This week a new film about the Home Front in Buckinghamshire premiered at the Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath on Tuesday.

All proceeds of Our County at War: The Home Front in Buckinghamshire will be going to SSAFA Armed Forces Charity and the Buckinghamshire Museum Military Trust. I spoke to the producer and director Joanna Barclay about her first foray into film.

“Hertfordshire has a very distinguished film director in the community called Howard Guard and he made a film back in 2013 of Hertfordshire and we just thought it was terrific. My husband was to become High Sherriff of Buckinghamshire and we thought Buckinghamshire has a story to tell as well.

“I was a picture researcher working for publishers. I put my hand up and said I’d love to research it and nobody else stepped forward so I ended up leading the whole thing. I’ve never made a film before, we were all on slightly unfamiliar territory. The county has been right behind it, the First World War has really grabbed people.

Joanna recruited three volunteers to help and soon sought professional assistance for editing and sound.

“The National Film and Television School helped us to source these two absolutely made in heaven filmmakers who turned out to be Bucks boys. A lot of their graduates are from all around the world but they were from Buckinghamshire and they were fully on-board with the project.

I think it’s quite an unusual project for a filmmaker because you are just working with archival material. Some of those photographs are two inches by two inches, pretty fuzzy. With modern technology you scan and scan to a higher resolution and then there they were on the big screen at Pinewood looking good.”

All of the footage is made up of archive material, which Joanna admits took a great deal of hard work.

“There’s an absolute multiplicity of sources. The county archive was very good but then there’s small collectors, people who have made a hobby of collecting old postcards and photographs and so on. It was a lot of work. It’s just a half an hour film that flows but it was a lot of work, but I don’t resent a moment of it. It was a privilege to do it.

“I was very lucky with my team and it’s been fascinating. It’s been very much a county project, a lot of good people have lent us pictures. People were very good about waving fees, they said we approve of what you’re doing and they were generous.”

The 30-minute film works through the Home Front in Buckinghamshire through specific themes including impact on industries, impact on communities, food supplies, children and women.

Joanna explains: “We wanted to focus on what impact the war had on different sections of the county that are illustrative of the bigger picture. We particularly wanted children to see how their lives would have been 100 years ago and the impact on families. At the end we were quite jolly about it all, we wanted to move onto a more reflective chapter.”

Joanna adds: “We had young cadets at the screening, they were gripped by stories that they knew nothing about. Some of them were RAF cadets but had no idea about this exciting history. It does seem to grab the imagination; we did have the young in mind. We wanted it to be engaging and through-provoking.”

A copy of the film will be distributed to schools across the county and will soon be available through the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust website in exchange for a donation.