PEOPLE from across the country came to a sold-out screening of Kes - shown on one of just two surviving 35mm prints following an historic discovery last month - to view it in its original form.

The 1969 classic was shown at Parkway Cinema, on Eldon Street, after its co-owner Rob Younger put in work to put together a night worthy of the unique find.

With the help of the Kes Group - who set up stalls selling memorabilia - Rob was able to organise a screening with Billy Casper actor Dai Bradley in attendance, as well as a selection of other supporting cast members.

Rob told the Chronicle: “It’s gone better than I thought it would.

“Dai was well received obviously but it was amazing seeing the other members of the cast - I wasn’t expecting so many to attend.

“The Kes Group has been really on top of it - it’s just made a really good event of the discovery.”

The showing had visitors from across the country, including Ken Holmes who travelled five hours from Essex just to see the film.

He added: “It was absolutely worth it.

In Text Promo Image

“This film has had a massive impact on me since I first watched it in 1971.

“It really is a universal story.

“I went to school in Brixton, which is entirely different but socially and economically entirely the same, so you can really relate to the story.”

While its BAFTA-winning director Ken Loach was unable to attend, he did write a message for those in attendance, which was read out ahead of the film being played.

In it, he discussed the joy of that ‘summer of ‘68’ when they filmed.

It said: “This is a very special occasion and I am very disappointed not to be with you.

“There are so many memories to share.

“Mr Grice - Grice Pudding - lecturing the smokers on the virtues of corporal punishment, then caning the wrong lad.

“I get asked how could you really cane the boys for a film?

“People don’t realise it was a daily occurrence and I think - or hope - the scene contributed to ending caning for all kids a few years later.

“Your pain was for a good cause.”

Following the showing, Dai led a Q and A to allow those in attendance to ask their long-held questions.

The night was particularly special for the 70-year-old actor, who spent a significant part of his childhood at the venue - formerly known as the Empire before being renamed to the Gaumont and then the Odeon - which has shown films since the early 1900s.

“It’s very special,” he said.

“This very cinema was probably the very first I went to when I was a nipper and got the acting bug watching Children’s Film Foundation movies.

“So having Kes back in town at one of the traditional cinemas, rather than Cineworld, I think is really beautiful.

“This whole community looks on Kes as something so special for the town and for the people too - it really put Barnsley on the map in a lot of ways.

“The fact that there are people down from Kent, from Herne Bay, really shows how this movie is still part of the social fabric of the 21st century.”