39 Steps at the South Londonderry Depot

The_39_Steps_1935_British_posterOn Tuesday, May 15, at 7 pm, the Friends of the West River Trail will present “The 39 Steps” a Hitchcock classic at the South Londonderry Depot.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.
South Londonderry Depot, 34 River St., South Londonderry, VT.

The West River Trail Run

West River Trail RunSaturday, June 3, 2017, is the annual West River Trail Run, held in Londonderry & Jamaica, Vermont. A FUNdraiser to benefit The Collaborative’s long-standing programs like the Afterschool Program, Summer Camp, and Refuse To Use Program.
Click here for more info: https://runsignup.com/Race/VT/SouthLondonderry/WestRiverTrailRun

The full 11 mile trail run starts at the South Londonderry Depot and ends at Jamaica State Park. This run is great for trail running enthusiasts of all skill levels. In addition to the competitive, unofficial timed 11 mile run for individual runners, it has a 3-leg relay option, walkers’ start time and a 5K Fun Run.

The West River Trail Run course is surpack for the first 4 miles and follows the West River as you pass through Winhall Brook camp ground. Then into the woods as you watch your step with rocks, leaves and trees (oh my!), cross over Angel Falls (yes, there is water but there are rocks to step across), don’t forget to look up! Up the hill you go! Then down the gnarly switchback at Ball Mountain Dam. Almost there with 4 miles left, as the river is now to the right of you! A couple miles down the surpack in Jamaica State Park and you cross the finish to dip your feet in the river. We ask no dogs. If you would like to push a stroller, the 5K or the first leg of the race is best.

Sponsored by the Collaborative
Email: info@thecollaborative.us
Phone: (802) 824-4200
Physical & Mailing Address: 91 VT Route 11, Londonderry, Vermont 05148

FWRT Annual Meeting and Open House

West River Railroad

A train departs the South Londonderry depot during the hey-day of the West River Railroad.

Friends of the West River Trail: Doings at the Depot!

The public is invited to attend an Open House and social hour, with refreshments provided, hosted by the Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT), to be held on Wednesday, March 23, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, in the South Londonderry Depot on Route 100.

At the Open House, visitors will be updated on the current projects involving both the West River Trail (South Londonderry to Brattleboro when completed) and the Depot itself. Representatives of both the Northern (Londonderry to Townshend) and Southern (Newfane to Brattleboro) trail sections will be on hand.

A highlight of the evening will be an update on the status of the West River Railroad Museum, being developed by the Historical Society of Windham County in their recently-acquired Old Newfane Railroad Station.

Plans for the 2016 West River Trail Run will be presented by a representative from the Collaborative. The 2016 event will take place on National Trails Day, June 4

The Open House will be preceded at 5:30 PM by a short business meeting of the FWRT Board, to which visitors are welcome to attend if they choose.

Please plan to join your friends and the Friends of the West River Trail for an enjoyable and informative evening.

South Londonderry Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT 05155

Hallelujah the Hills! Film Screening at the South Londonderry Depot

hallelujah the hillsThe Londonderry Historical Society, The Weston Historical Society and
The Friends of the West River Trail present Hallelujah the Hills!

Please join us on Thursday, March 10, 7:00 PM at The South Londonderry Depot for a rare opportunity to see this zany, Vermont made film.
Light refreshments. Donations appreciated. Doors open at 6:30 PM

Hallelujah the Hills is a zany, indie comedy shot locally (South Londonderry) in 1963. It received accolades at film festivals (Cannes, New York) but was very rarely shown in theaters. Hallelujah the Hills (1963) was written, directed and edited by Adolfas Mekas. The picture was his first feature film.

“Two young men, Jack and Leo, are both courting the same girl. For seven long years they persist, but she finally gives herself to the ‘horrible Gideon.’ In a sense, just as this is the pretext for the film, so the courtships of Vera is a pretext for Jack and Leo to camp out together in the Vermont woods near her home, and to indulge themselves in the wildest of horseplay and high jinks. The film has a Giffithian flavor, a lyrical naivete, which is extremely touching. At the same time it is full of sophisticated film parodies – Rashomon, the New Wave, Douglas Fairbanks, Ma and Pa Kettle. In short, this is one of the most completely American films ever made, in its combination of anarchistic wackiness with a nostalgic sense of the lost frontier and (maybe they’re both the same) the magic of youth.

In 1963 after screenings in the Cannes Festival Critics’ section, the Montreal Film Festival and the Locarno festival where it won the Silver Sail, HALLELUJAH THE HILLS, Adolfas Mekas’ first feature film made its USA debut at the First New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center on September 14, 1963, at a 6:30pm screening. It received rave reviews and went on to a 15-week engagement at the Fifth Avenue Cinema in New York, and movie theatres around the country. Currently, it is available in 35mm from Anthology Film Archives and the Museum of Modern Art, where it is also available in 16mm.

“Plotless and pointless, seemingly without a care for structure or cinematic style, it is infuriatingly unconventional and wholly disarming.” The New York Times

“The funniest comedy you’ve never seen” Chicago Tribune

The New York Times Review. Newcomers Present ‘Hallelujah the Hills,’ a Vermont Farce. Published: December 17, 1963
Three months ago, a modest little Vermont-made farce called “Hallelujah the Hills” surprised and delighted patrons of the first New York Film Festival by boisterously affirming that life can be a ball and movie-making can be fun.

This festive philosophy was broached to a commercial audience for the first time yesterday at the Fifth Avenue Cinema — as close to its spiritual Greenwich Village home as current distribution policies allow. Judging from the response, it should stay there for quite a while.

For this unpretentious exercise in low-budget cinema, made by a group of newcomers with little more than a camera, a few reels of film and a lot of imagination, is the wildest and wittiest comedy of the holiday season. Plotless and pointless, seemingly without a care for structure or cinematic style, it is infuriatingly unconventional and wholly disarming.

“I haven’t seen a movie in 10 days,” mourns Marty Greenbaum from his snow-covered hilltop perch in one of his — and the film’s — infrequently sober moments. If so, he is undoubtedly the only participant who has not. Everyone else involved, from the engaging group of actors to the ingenious young writer-director, Adolfas Mekas, displays an uninhibited affection for cinema, as evidenced in a staggering series of references to other movies. Practically everything is parodied, from D. W. Griffith to Jean-Luc Godard, with Japanese subtitles to supplement a “Ugetsu”-like fireside scene and a lyrical musical score to complement the heroine’s memories of “last summer at Vermont.”

The story, such as it is, has young Mr. Greenbaum and his ebullient friend, Peter H. Bear, as friendly rivals for the hand of Vera, a lovely and enigmatic winter sprite. The role is mimed with gusto by a pair of actresses, Sheila Finn and Peggy Steffans—since Vera, it seems, is seen differently through two pairs of eyes.

If the idea sounds far-fetched, it doesn’t really matter—either to the unsuccessful suitors or to the viewer. The two young men are beatniks on a binge, and their seven-year courtship is merely an excuse for a succession of cinematic sight gags, staged with infectious gaiety by the inventive Mr. Mekas as a tribute to his mentor, Mack Sennett.

Sterner spectators may quibble that the quality of the mirth tapers off toward the end, but the anarchic spirit is hard to resist. The game’s the thing in “Hallelujah the Hills” and a fun movie about the fun of movies emerges as an outrageous lark.

Village and Downtown Revitalization Workshop Series: Making Things Happen

Village and Downtown Revitalization Workshop Series: Making Things Happen

Windham (Vermont) Regional Commission Join the WRC (Windham Regional Commission) on May 6th to learn what villages and downtowns in southern Vermont have undertaken to bring renewed vitality to their communities. The Friends of the West River Trail will highlight the steps they took to revitalize the South Londonderry Depot and the West River Trail. This event will offer valuable opportunities to network with other local communities and regional and state entities.

Where: South Londonderry Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT
When: Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 5:30-7:30pm
Who should attend: Individuals and groups who work on or are interested in working on village and downtown revitalization in southern Vermont.

To RSVP or for more information contact:
Susan McMahon: susan@windhamregional.org · (802) 257-4547 x114
Bill Colvin: bcolvin@bcrcvt.org · (802) 442-0713 x1
To RSVP by Doodle Poll:
http://doodle.com/cq69asube7ecmbf9

If you have any additional questions about the workshop series, please contact Susan McMahon at susan@windhamregional.org or ext 114. We look forward to seeing you at our next workshop!

(In December 2012 the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the Bennington and Windham regions funding from the Disaster Recovery Grant program* to bring additional professional capacity to Southern Vermont to assist with economic recovery post Tropical Storm Irene. Through this grant, a major focus of the regional commissions’ work will be village and downtown revitalization and assisting municipalities with economic recovery. As part of that assistance, workshops such as this are being held.)

Friends of the West River Trail Open House & Annual Board Meeting

Friends of the West River Trail Open House & Annual Board Meeting

Dummerston Railroad BridgeThe public is invited to the Friends of the West River Trail Open House & Annual Board Meeting on Thursday January 29th at the South Londonderry Depot. The Meeting is at 5:30 pm, followed by a Social Hour with refreshments at 6 pm.
The meeting will include an update on important trail and depot projects and an introduction to the New West River Railroad Museum, under development by the Windham County Historical Society.
For questions and information about the annual meeting and open house, contact Greg Meulemans by email at meulemans@myfairpoint.net. Please join us on Thursday, January 29, 6-7:30 pm at the South Londonderry Depot.

Hitchcock Presented at Londonderry Depot

Hitchcock Presented at Londonderry Depot

The_Trouble_with_Harry

Alfred Hitchcock was a master of suspense, mystery, at times horror and even humor. Two upcoming Londonderry Depot events on Hitchcock are featured in the Manchester (VT) Journal Arts section. To read the full article, click HERE.

The public is invited to two events in early May celebrating the career and legacy of famed film director Alfred Hitchcock, both taking place at the restored South Londonderry Depot on Route 100 and hosted by the Friends of the West River Trail.
The first, on Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. will be a presentation of Hitchcock’s career, supported by clips of his most renowned works, by film expert Rick Winston. Two weeks later, on May 16 at 7:30 p.m., the Friends of the West River Trail will present a screening of “The Trouble with Harry,” perhaps Hitchcock’s most comedic venture, though still with a touch of the macabre.
The Depot is handicapped-accessible. The events are free and open to all.

The first, on Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. will be a presentation of Hitchcock’s career, supported by clips of his most renowned works, by film expert Rick Winston.
Hitchcock famously said “Some films are slices of life; mine are slices of cake.”
Winston’s presentation consists of 12 film clips, from “The Thirty-Nine Steps” (1935) to “The Birds” (1963), with a discussion of the evolution of Hitchcock’s craft, an exploration of his favorite themes and motifs (innocence and guilt, ordinary people in extraordinary situations, thrilling climaxes in public places, inanimate objects which take on great significance), and his work with famous collaborators. Winston grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., and became hooked watching old films on TV at a young age. He went to Columbia College and University of California, Berkeley. He moved to Vermont in 1970 and founded the Lightning Ridge Film Society, which morphed into the Savoy Theater in 1981. He was a founder of the Green Mountain Film Festival and was its Programming Director until 2012. Since 2009, he has been teaching film at Burlington College and the Community College of Vermont.
Winston’s presentation is sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council as part of its’ Speakers Bureau program. The Vermont Humanities Council is dedicated to creating a State in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life. Thanks to the sponsorship by the Humanities Council, there is no cost to attend. Voluntary contributions to support the preservation of the Depot will be gratefully accepted, but are not required.

On May 16 at 7:30 p.m., the Friends of the West River Trail will present a screening of “The Trouble with Harry,” perhaps Hitchcock’s most comedic venture, though still with a touch of the macabre. The story is set, and partially filmed, in Vermont and, unlike some of Hitchcock’s films, will not afflict its viewers with recurring nightmares. Fledgling performers appearing in “Harry” include Jerry Mathers, before “Leave it to Beaver,” and Shirley MacLaine (her film debut) alongside veterans John Forsythe and Edmond Gwenn.
This is a community event hosted by the Friends of the West River Trail. There is no admission charge. Again, however, voluntary contributions to assist with the upkeep of the Depot will be accepted.