MERL – The Museum of English Rural Life

6 Redlands Road, Reading, RG1 5EX

9AM-5PM Tuesday to Friday

10AM-5PM Weekends

ENGLISH PASTORAL: In association with the Wessex Film and Sound Archive, we bring together three short films that look at our rural landscapes across the 20th century, from the 1952 tourist spotlight on the New Forest, to a 1979 Southern TV documentary following a search for a trusted dog. Contemporary film maker Peter Stickland (Berberian Sound Studio, The Duke of Burgundy) gives us his own nostalgic take on the public information film with his Box Hill homage.


Film Listing:

FOREST HERITAGE (1952) (Roy Layzell)

This is a film about the New Forest, its places of interest, the rural industries and the many other activities. For Esso Petroleum Co., with commentary by John Snagge.

Running time: 20 minutes


LOOKING FOR RYE (1979) (Graham Hurley)

A documentary film about Lewis Cleverdon and his search for his dog ‘Rye’ across Southern England.

Running time: 39 minutes


BOX HILL (Peter Strickland)

An extended version of the Box Hill documentary seen in the film, Berberian Sound Studio.

Running time: 6 minutes