovered on Friday, after an extensive search by the police and local people. She had been trapped in a cave on the Happy Valley beach by a rockfall and was killed by her injuries.

As you can no doubt imagine, all four deaths have affected us deeply, and we can find little time or enthusiasm for our work or this site. We will, however, use these pages to remember our friends, and you can find a few words about Roger and Ray on our Thursday page.

I’m afraid I’m having to use the Friday template that Eleanor left for me, since without her help I don’t know how to set up one for today.

Thank you for your patience, time and sympathy.

Joanna Richards

Producer

Two Minutes

In Memoriam

Roger Haslam

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Joanna Richards: “When I first met Roger at Guidhall, I knew there was someone passionate and full of zeal fighting to get out. Roger’s blossoming as a unique and exciting individual began while we were all similarly fighting to grow and develop. It seemed fitting then that myself and another compatriot, Tom Kidd, should join forces with Roger and as an alliance we made our first documentary short to define our combined struggle – ‘The Big, Bad World.’ Roger immediately established himself as an imaginative tour de force, wheeling and free forming daily into a world of colour and texture.

He was the perfect foil to us all – provoking us and pushing us, shunning second rate, constantly foraging for fresh and exciting concepts. Powered by the success of our low-budget debut, we won a commission from BBC 2 for a 10×10 installment – a ten minute piece called ‘Swords and Ploughshares’ about two old men who had fought for opposing armies in WWII, sharing their experiences.

Roger’s talents saw fruition on the ‘Night Kitchen’ – our only fictional journey so far. I was delighted when Roger won an award for best director at the Prague Short Film Festival for his work on this piece. But not as delighted as Roger, obviously! For him this award was a pleasing recognition of who he was, the ideas he’d been striving towards.

Roger was coming into his own as a filmmaker and as a person by the time ‘Two Minutes’ was in development. Again he pushed us, again we strove to make something unique, something with edge and depth. I think we came very close, and I think all of us agree that this was only made possible by Roger’s direction.

He was a director in many ways – he knew where he was going, and he knew where to bring us, he knew so much and yet he knew there was much to unearth. I will miss our journeys and I will him so much. Good bye Roger – I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Thomas Kidd: “Roger and I went to school together, and then college together, which makes him the person I’ve longest and most consistently. Which enough testament to anyone. I find human beings difficult at the best of time, and to put up with the same one consistently for all those years is a tribute to Roger’s character. I’ll miss him.”

Ray Penhale

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Joanna Richards: “I grew up with Ray Penhale, and so he is very much part of my past, as I would hope, I was of his. Ray lived in Mousetrappe all his too short a life. He loved the land, the sea so much – as he had done when we were children. Ray’s life was this place. He felt that it was an integral part of him – his bones and his blood. Ray and I kept in contact intermittently over the years, as did Mary, despite our leaving Mousetrappe for Dick Whittington’s London town.

Perhaps it was because we were all childhood friends that a bond remained, or perhaps it was because Ray’s spirit never changed, never faltered from his bedrock of good nature and human warmth. He worked as a fisherman in Mousetrappe – fitting that his livelihood should be entwined with his passion, that the sea bore him fruits just as he returned to it daily to continue a lifelong and loving worship.

From what we know of him as a villager, he was much loved and respected as a individual and as a worker and for that he will be sorely missed by those who lived here. The little time that the Two Minutes team had with him was well spent – his innate knowledge of the locality and his enthusiasm for what we were doing was much in evidence, and Ray quickly made friends, sharing ideas and spirit with us all. And that’s what I will miss him for – his enduring centre, his laughter at life, his partness of everything. I know he’s out there somewhere, still sailing, and unsinking. Where ever he is, I hope the skies look clear and there’s a strong wind to carry him to new horizons. Fare well, Ray Penhale.”

A message from the Producer

The Two Minutes project has now been abandoned in the light of the tragedies that have occurred over the last couple of days.

However I realise that some of you have been following the project through our website, and will want to know what it happening, so I have decided to keep posting these messages to keep everyone up to date.

Our director, Roger Haslam, died on Wednesday morning following a terrible accident. As some of you may already know, Ray Penhale, our friend and co-presenter of Two Minutes, was found late yesterday, hung in Penlee Woods.

Our researcher, Eleanor Green, and our sound technician, Cat, are still missing at the time of writing.

Obviously none of us are really up to writing or doing much at the moment, but we have decided that this journal page should take the form of an epitaph to our lost friends and colleagues – Roger Haslam and Ray Penhale. What you see here is a celebration who these people were and why we will miss them.

Joanna Richards

Producer

Two Minutes

A message from the Producer

We regret to inform you that the Two Minutes project has had to be curtailed, following a tragic accident during the eclipse itself.

Our director, and our friend, Roger Haslam, fell into a bonfire that had been built for the event, and was severely burned. He has since died of his injuries. The Devon & Cornwall police are now involved in enquires into Roger’s death. We have given them access to our mailing list, and I would ask you to give them any assistance that they need.

Obviously we feel we cannot continue with the project without Roger. We thank you for spending time with us, and hope that you can share with us the sorrow we feel at this loss, both professionally and personally. Given the passion Roger had for his work, it is a fitting tribute to him as a filmaker that we should share with you the last footage he was involved in – the total eclipse of the morning of August 11th 1999. We hope you like it as much as he did.

Thank you for your time.

Joanna Richards

Producer

Two Minutes

The Eclipse

‘…it became darker and darker as at the beginning of a violent storm, the light sank and sank… suddenly the light went out… that was the astonishing moment… we had seen the world dead. Then – it was over until 1999.’

Virginia Woolf
Bardon Fell
Yorkshire
29th June 1927

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A message from the Director

Hello all you electronic people.

I thought I’d drop you all a line and let you know how we’re doing down here in sunny (!) Cornwall. Actually Joanna, our producer, told me to, but don’t let that put you off – I always like making new friends.

As you might have guessed from my exclamation above (?) – the weather is perhaps not what one might want for filming a holiday resort, but as our Cornish friends keep assuring me, its not just a holiday resort, so perhaps filming the land of sun from under thick cloud is not so ridiculous.

So far we’ve mostly been doing just scene setting – went up to a village called St Germans yesterday afternoon to take some footage of a church – turns out they’ve got a local tradition very like what our own dear druid is suggesting we perform tonight.

Lovely footage of the church and other local landmarks, courtesy of our own dear Tom, cloud or no cloud. But on to more pressing matters, working with the less pliable performers: people. Today we start our filming in earnest, and start preparing for our ceremony tonight.

Personally, though I can’t speak for the others, I’m looking forward to the whole thing… this is a lovely place, and the people are always willing to talk and share with us… and tonight! Can’t wait to have a run around in the woods – although Tom, of course, is worried about the light levels.

Low light or not, we’ll have fun, and I hope you do, too…

Roger Haslam

Director

Two Minutes.

Coming Home

Hello.

There’s a strange discrepancy in coming back to a place that used to be home and finding yourself a tourist. All the places that you used to hang out in, where you used to go and play, are all places where you ‘used’ to go. Everything happens in the past. ‘That used to be a great pub’, ‘We used to come and climb the trees here’.

The dislocation is heightened by doing something like this, asking people what things are like now, how they have changed, going to see the woman who used to sell you penny chews, the man in the hardware store who used to frighten you when you were little, and they are looking at you and they have the question behind their eyes: ‘Why don’t you know? Where did you go? Who are you – you’re not who you used to be?’.

But perhaps this is how we always look at the past, at our childhoods: ‘The past is a foreign country – they do things differently there’. Well this past is doubly foreign: it has changed, much as many do not want it to – that’s not the locals mind you – no one would want Cornwall, with one of the highest rates of unemployment and faltering industry, to stay the same, not unless they just wanted to go on holiday in some eighteenth century bucolic idyll. Another quotation: ‘You can never go home’. True indeed.

I find, of course, that my perspective is changed by being here with everyone else: descending on Mousetrappe with a full bunch of real tourists, all of whom have their own take on things… Its rather like discussing your parents when you’re a teenager – desperately making fun of them and sneering at them, trying to look independent and ‘cool’, and all the time, somewhere in the back of your mind, feeling guilty for what you’re doing.

True, of course, there are people here that are amusing and odd, there are customs here that are quaint and peculiar – there are stories to laugh at, and with, if you aren’t too cynical, but perhaps this is still home. Of course you find it embarrasing, of course you find it melancholy and wistful – aren’t all relatives – but that place in the past isn’t home – this is, the present, and perhaps you ought to try and be happy here, instead of having once been happy there.

Mousetrappe

Mousetrappe

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Mousetrappe harbour

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The bay

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Mousetrappe harbour

A Message from the Producer

Greetings from the Two Minutes team.

Starting up a project can sometimes be like starting a car on a cold winter’s morning. Much noise and bluster but very little actual ignition. Well, my car, at least. And my project, at this precise moment.

Well, perhaps we shouldn’t have tried starting work over a weekend when we’d all just arrived in Cornwall and all felt like we were on holiday. It’s sunny and inviting and the coast line is like some incredible magnetic force willing us into the sea. There is much in the old myths of the sirens I think. The sea permeates everything here – the smell, and the sense of it is in the land, the sky, the people.

So we’ve played hard and now it’s Monday and it’s time to start working hard. We’re easing into it, however, with Tom, our camera, Roger, the director, and myself doing some establishing shots and capturing the local colour, while Ray, our guide, Mary, the presenter, and Eleanor, our faithful research assistant, have made and remade acquaintances within the area.

We got some great views of Mousetrappe itself, and I can promise you that it’s not just the streets and harbour that are idyllic – the pubs aren’t bad either! But that’s a concern for later. I’ve just stopped off here to scribble this down and then we’re off to start work proper.

Oh, we did manage to do some work over the weekend, or at least Tom did, cornering Henry – or ‘Harry’ (don’t ask – it’s his way, and we must abide) Carlyon, the druid, in the pub on Saturday and asking him some questions about himself and his beliefs. We’ll be putting some of that footage up here on the site, and Henry will be writing something fitting for this page.

Look out for many more updates as the week goes on, we’ll be letting you in on the whole business of making a documentary and giving you a chance to see and hear things that might never make it to the screen. Everybody will be taking turns at writing something for this page, so you’ll get to meet all of us and get our valuable insights on what we’re doing.

So stay tuned/logged on and wish us luck.

Joanna Richards,
Producer, Two Minutes,
Lunchtime, Monday

A message from the Druid

Joanna has asked me to inscribe something for this part of the web site, so I thought I’d try and explain a little about what I’m doing here in Cornwall.

Yesterday the others assisted the construction on the beach of a stone circle in the form of what is called, in Welsh, a ‘caer droia’. This is an ancient ritual labyrinth pattern, found all over the ancient world. The significance not being a maze, as such, simply a spiralling path folding around itself, bringing you ever closer and ever further away from your goal in a circular journey.

This is the case for all rituals. They cannot exist merely to define our lives and routines, but also live as metaphors, through which we can order ourselves and our communities. These are not literary metaphors, they are spiritual ones, immediately comprehended and understood subconsciously.

The ritual I am recreating and creating anew here in Cornwall is just this, a taking of the old knowledge and reapplying it. If I am accused of denigrating a tradition, then it is true. The modern world does not hold these things sacred, but perhaps it can be tricked into doing so. We after all sucumb to so many tricks played out by modern civilisation.

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Caer Droia

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Caer Droia