House on the Borderland

House on the Borderland (2017)

Single channel digital video
15 mins

Featuring Michael Butterworth
Text by Fay Ballard
Sound Mix by Simon Connor
Archive Material courtesy of Savoy Books and North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University
Commissioned by HOME Manchester as part of LA MOVIDA 14th Apr – 17 Jul 2017, HOME Manchester


House on the Borderland explores alternative publishing and censorship in Manchester via the history of Savoy Books, a Manchester based publishing house that published a wide array of material from comics and books to small press fiction and alternative paperbacks. Heavily persecuted in the 1970s and 80s, their bookshops were raided and their published content seized by police commissioner James Anderton. The film connects Butterworth’s recollections of The Savoy Wars – a twenty-five year battle with the Manchester police, overlaid with Fay Ballard’s narrative of her father JG Ballard’s creation of an artwork.

House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson’s novel of cosmic terror, is the name given to Savoy’s first retail bookshop, opened in Manchester in 1972 and inspired by Derek ‘Bram’ Stokes’ London-based shop, Dark They Were and Golden Eyed. The bookshop set the formula on which others were based, reminiscent of the effervescent world of fanzines and bootleg records populating the streets of 1970s Manchester.

HOME AF no margin



House on the Borderland film stills:

HOTB still 1

HOTB still 2

HOTB still 3

HOTB still 4



Installation view of House on the Borderland, LA MOVIDA, 14 Apr 2017 – 17 Jul 2017, HOME Manchester