27 November 2012

Port Kembla billy cart derby

Well, making those little rough films (Congo blog entry below) meant I had to do something with the film and photos taken at the Port Kembla billy cart derby a week and a bit ago. Port Kembla is an industrial town, near Wollongong, south of Sydney in southeastern Australia. A town hit by the bomb of steel plant re-design, sale and reduction since the 1980s, along with other factory closures in garments, etc, plus the knock on-knock over of associated business. Loss of jobs, loss of community meaning and integrity. In recent years the main street has been looking like a battered empty film set. Some efforts have been made in the community organisations over some years, recently also in greening the main street and in the 'wedding industry' deciding to move in and make this a centre for trade.

My partner Helen Backhouse, active a long time in regional community services and social policy leadership, took me to the billy cart derby on 17 November - a major event, none for the previous 25 years, this a big revival. Revived under the lead of the local Redpoint Art Group.... a bit courageous in these days of nanny-rules insurance and liability.

The day was brilliant - sunny and mild. I hope it gives the town a real boost, itself and in the eyes of a wider public and media in attendance.

Here's my little movie.. .as usual I'm interested in the crowd too. The sound is as recorded in the street.