Brian Line Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains two scrapbooks; production notes and certificate of merit and booklet on It Could Happen to You 45rpm record People on Wheels the soundtrack to Brian's film, leaflets on Le Court film making, a printed version of Brian Line's autobiography.

Administrative / Biographical History

Brian Francis Line, known to friends and family as Sandy, was born in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire in 1937 and grew up with his grandparents and father in Slough.

As a young child Brian was diagnosed with Stills Disease and his childhood was marked by many painful operations and hospital stays. Proper formal education eventually started aged 12 at the Hospital School of The Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital in Taplow (a centre for research into rheumatism in children) and Brian later attended Exhall Grange School in Coventry as a boarder.

At the hospital school, Brian discovered he had a talent for painting; this was extended to photography at Exhall Grange. He left at 16 and returned to Slough where he trained at the local technical college in commercial art. Brian had been a committed Christian since early age and became a part time Sunday School teacher at the local Methodist Church.

His Grandparents becoming ill meant that Brian had to stay at a Bournemouth nursing home, which he disliked. Realising that this could be his future, Brian's research soon came across the Le Court Cheshire Home in Hampshire. Its reputation for supporting residents to lead active lives (very different to most social care provision at the time) saw him take a holiday there in 1956 and later decide to move there in 1957, just before his 21st Birthday.

Initial misgivings at leaving his childhood home soon gave way to an active life at Le Court and the local area. He set up a Youth Club at the local Methodist Church, training to become a lay preacher. He became very involved in Le Court's Resident's Committee, raising money to design and build extensions by various fundraising feats, the most high profile being a sponsored wheelchair push the length of the country, made possible by volunteers and hitchhiking and a feature of his film Maybe Today.

Brian was a self employed draughtsman and photographer, setting up Line Press and designing silk headscarves in his Le Court room. He was also a founder member of the award winning Le Court Film Unit, one of the first ever co-operatives of Disabled people making films about their own lives. After the co-operative closed down in 1968 Brian decided to go professional, and with the help of film student Nick Dance (now a well respected Director of Photography) made documentaries and musical documentaries about life as a disabled person. I've got Wheels made in 1979 documented Joe, who had one of the first ever electric wheelchairs that enabled him to go shopping in a local town. His final film It Could Happen to You had its film premiere at the Shell centre on the Southbank in London, attended by Lord Snowdon and intended to mark the 1981 International Year of Disabled People.

Brian Line died at Le Court in 1982 aged 44.


Arranged as deposited.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is granted by appointment with the Archivist, address: Leonard Cheshire Disability Archive Centre, Newlands House, Main Street, Netherseal, South Derbyshire, DE12 8DA email

Access to original films held at the BFI is subject to their access conditions.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Brian Line's family in 2007.

Alternative Form Available

Copies of the Le Court Film Unit and Brian Line Films films can be viewed on the Leonard Cheshire Archive's website Rewind 7 decades of stories from Leonard Cheshire Disability . To search and view the films, click on this link

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

At the time of this catalogue being written, there is no equipment aivailable to play the 45rpm record People on Wheels .

Separated Material

Material relating to Brian line can also be found in:

  • AV-F Leonard Cheshire Film Archive
  • LCF:UK Leonard Cheshire UK Collection

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is subject to copyright law and access is subject to the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation.

Location of Originals

The original Le Court Film Unit and Brian Line Films film reels are kept at the British Film Institute. Click this link to search the collections