This section of the website covers writers and works with a strong connection to the south-central region. Latest item online 21-4-17.
'Cultural Capital' Section
This section of the site covers various cultural contributors, each with their own illustrated webpage.
Latest feature page update was 20-4-17, on Woodes Rogers, due to his appearance as a major character in the cult tv series Black Sails.
'Setting The Scene In Wessex' Guides
This section covers both literary and film-tv works dealing with a particular period or genre - the Prehistoric Era, the 17th Century, the 'Country House' saga, the WWII Era etc. The latest guide up is the longest, a 2-part guide to crime novels, films, and tv series, from Moonfleet to Broadchurch, here.
South Central MediaScene serves to promote the south-central region's media profile. It's an independent site [no funding etc], and not a business. Email us.
West Bay in ITV's Broadchurch, the same beach seen in BBC's 1970s The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin.
South Central MediaScene 2017
Bournemouth Air Festival 2017
Bournemouth UK City Of Culture 2025?
The news that Paisley has been shortlisted to become UK City of Culture 2021 prompts the thought that if they can do it, so could we... [read on]
What's Jane Austen Ever Done For Us, Anyway?
-In literary terms, quite a bit, actually.
The 200th “celebrations” of Jane Austen’s death begun this month inevitably raise the question, what did she actually accomplish in her short life? [read on]
The Durrells Return
Bournemouth's best-known bohemian-expat family, the Durrells, are back on ITV for a 2nd series, and obviously timed to coincide with this is a new biography, for those who prefer a work less fictionalised than the current series. [read on]
Beach Bomo Hubba-hubba
South Central MediaScene 2016
'Silicon Beach Bomo' Starts Here
Squares, Triangles & Circles
As discussed last time, Bournemouth has been getting press attention for its new ‘Silicon Beach’ identity. But even the most dedicated, starry-eyed enthusiasts of this sector can’t live entirely in cyberspace and need to have a suitable physical environment as well, where people can meet, talk, work away from the office on their laptops, think. What can the conurbation offer in terms of such public spaces? [read more].
Silicon Dream Town
Bournemouth is on its way to being the country’s new ‘creative digital’ hotspot, nicknamed ‘Silicon Beach’ – if you believe the press hype. In 2013, we did a long blog post titled ‘@Connecting Up The DotComs’ predicated on the question, “Could the Bournemouth conurbation become Britain’s own ‘Silicon Beach’?” Now the national press have run articles suggesting this is now happening. That would be great, if true, but what’s the actual substance behind the hype? [read more].
Bloomsbury By The Sea
BBC2’s recent 3-part drama Life In Squares has prompted ‘a tourist rush on the trail of the Bloomsbury Group’. Though this pursuit seems limited to the Sussex farm where some of the group were based, the Bloomsbury set also frequented our area. Read our feature On The Trail Of The Bloomsbury Group In Wessex.
The 2015 Bournemouth Air Festival
The town's annual airshow and biggest media event is slightly earlier this year [Thu-Sun, 20-23 Aug], though the slot was obviously not chosen for weather reasons. (Day One events had to be cancelled entirely.) The cast of aviation performers remains largely the same as every year, as does the issue of the withholding (to protect sales of the official brochure) of advance, updated online timetable info. The idea is you have to buy the official brochure to get a login access code to view more accurate [?] info. (See previous years' coverage onsite; last year we did an in-depth review of the event in terms of its available digital-media access, here.) The Echo is providing a live-updates blog-style newsfeed page here [note link changes daily]. This year, the official airshow website's video coverage live feed is hidden beneath a drop-down tab - click 'Live Video Stream' here. It's also here, as 'Bournemouth Air Festival TV' on the Wave-105 FM site, the local radio station which runs a video feed as the town still [ahem] lacks its own local online community tv channel.
Poet Rupert Brooke's local associations with Bournemouth and area are unknown to most people, but the centenary of his death this year is a fitting opportunity to commemorate these, especially as many aspects of his life remained hidden by protective or censorious friends and relatives, until all parties concerned were safely dead. In fact, despite a dozen previous biographies, two new centenary books just out have been able to fill in more details of his bohemian lifestyle, which involved various male intimates, and then a series of sexual misadventures with female partners.
Remembered for such verses as "Stands the Church clock at ten to three? / And is there honey still for tea?" and "If I should die, think only this of me:/ That there's some corner of a foreign field / That is for ever England," he was a far more complex figure than his boyish image would suggest. His presence in the area, off and on, for most years of his life, makes him a suitable candidate for our 'Cultural Capital Gallery' series. Go to our 'Cultural Capital Gallery' Rupert Brooke Page.
Back Again - And Again
The On-Air Airshow
-Bournemouth Air Festival 2014 Media Review
Here at SCMS, we don't cover live events per se, but we cover the annual Bournemouth Air Festival as the region's biggest media event, meaning an event you can watch (live or replay) via media such as tv or video channels like YouTube. Our focus is thus always on the quality of the media access and presentation [read more].
Building Our Cultural Capital
A Midlands documentary filmmaker has achieved national media coverage with his project to overcome his hometown’s negative image. Could the Bournemouth conurbation help overcome its own image problem with a similar project, an inventory of its "cultural capital"? [read more].
South Central MediaScene 2013
@Connecting Up The DotComs
With the growth of electronics-company start-ups, ‘new media’ activity in the area is beginning to develop beyond ‘old’ media structures. Could the Bournemouth conurbation become Britain’s own ‘Silicon Beach’? [read on].
ITV Makes A Killing In Dorset
The big local-interest media event of the year so far has been ITV’s Broadchurch, filmed partly in Dorset, around West Bay and Bridport. ITV's answer to the hit Danish series The Killing, the just finished 8-week drama serial was meant as a one-off, the lead characters ending up dealt a cruel fate of the sort often found in a Thomas Hardy novel. (There are literary-reference clues in the drama to suggest this was no coincidence.) Nevertheless, a 2nd series has already been announced [read on].
Bournemouth AirShow 2013
The area's biggest media event, the 4-day airshow [29/8/13-1/9/13], still has no proper timetable freely available online (see our commentary on this from previous years), but Wave-FM is at least offering a live-feed online video channel, here. (Flying events are usually noon to 430 and evening displays 7.15pm.) The Echo also has a daily as-it-happens 'blog' page with Twitter updates, here and a 'schedule' with no specific timings (just the running order), here.
Update: The above links are of course now dead or out of date, but media coverage can be found on YouTube, here.
Jane Austen Bicentenary
The press is currently running many items on Jane Austen due to its being the 200th anniversary of her Pride And Prejudice, ranked in polls as 'the nation's favourite novel,' which was published this day [28th January] in 1813. We have more info on our Local-Literature homepage, plus a linked dedicated page on local-interest sites (literary locales and filming locations), just updated. [read more].
Setting The Scene In Wessex: The Crime Novel & Drama
Part Two of our 2-part guide to local-interest crime novels and film/tv dramas is now online. This had to be divided into two pages because in terms of sheer output, it is the biggest literary genre of all, with work ranging from novels about old-time smugglers through the Golden Age of the Detective Story, to the latest 'forensic' thrillers. Part One, covering up to 1945, is here, and Part Two, covering up to the present day, is here.
Ken Russell, 1927-2011: British Film's Wild Man In The Woods
The region’s most long-established filmmaker was Ken Russell, “the wild man of British cinema,” who lived in the New Forest and died shortly before Xmas. Ken often shot scenes for his films locally, regardless of where they were set, and as promised earlier in our obit-notice item, we’ve put together a feature web-page on his local links, some of which may surprise you.
[view feature page]
Bournemouth, Arts Town By The Sea?
Big Sky Bournemouth 2012
This year, the town (and region)'s biggest annual media event, the Bournemouth Air Festival, looks to be more media-friendly [read more].
Last month, the popular press were running stories that crime has replaced romance as the nation's top literary genre. (Previously, to tie in with Valentine's Day, we covered the romance genre with a short-list piece as our last item, here. This press coverage was in the wake of Valentine's Day and National Storytelling Week, an annual national programme to get more people reading. The crime-v-romance genre-trends analysis was based on the royalties authors get from the library system (called Public Lending Right), thus indicating the most-borrowed books. This trend has been remarked upon before, said to be a sign of the times - the result of living in an anxious "post- 9/11" world beset by terrorist threat and economic uncertainty.
At present, we are approaching another official event to promote reading, World Book Night on Monday 23 April, a spinoff from UNESCO’s World Book Day. (While WBD is held elsewhere 23 April, the UK confusingly holds its WBD the first Thursday in March, to deliberately avoid the April date, which is Shakespeare’s birth and death date, and often coincides with Eastertime school hols; thus the UK’s WBD-spinoff event WBN is held on UNESCO’s original WBD date, 23 April.) In terms of local-interest events, there is a tie-in WBN event during the Bournemouth Festival of Words (21-27 April), and libraries around the region may be offering as their giveaway book a local-interest title (from the official WBN list of 25 titles, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains Of The Day would seem to offer the most local-interest content).
Of course, one way to get people reading is to focus on local-interest examples, where readers (including future writers) can relate more easily to the setting, i.e. see better, through their own familiarity with the setting, how that particular type of novel or story works artistically. Though some works or writers are not well-known, locally we have plenty of examples from the most popular literary genre of all, in fact more than enough for a web-page in our ‘Setting The Scene In Wessex’ series. Thus we are putting up our guide to locally-set crime fiction and drama in several stages, with part one covering the early days of smuggling, Gothic and sensation novels, through the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction, up to WWII, here: Setting The Scene In Wessex: The Crime Novel & Drama, Part I
Romantic Fiction & Drama For Valentine's
Since the press as usual at this time of year have been running travel features etc to tie in with the Valentine’s Day weekend (and half-term week), it’s worth considering our own area as a romantic setting for fiction and drama. [read more].
Ken Russell 1927-2011
New Forest resident Ken Russell, the region’s most long-established filmmaker, who began his career with arts documentaries in the 1960s, died at Lymington shortly before the Xmas holidays. BBC2 has done a memorial documentary, A Bit Of A Devil, and BBC4 broadcast his films Women In Love and its sequel The Rainbow, while BBC3 aired his rarely-seen The Boy Friend. BBC4 also showed his (also rarely-seen) 1962 docu-drama Elgar, which changed how arts documentaries were made. The Rex Cinema in Wareham showed his 1977 Valentino, which was part-filmed in Bournemouth (Russell-Cotes Museum as the star's 1920s Hollywood home etc). Ken in fact often shot scenes for his films locally, regardless of where they were set, and rather than attempt another blog item here (we’ve done several previous items on him) as an obit, we’re currently putting together a dedicated web-page on the various local links in his life and work.
Local TV: LGTV or PSTV?:
Back To The Local Front:
With the spreading phone hacking scandal leading to calls for more media ownership plurarity (i.e less of a monopoly), it may be worthwhile to take stock of our local media situation. [read more]
We seem to be living in what a rather sinister old political catchphrase refers to euphemistically as "interesting times," with political and economic crises looming, fighting in the streets against a growing police state, clamors for reform etc. The phrase could also be applied to the 17th century, an era historians sometimes refer to as the moment the modern British state was born. It was a time of shifting political alliances, popular leaders who rose to fame only to fall from grace, repressive laws, civic upheavals, the breakdown of law and order, the creation of a police state, clamors for reform etc. - only settled in the end through constitutional reform. It was certainly a time of lengthy debates about the nature of society and power, of conflicts which split apart family and friends. These debates and conflicts are naturally reflected in novels and dramas about the era, with key events as usual often playing out in Wessex, and this is the subject of our latest "setting the scene in Wessex" series.
Read Setting The Scene In Wessex: The 17th Century In Literature And Drama
Would You Believe Creative South-Central England?
The south-central region will again have no official recognition in the recent "Creative England" government consultation, but a new Writers Guild Of Great Britain initiative might be the start of something [read more]. [Updated 14-4-11]
World Book Day, Local Style
March 3rd/5th is World Book Day and Night, and the event with the most related press coverage concerns one of our many local-interest authors [read more].
That Was Never Ten Years, Was It?
- Dreamtown Days & Nights, Revisited:
Ten years ago, I wrote a blog-style series of online monthly columns headed 'Bournemouth In The Media' to help a local arts organisation establish more of an artistic 'scene'. With the original organisation website itself now history, I thought it might be of interest to re-post the collected columns to see what, if anything, has changed. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose? [read more]
2010 In Review:
A look back at some of the year's local-interest media developments.
For earlier blog entries, see:
South Central MediaScene 2011
South Central MediaScene 2010
South Central MediaScene 2009
South Central MediaScene 2008
South Central MediaScene 2007
South Central MediaScene 2006
South Central MediaScene 2005
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