It’s dark. An air raid siren wails. A man in a heavy steel helmet walks amongst us.
‘Put that light out!’ he says.
The audience laughs, the lights come back on, and the man in the Air Raid Warden’s uniform takes up position behind a microphone at the front of the packed village hall.
I’m in Lavenham, Suffolk, for an evening of WW2 memories with the local community, and it’s off to an atmospheric start. I’m here because Lavenham is the setting for British Council Collection film Lowland Village, which is being shown as part of the evening’s programme. Released in 1943, the short ‘documentary’ looks at the traditional crafts and industries of such a settlement and is part of a small geographical series with the Collection. For the local community, however, it shows glimpses of relatives, friends, and businesses that are often gone but not forgotten…