Amanda Randall

Writer, researcher, subeditor, cinephile

United Kingdom

I am a social historian writing about all aspects of everyday lives, from education to work, wartime to entertainment.
My major interest is in film and cinema-going from the industry's earliest days to the present.

I am a community cinema programmer and write about the burgeoning grassroots cinema scene in the UK.


Cinema and film

Power To The People

The UK's community cinemas are a hotbed of grassroots activism

Sight & Sound
Keep it in the community

The fast-growing community cinema movement is revolutionising access to a wide range of world and British cinema

Who Do You Think You Are?
The Great Escape

Going to see a film during World War 2 boosted morale at home and helped people through the worst of times

A bit of a yarn: knitting for the cinephile

I love knitting. There I've said it. I don't care if it's cool or not. I love wool (and fabric, and embroidery thread), I love creating something lovely/useful/individual out of a not-very-exciting-looking pile of wool. If that creation can be specifically for someone else, then I'm happy.

World War II In Colour: The Redoubtable Miss Rosie Newman We seem to remember the past in black and white, especially the 1930s and '40s, but the work of Miss Rosie Newman, a British woman who happened to be a talented amateur film maker, allows us a wonderful opportunity to see what the 1940s really looked like - blue skies, sunny streets, the different tones...

Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise

For his new film ATOMIC, Mark Cousins rummaged through archive footage to tell a story of atomic power, from its use in weapons of mass destruction to groundbreaking advances in medicine and technology. The opening frame of ATOMIC warns 'This film is restricted'.

The Epic Of Everest

THE EPIC OF EVEREST was made and released in 1924: it's the filmed record of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine's expedition, in which they planned to be the first people to climb to the top of the world. Neither survived, and no one knows for sure if they made it.

Social history

Who Do You Think You Are?
Cold Comfort

Ice skating is a timeless way to enjoy a winter's day. How did it become such a feature of seasonal sport?

Who Do You Think You Are?
Beside The Seaside

How did the seaside become so important to us?

Who Do You Think You Are?
Cafe Culture

Coffee has been part of our social and political world since the 17th century

Family Tree
Women's fight to learn

Educated, emancipated: a brief history of women's education in Britain.

Picture Posts

Ey up love! York in Spring

Spring brings out the travel bug in me and this year I headed for York. I hadn't been there for many years so it felt like a whole new experience. The weather was beautiful, as were the early daffodils, the buildings, the gates and the handmade fudge.

Picture Post: Springtime in Cambridge

It's often the way that when you live near a tourist destination you tend not to visit those places yourself. I've lived near Cambridge for a long time but I've never done the College tours, the open top bus nor the ghost walk, I've only been on a punt once and that was last year....