The follow up to the sell-out Reel Monty unearths Sheffield's first attempt to sell itself to the world as a tourism destination in what some would say, a rather unorthodox style.
The Golden Frame DVD also contains Mary Queen of Scots and Sheffield's Millennium Celebrations - two other films made by the celebrated makers of The Reel Monty.
Uncensored - Sheffield’s very own “dirty picture” goes on worldwide release!
The debut of “Old Smokey” on the international tourism stage would have had 21st century image makers running for cover.
It’s unlikely their opening gambit to tempt the Deutschmark, Dollar and other global currencies to Sheffield would be the council housing estates of the Manor and Gleadless Valley but that was the case in ‘The Golden Frame’ (now re-titled The Reel Monty II) – the city’s first ever tourism film which has just been unearthed from the archives and is now on DVD release.
Up until then Sheffield had had some pretty unsavoury titles levelled at it.
Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Oxford, famously referred to it as “one of the foulest places in England”; George III called it “the damn’d bad place”; 20th century scholar of history and art Sir Nikolaus Pevsner said it was “miserable disappointment” and English art critic and social thinker John Ruskin called it “the dirty picture in the golden frame”.
The film’s opening spells out their message in no uncertain terms and turns Mr Ruskin’s comment on its head: “Sheffield is no longer the dirty picture in the golden frame”, it announces. “Clean air and re-planning has changed Old Smokey for the better”, it carries on.
Town Hall bosses were that proud of their new clean air in the late sixties and early seventies – brought about in the wake of the Clean Air Act of 1959 - they ploughed hundreds of thousands of pounds into telling the world in, some might say now, rather an unorthodox fashion.
Marie-Luise Coulthard, who made the 1970s film with her husband Jim for Sheffield City Council, said: “The council housing of Gleadless Valley had a great deal of civic pride attached to it at the time and was a blueprint for the UK, so we were eager to show it off.”