Super 8 Stories: West Belfast Youth Club




Belfast, West Belfast




24 October 2004 (first transmission)


06min 14sec




Super 8





BBC NI, Doubleband Films, Gabriel Davey

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Doubleband Films, Gabriel Davey

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It may have seemed as though West Belfast was a dark place during the Troubles in the 1970s, but the children found a light in the shape of the Youth Club run by the St Agnes Church. Gabriel Davey shares his memories of running the club and filming its activites for posterity, while Marann Gourey and Billy Macklin remember the joy of attending it. This clip appeared in Series 2, Programme 4 of Super 8 Stories.


An interest in 8mm film making came easily to Gabriel Davey who was the manager of the Photographic Department of W Erskine Mayne in Belfast and who was also making 16mm movies of ships and King’s Hall rallies among other things. As well as being proficient with a 16mm camera in a professional capacity, Gabriel used a Bolex 8mm Standard 8 camera for his own material, moving up through Super 8 when it became the new format and eventually onto a semi-professional Sony Hi 8 camera as he continued recording well into the video age. He was also a member of a camera club – the Chemist Guild, later to be Christian Bros Past Pupils Camera Club. Gabriel was not only keen to record events around him but was also keen to share it with as many as possible of the people featured. “I have VHS copies of nearly all of the cine films I shot. I made copies of my children’s family years and gave them each a copy. For ten years I recorded bowling holidays in Spain and made VHS copies for people and there were many occasions when we watched them. I also made a history film of the St Agnes Youth Club which has been seen by many people”. Other events filmed by Gabriel include “the opening of St John’s new church on the Falls Road, the taking down of the old St Agnes church and the building of the new one and making a table tennis and a snooker coaching film!” Still interested in hobbies and technology into his seventies Gabriel says he enjoys revisiting the “very enjoyable past times” in his films but doesn’t watch them “quite as much now as I’m currently interested in computers”.

Shot List

Collage of youth club activites including judo and gymnastics as well as children posing for the camera and messing around. Scenes inside a junior disco. Kids marching with placards advertising the youth club and getting off a bus on a trip. Shots of Belfast riots cut in with children enjoying themselves in the youth club. More junior disco scenes. Disco competition for teenagers. Prize-giving ceremony. Collage of disco, children on trip, gymnastics and children posing for the camera.


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



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