In May 06 I began the phonecalls and the reading, finding out as much as I could about everything made or written about Hardy's. I knew of James Hardy's book, 'The House the Hardy Brothers Built'. It was essential reading but out of print, every other title I could dig up seemed very hardwear orientated. I also phoned as many publishers as I could to, not just to pester them but to sound out the marketplace for the subject. What stuck out the most was James Hardy's initial publisher Fly Fishers Classic Library who told me what a lovely man he was. That sounds very encouraging I thought as I munched lunch.
Naturally washed it down with a bottle of Montepulciano ( yeah right, as if) and that's when I first spoke to Medlar Press. It was quite a conversation, Sophie probably originally thought, 'loon', so she passed me onto Rosie who no doubt thought 'drunk' so passed me onto Jon and then I don't think there was anyone else he could pass me onto. So I told Jon about my film idea and he was well, very enthusiastic. Great. He was going to republish James Hardy's book in the Summer and is historical consultant to Hardy's. He was pretty keen on their story being told, what's more he told me there were archive films - Am I dreaming?
I really do love archive film material, although I don't quite know exactly why. I think it's something to do with capturing a world so recently lost yet so very different from ours but irrefutably there for us all to see. Those world's perhaps a century away and saved by the same technology responsible as much as any other for all the changes.
It stings to think of how much of this heritage is just fading away in forgotten attics. Once it's detiorated it's lost forever and it seems so needless. So when Jon mentioned the archive film footage the hook was truly set. To be able to rediscover and build a story around such a world, that legend of Hardy's, suddenly became a real possibility. The only problem now was the biggest hurdle, how to find a broadcaster to fund the project.