MOC films

Dear all –

This is a link to a couple of films about Michael on Richard Tobin’s YouTube site. You might have had the link already, but I did not want to pass it around until I had heard from Deri Morgan, Anna Gifford’s daughter, that she was happy that I should make use of her mother’s film. See the excerpted emails below.
The black and white film is John Tobin’s, the colour film is Anna Gifford’s.

I have also sent this to the MOC blog. I shall now try to get the time to sort out the blog and the proposed MOC website.

Best wishes, Seamus

From: “Deri ”
Date: 19 March 2012 20:52:55 GMT
To: “‘Seamus O’Connell'”
Subject: RE: Anna Gifford / Michael O’Connell

Hi Seamus

Wow!! It was quite a shock to see my granny on film, I haven’t see her in anything other than 2D for over 30 years! Obviously she was friends with your dad. As far as I’m concerned you are welcome to put the film on your website, I’m sure my sister will be fine about it too but I’ll forward your email to her to read over anyway.

I remember Anna talking about an Australian called Warwick but have no idea how to contact him. I did think of someone who I can possibly find out more from (about other people who may have been involved) so I’ll get in touch with him.

It’s a lovely little film and all seems totally familiar to me (very much the kind of thing I remember growing up around) I’m going to send Hazel (from the farmhouse) and my uncle John the link to you tube to see if they have any more info that might help and so they can see Elsa (my granny)

I’ll get back in touch with any other info and I also may come to you for advice when I get it together to do a proper website about my father. I wish I had a film like this about my Dad.

It was great to see. My mum’s voice was unrecognisable to me as she was so young – until she laughed!

Take care


Begin forwarded message:

From: Seamus O’Connell
Date: 22 February 2012 22:36:52 GMT
To: Dezza Morgan
Subject: Re: Anna Gifford / Michael O’Connell

Deri –

Your mother’s film about my father has turned up. Or maybe one of two films has turned up. What I had heard about was a film Anna made for or with Anglia TV, which this does not seem to be. I did not get very far with tracking down an Anglia TV film.

This film was in the possession of Richard Tobin, son of John Tobin, who was a good friend to Michael. He ran the art department at Ware College and employed Michael to teach there. Richard also found a film John made about Michael. He has had the two 16mm celluloid films digitised and has put them on his YouTube site. Sue Parnham (as was then, Sue Proud now) who came up with Anna’s name when I first started to look for the film is, I think, the dark-haired girl who appears at the start of the film.
The black and white film is John Tobin’s, the colour film is Anna’s.

I would like to put the films on a website I’m planning to set up about Michael. Would that be OK with you? I guess that you and your sister own the copyright in your mother’s work, so I would need your permission. Copyright gets very complicated, as you may know, and there are exceptions for ‘fair use’, but I don’t think that covers putting a film on a biographical website. In practice, unless you’re dealing with big-money stuff, I think you can be relaxed about these issues but I don’t want to do anything with your mother’s film unless you’re happy about it.

The credits at start say that Anna made the film with the assistance of Warwick Nieass. Do you know anything about him? Googling him suggests that he is an artist and actor with Australian connections. Also do you know if Anna would have had musician friends who might have done the music on the sound track, at 6.40-7.40, 9.00-9.50, 11.15-12.25, and 17.10-19.25? They would all also have a finger in the copyright pie, but maybe not enough to be offended if I fail to contact them.

For information, some links to do with Michael:

MERL – Reading University’s Museum of English Rural Life:

V&A – but most items cannot be viewed: q=michael+o%27connell&commit=Search&quality=0&objectnamesearch=&placesearch= &after=&after-adbc=AD&before=&before-adbc=AD&namesearch=&materialsearch=&mns earch=&locationsearch=

National Gallery of Victoria:

National Gallery of Australia in Canberra – but most items cannot be viewed:

Melbourne Books flyer for Harriet’s book:

Bendigo Art Gallery exhibition:

The Australian – review of Harriet’s book and the Bendigo exhibition: -design/story-e6frg8n6-1226204077027

The Age – review of Harriet’s book and the Bendigo exhibition: d-anew-20111125-1ny4i.html

Best wishes, Seamus

On 24 Mar 2010, at 14:09, Dezza Morgan wrote:

Hello Seamus, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, I’m totally up to my eyeballs in work, I do the same work as Anna did and I have a youth theatre production coming up after easter and two small children who take up every second I have at home!

Your friend has definitly got the right Anna Gifford from Bohemian Farmhouse in Harlow! (Bubsy is Rhiannon by the way) Chris is not our father, Anna had just married him a year before she died. My father was Tony Steele-Morgan who Anna met in Newport collage of art. He probably would have been the best person to ask about the film but unfortunatly he also passed away last autumn.

I’m sorry to tell you that she didn’t have a copy of it, I inherited anything like that and I definitly didn’t come accross a film. Although it does sound like the kind of thing she would do, she was into fabric (printing, batik, embroidery etc) and she majored in film so I’d say it’s worth continuing to look. I think your best bet would be to contact Newport Collage of Art and ask them if they keep copies of such things. I think she graduated from there in 73 as I’m sure she was pregnant with me the year she did but it might be worth checking their records for a year either side just to be sure.

Hazel and Tina (same age as Anna) still live in one side of the farmhouse (our family’s half was sold years ago when Elsa, Anna’s mum died) I don’t think they’d be able to tell you any more but you never know, this is their address – 50 Heron’s Wood, Little Parndon, Harlow, CM20 1RW

Good luck with your search, let me know if you find anything.

Take care

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