THE years and the generation gap are being bridged at Forches in Barnstaple with an innovative film project which charts the origins of the community. Following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, young people on the estate have been interviewing some

THE years and the generation gap are being bridged at Forches in Barnstaple with an innovative film project which charts the origins of the community.Following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, young people on the estate have been interviewing some of the oldest Forches residents and will be using their relocations to create a film of the changes which have taken place in their community since the first homes were built there in 1950.Project co-ordinator Mike Bentley said for the past few months the young people have been meeting once a week at the new Community Centre in Whiddon Valley, learning about camera technique and all that is involved in making a film."We now have a relatively successful new youth club for 12 to 18-year-olds which meets on Monday nights," he said."We began with a core of 11 and now have as many as 25 coming through the doors. We provide space for sports, healthy eating led by the young people themselves, Internet access, games and special activity nights."Forches The Film is to be screened for the first time at the centre in June and will focus on its creation following the slum clearances in the lanes of Barnstaple, after the Second World War and capture first hand the experiences of living on the estate during the past half century.While preserving the story for posterity, the project will also involve young people in something constructive and, it is hoped, improve understanding between the generations."During the film project we have had nothing but good comments from people about growing up here in Forches," said Mike."I think we have a really positive core of young people every week, they are all volunteers and they enjoy coming."Along with three youth workers, the project is being assisted by two North Devon College media students and has the support from the Museum of Barnstaple.On Thursday the young people and their cameras boarded a First Bus provided by the company and continued their project by interviewing driver Pauline Taylor and some of her passengers.One was the Mayor of Barnstaple, Councillor Sue Haywood, is no stranger to Forches - her grandfather Albert Norman was one of those who helped to build the Borough Arms pub:"This is fantastic," she said."There's a big piece of Barnstaple history here and it is good to record it because it is a very special community."Councillor Val Monk was another bus passenger who was greatly impressed by the project and said she gave it her 100 per cent support."It's so refreshing to see young people doing something like this and quite obviously enjoying it too," she said.Anyone who would like to provide their memories of Forches and growing up in the community during the past 58 years, or find out more about the project, is invited to call Forches Film at the community Centre on (01271) 372396.