DOCO DUDE: Graham Bell shares a love of history through his DVDs.
DOCO DUDE: Graham Bell shares a love of history through his DVDs. Contributed

Film maker Bell brings Coffs Coast history to life

CLOSING in on his eightieth birthday isn't slowing Graham Bell down one bit.

The retired media personality discovered documentary film making "almost by accident” and has made The Bellinger Valley Through The Years his latest release.

Known for his work with ABC and community radio, Graham spotted a notice in the paper calling for interested persons keen to make videos and with a bit of time on his hands decided to apply.

"I'd just left the ABC when I saw the advert looking for 13 people to learn film making,” he recalled.

"There must have been 200 or so turn up for the interviews and I thought I wouldn't have much chance but they picked me as one of the lucky ones and that's how it began.

"Almost by accident but it's been a lot of fun and some hard work as well.”

Graham undertook an intensive nine week course to learn the ropes.

"The course was full time and I decided to do a history of the timber industry on the Eastern Dorrigo as my special project which turned out to be a good choice.

"One lady saw her grandfather in the story and began telling family and friends about it.

"Next thing there were people looking for copies and it spread from there.”

There have been several volumes on the history of Coffs Harbour, the Rusty Iron Rally in Macksville, along with special insights into many great characters.

The Joe Corrigan Story celebrates Australia's last working bullocky.

The life of iconic North Coast businessman Jack Hurley is revealed and former Coffs Coast motor dealer Dick Willis looks back on an early career as a race car driver while showing off his collection of classic cars.

"It takes at least three months to do the research and then putting each DVD together can take much longer,” Graham added.

"From buying history books to visiting libraries and tracking down images to record.

"All the production is done at home from burning the discs to printing the covers.

"It's all hands on to get it right and a real cottage industry.”

The DVD's are available for a nominal fee.


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