Dr Robert Smith from Richmond River Historical Society worked with the National Film and Sound Archive collection in the Scholars and Artists in Residence program to unearth historical footage of the Lismore / Richmond River region. Four video clips may be found at the link below.
Lismore History on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9D46F7A3711BB785
- The Razor Gang, 1928 (filmed in Lismore, NSW) clip 1
- The Razor Gang, 1928 (filmed in Lismore, NSW) clip 2
- Lawn bowls – Lismore home movies by Thomas Bruce Nicol, c1948
- Farm scenes – Lismore home movies by Thomas Bruce Nicol, c1948
The Razor Gang was a community film production created in Lismore, NSW, adding to the celebrations surrounding the opening of the Memorial Baths and the Municipal Council Chambers (March 1928). The film contains numerous shots of local settings. The director was William Reed (husband of the Hollywood starlet Eva Novak no less). The presentation is credited to TJ Dorgan, proprietor of the Star Court theatre, and most of its actors are Northern Rivers locals. One month after filming the finished product was shown in the Star Court. Most likely this is the earliest film of Lismore. NFSA holds only the first 27 mins.
The lawn bowls and farm scenes clips were part of a series of home movies made in the 1940s by Thomas Bruce Nicol, a Lismore local who had won a scholarship to high-school education in Sydney, and eventually became Engineer-in-Chief for the Sydney Water Board. He made annual trips to Lismore with his family, and was a keen film-maker. His work is most likely the earliest colour film of Lismore.