A long time ago in a galaxy... not so far away.
A Canadian man with ties to Northamptonshire hopes to create a documentary film about a Star Wars-themed cross country team event at Everdon Hall from the 1970s.
John Holt, from Calgary, first became aware of the show through his aunt and uncle who were the hosts of the October 15, 1978 event at Everdon Hall.
Attended by the likes of Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the movie franchise, the late BBC presenter Jimmy Hill, and racing correspondent Dick Pitman, the show seems to have faded from memory among the local population but John hopes that our readers can lend a helping hand.
“Early in March, I visited some pubs in the Everdon area, armed with small posters sporting a group photo showing local people in the background, including my uncle, and some short sentences about my project,” explained John.
“As I entered each pub, I asked loudly ‘Who is the oldest in the pub?’” Eyes darted, lips twitched, and after a brief pause the oldest was identified.
“My question was simple: ‘Do you remember a Star Wars party in Everdon in 1978?’ The answers varied slightly… ‘no’, ‘never happened’, ‘you must have the wrong village.’”
After producing pictorial evidence of the event, given to him by his aunt Anne Hawkins and his uncle Captain Richard Hawkins, the punters soon became convinced.
In the beginning even John was sceptical the race had ever taken place.
“The first time I heard of my aunt and my uncle hosting a Star Wars event at Everdon Hall I was 14 years old,” he said.
“I was very surprised, and mentioned to my father that it was very unlikely - perhaps it was just fancy dress?
“He assured me it was a ‘real’ Star Wars party, and I made a conscious decision he had his wires crossed.
“My father certainly was not cool enough to know anything about Star Wars, and my aunt and uncle in England were even less hip than my father!”
John left a collection of photo sheets in the local pubs and after a few weeks his email inbox showed photos, stories and memories of the Star Wars Cross Country Team Event at Everdon Hall.
Although not a massive Star Wars fan, John was affected by the death of Carrie Fisher last year, remembering the photos his aunt had showed him.
Having kept the images hidden for almost 40 years John felt it was time to do something with them.
“I would like to make a documentary movie with these stories, photos, and memorabilia,” said John.
“With more help, I hope to paint a picture of how the event came into being, what happened on the day, and who was there.
“This was an extraordinary day for Everdon, and I doubt any attendee could have guessed the impact Star Wars would have for generations to come.”
If you have any information connected to the race you can contact John via his website, www.everdonstarwars.com.