Love by Chance

A film by Lauren Hatchard and Olivia James commissioned by the Living Memory Project.

Love by Chance tells the story of Gary and Dorothy Watton who share how they met at Chances Bros Ltd in Smethwick in 1956. Filmed on location at the former glass factory and in their home in Old Warley, Oldbury, they talk about what life was like when they first met and the importance of sharing our stories. 


A note from the filmmaker Lauren Hatchard;

There is something quite magical and heartwarming about unearthing old photographs, memorabilia from old shoe boxes and treasured artefacts that contain otherwise hidden stories, which is what instantly attracted me to the project and making a series of short films for Living Memory.

I instantly fell in love with the tale of Gary and Dorothy and upon hearing that the factory that they had met at in the 50s was now a heritage site, we simply had to take them back there for a tour of nostalgia.

This was a building I had gone past countless times on the train and I had always wondered what the story behind it might be.

Stepping into the derelict Chance Brothers Glassworks site in Smethwick was instantly cinematic. With the natural light pouring through broken windows of the abandoned rooms of the Spon Lane 7 Storey Building and retro disused artefacts all preserved under a layer of time capsule dust.

I worked on this project with my friend and colleague Olivia James who helped to produce the piece. Olivia and I have made numerous short films together over the years and when working together we aim to make contributors feel comfortable whilst bringing out their stories, with humour, depth and empathy.

It was an absolute delight meeting Gary and Dorothy and it seemed timely that we should make the film with them on the week of celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary!

I wanted this film to reflect the warm feeling of hearing stories from an old family album, striking a chord with the viewer that we all share similar backstories and how these stories connect together to make our rich heritage.

Gary and Dorothy Watton
The filmmakers Lauren (left) and Olivia

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