Alice Hawkins And The Footwear Industry

Alice Hawkins And The Footwear Industry Blog

Filming Pat Keeling – A life In Modelling

Last Sunday was the filming workshop for the Pat Keeling film – titled A Life In Modelling.

It was a completely different session to what we have been used to as it as all based at Pat’s Modelling Agency office in Leicester.

We had 2 volunteers helping us with the setting up, filming and photography for the day and the session went really well. Whereas with the Alice Hawkins project being based at numerous locations, this was a more intimate session just in one room.

It will be interesting to see the difference in styles of the 2 films once they are both completed.

Pat was a natural in front of the camera, very calm and answering all the questions that Kitty the volunteer asked her in a precise and warm manner.

Next step in the process is the editing of the film followed by colouring, sound and final output.

Check out the photos below from the session:

Pat Keeling Filming 1

Pat Keeling Filming 2

Pat Keeling Filming 3

Pat Keeling Filming 4

Pat Keeling Filming 5


More Filming For The Alice Hawkins Video

Sunday 31st October was the second day of filming for the Alice Hawkins video. There were familar faces from the previous week and also new volunteers to lend a hand.

We started off filming a scene within Leicester City Centre and then visited an old shoe factory in Wigston and 2 different locations in Northampton.

The day went really well with some really creative shots as seen in the below pictures.

Alice Hawkins Filming 7

Alice Hawkins Filming 8

Alice Hawkins Filming 9

Alice Hawkins Filming 10

Alice Hawkins Filming 11

Alice Hawkins Filming 12


Filming For The Alice Hawkins Video

Last Sunday 24th October we began filming the first scenes for the Alice Hawkins video. The volunteers had previously had 3 training workshops in digital media and it was time to put those new skills to the test.

The day was split up into four seperate filming workshops, each at different locations. We had an 11 strong person crew. A great turnout indeed!

Each volunteers had the chance to participate in all of the different tasks required, such as cameraman, sound person, holding the light reflector, taking photos, working the dolly track etc. We even had a team with a second camera filming a “behind the scenes” documentary!

The locations we filmed at were:

  • Town Hall Square
  • Alice’s Home
  • Outside The Equity Shoes Factory
  • Alice’s Final Home 

Along with Peter Barratt presenting the video, we were joined by a lady called Dorothy who dressed up in an old suffragette costume and played Alice in several scenes. The weather was bright and sunny throughout the day and the filming was a real success.

After the filming, a few volunteers joined us for an editing workshop where we demonstrated how to take the footage from the camcorder tapes and the basic skills of editing the recordings.

4 filming workshops and 1 editing workshop resulted in an extremely productive day.

Alice Hawkins Filming 1

Alice Hawkins Filming 2

Alice Hawkins Filming 3

Alice Hawkins Filming 5

Alice Hawkins Filming 4

Alice Hawkins Filming 6


Museum Visit – 24.9.10

We arranged to take a number of our MuBu project voluteers to the Newarke Houses Museum on Friday so they could have the chance to look around the areas where the films will be installed.

We met with Philip French, curator at the museum, who gave an insight into the new exhibition and spoke about the project.

The time spent was really constructive to the volunteers as they now have first hand experience of the project, Museum and the 3 films.

Museum Visit 1

Museum Visit 2

Museum Visit 3


Digital Media Workshop – 10.9.10

We ran a workshop today to a group of people at The Centre in the City Centre which was hugely successful and had a great deal of audience participation. We trained them in basic camera techniques, an overview of how the video camera works and finished the session with some fun filming people in front of the green screen. This footage will then be edited by Gareth and I to create some fun clips to give back to the Centre.

Also we went over the details of the MuBu project and what the 3 films will be about. The group will be visiting the Newarke Houses Museum in the next few weeks to have a look at the gallery where the new exhibition will be and to meet Philip French.

We are training another group on Monday and hope this will be as successful as todays workshop.

Workshop Photo 1

Workshop Photo 2

Workshop Photo 4
Workshop Photo 3


Interesting News Article

Recently there was an article in the Leicester Mercury highlighting the fact that many of Leicester’s well-known factories have now disappeared without a trace.

Read the article in the below link:

One of the films that will be going into the exhibition is a look at the old factories of Leicester where it will look at what the factories used to look like and what they are nowadays.


Pat Keeling

Pat Keeling - 1972Pat’s first association with modelling was in 1969 when she took a modelling course with Kathy Parker Agency based in Leicester. 
She was inspired to pursue a career as a model.  At the time Leicester was at its peak in the hosiery industry and because she had a good pair of legs she ended up on the cover of packs of tights and stockings, Pretty Polly, Elle, Christian Dior.  Things really took off when she became the BBC Golden Girl in 1972, and this opened many doors for radio, TV and personal appearances.  The next few years took her on many fabulous assignments.

Realising that a model’s life is limited, she started the Pat Keeling Model Agency in 1977 while still taking on her own modelling assignments.

The agency’s reputation for professionalism and excellence grew.  Fantastic fashion shows were produced for the Leicester Mercury throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.  The agency choreographed and produced shows for Next Plc, John Lewis, BHS, Mothercare, Asda, Adams Childrenswear, Tesco, Matalan and The Clothes Show Live, to name but a few.


A Few Facts About Alice Hawkins

Here is a few interesting facts about Alice you might not know:

  • In 1876 her family moved to Leicester to find work in the shoe trade.
  • In 1886 Alice joined the Equity Shoes of Leicester as a shoe machinist
  • Alice joined a suffragette meeting in Hyde Park on the day of the state opening of Parliament. Arrested on the same day for disorderly conduct at the gates of the House of Commons and given 14 days in Holloway with 28 other women.
  • Alice imprisoned for 14 days in 1909 for trying to force an entry into the meeting hall.
  • The Leicester City Council fixed a blue plaque on the wall of the Equity shoe factory in memory of Alice.

Alice Hawkins

Alice HawkinsOne of the films for the new museum exhibition will be about the legacy of Alice Hawkins and her association with footwear industry of Leicester.

The story of Alice is a tremendous story of one woman’s fight for the most basic of human rights, the right to vote.

Born in 1863, Alice lived most of her life in Leicester.  A mother of six and shoe machinist by trade, Alice was determined to have an equal say in the democracy of the day and was imprisoned five times in all in her struggle.

There is a great website dedicated to her life which has essential information and content about Alice that will be included in the film we are creating for the exhibition.

The website is:


Citizens Eye

Gareth Morgan from Zenithfilms was recently interviewed by Citizens Eye, a community news website, about the MuBu project.

Gareth Citizens Eye InterviewThe interview was filmed for the Citizen’s Eye website and the video uploaded to their YouTube channel. It featured Gareth talking about the different aspects of the MuBu project and how the aim is to produce digital content for the Newarke Houses Museum’s new exhibitions . He mentioned the digital media workshops and how people from the relevant communities can apply to be part of the project. 

Click the link below to read the article and watch Gareth’s video interview.

Interested people should contact: Gareth on 07522032683 or Paul on 07875256189.


About this Sponsor

The LeicestHERday Trust is an organisation formed to give an equal voice to all women and enhance the community at large by enhancing women's life experiences. LeicestHERday Trust is the home of the International Women's Day.