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Home Ground

I grew up in the fallout of a radioactive chimney. Capper Pass, once one of the world’s largest tin smelters owned by Rio Tinto, operated on the outskirts of Hull between 1967 and 1991, when it was decommissioned. Some of the by-products pumped into the River Humber and the East Yorkshire air were toxic, carcinogenic and radioactive. Radioactive emissions from the Capper Pass Plant included Polonium 210. The Press referred to the imposing chimney as ‘Dante’s Inferno.'

There was a high count of cancers among the residents of the surrounding area and the workers at Capper Pass. Tragically, many died long before their time as a result of the pollution. Even back in the early 70’s, lead and arsenic was found in cattle that grazed near Capper Pass, livestock and crops had to be condemned on several farms. It was thought the situation would cause public alarm should the fact become generally known. The environmental damage was widespread.

Despite the long reign of this invisible threat, the village next to Capper Pass where I grew up continues to thrive and inspire the likes of me with its dark bodies of water and impassable woods. These are my childhood haunts.

The chimney itself was rarely out of the line of sight, a peripheral stigma. I gazed at it sleepless nights from my bedroom window, the warning light blinking in the dark. Hypnotising. Personified in my childish imagination, I even toyed with the idea that it could read my mind.

I wanted to capture the spirit of the place, somehow, as it has captured mine, and tell some of Welton's story - there are many stories here.

Home Ground is the final track on my album A Child’s Rumour and features the generously gifted clarinettist Robert Schuck, who is sadly no longer with us. The film also shows the remains of St Anne’s Well, which is another story altogether.

  • Gaynor Perry
  • Gaynor Perry
  • Gaynor Perry
  • Robert Schuck
  • Gaynor Perry
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Gaynor Perry

Self-taught artist working in photography, painting, film and music (composition, production and voice).

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