Cutting that told a tragic story

THE last time Danyl Rathband was in the newspaper it was as a little six-year-old tragically orphaned after both his parents died.

And that Derbyshire Times report from February 1997 is the reason Danyl, now 21, is featured again today as he used the article as the basis for a short film about memories.

The budding director filmed powerful scenes in Alfreton cemetery - where his parents are buried - and intends to enter the finished piece into festivals.

“I’m always nervous before I start a film but this time it was more about ‘Am I going to get this right?” said the student after he and a crew captured footage last Wednesday.

The film will almost be a tribute to Danyl’s mum Tracy, who had Chrohn’s disease and died at 26, and dad Kevin who lost his four-year battle with cancer three years previously.

Former Swanwick Hall School pupil Danyl, who was brought up by relatives in Somercotes and Alfreton, added: “I don’t remember all of what happened, certain bits I do. I can remember what my parents looked like.

“But I think a lot of it was blocked out and now I’m trying to get them back.

“I don’t know if being orphaned has affected me, I always knew it was there and it has affected me on celebration days.”

Called Flowers on the Grave, Danyl’s two to three minute film uses symbolism and still photographs to bring memories to life.

Although he does not appear in it himself Danyl created and directed the clip with his grandad Peter Allsop, of Stonebroom, also helping to film.

The cutting from the Derbyshire Times that started it all was found at his gran’s home.

Danyl, who is in his third year at Staffordshire University studying media production, said: “It does feel strange to see the clipping and think ‘that’s me’, but I think it’s there, it’s going to be there so it’s trying to move on from the situation to do something about it that’s positive.

“The graveyard, I didn’t always like going there – I was nervous about it at first.

“I think the film could help other people in the same situation cope and show them that you can express your feelings in different ways.”

Danyl also thanked Amber Valley District Council, St Thomas’ Church in Somercotes and Alfreton cemetery for letting him use the sites as locations in the shoot.

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By Ellen Beardmore