Super 8 Stories: The Battle of Joe Hewitt's Field







21 December 2003 (first transmission)


04min 58sec




Super 8





BBC NI, Doubleband Films, Michael McKeown

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Doubleband Films, Michael McKeown

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When land was vested by the government for the creation of the new town of Craigavon in the 1960s local farmer Joe Hewitt took a stand and led a protest of farmers who blockaded fields with their tractors. The event became known as the Battle of Joe Hewitt's Field and is remembered by his widow Molly and the cameraman who shot the footage, Michael McKeown. This clip appeared in Series 1, Programme 4 of Super 8 Stories.


Michael McKeown had been interested in stills photography from the age of ten in 1958. When his brother bought a Canon 8mm Zoom cine camera Michael was a student studying for his ‘A’ Levels and made the transition to moving film. Before long Michael was blacking out his living room to show his films to his family and had joined a camera club, initially at Patrick’s College, Armagh and then at St Joseph’s Teacher Training College. Michael did keep up an interest in his hobby for some time but “only up to about the age of thirty when business life began to take over”. Michael has recently renewed his interest in his old films: “I have just had twenty hours of film put on to a hard disc for editing. They are priceless – I only wish that I had kept up shooting films in my thirties and forties”.

Shot List

Quick cuts of kids playing, Belfast street scenes and driving along motorway and past new housing developments. Pans across fields and farms. Protest gathering of farmers with a blockade of tractors. Hedges being destroyed by diggers. New factory being built.


Narrator - Maire Jones; Camera - Michael Quinn; Sound - Sion Kerr, Gregg Bailey; Music Consultants - Jim Meredith, Ralph McLean; Production Accountant - Anne Hegarty; Production Assistant - Tammy Moore; Graphic - Alan Perry; Dubbing - One Zero Zero; Online Editor - Johnathan Fetherstone; Researcher - Ronan Feely; Archivist - Evan Marshall; Assistant Producer - Jenny Waugh; Executive Producers - Deirdre Devlin, Michael Hewitt; Editors - Greg Darby, Henry Wood; Producer - Diarmuid Lavery; Director - Brian Henry Martin



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