Bending the Sally







Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage





07min 18sec




British Film Institute, Gothic Films, Irish Film Archive, Roy Spence

Rights Holder

Irish Film Archive, Roy Spence

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Join willow weaver Alison Fitzgerald in her Sally Garden as she shares her love of basketmaking with Roy Spence.

Alison Fitzgerald came to live in Ireland at the Horticultural Research Station in Loughgall, Co. Armagh in the winter of 1980. The beauty of the willow beds there, with long, straight, brightly coloured stems inspired her to try weaving. Having previously studied botany she quickly became fascinated with the many varieties of willow. The local tradition of basketmaking on the shores of Lough Neagh has also been a source of inspiration and knowledge.


In 1985 she set up her own workshop, Greenwood Baskets, in this film we can watch her create a potato basket in this studio as she begins her career. Alison has continued to weave and is currently based in Benburb, her baskets are admired internationally for their subtle blends of natural bark colours, strong curves and tactile qualities. Twin brothers Roy and Noel Spence have been making films like this for over fifty years; with subjects including crafty leprechauns, creatures from outer space, fifties rock 'n' rollers and the undead. You can enjoy many of these fantastical creations on BFI player. This film is courtesy of Roy Spence and is held in the Irish Film Archive.


Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage

A Gothic Films Production

Directed by Roy Spence

Sponsored by the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

Directed by Roy Spence

Music by David  Hammond



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