Film ID:
YFA 4586



Visitor Tabs


This film captures a review of the Special Constabulary in Wakefield, 1981, marking the 150th anniversary. Attended by the Mayor of Wakefield, the ceremony features a brass band, a march past, and presentation of medals to distinguished individuals.

Title - 150th anniversary of the special constabulary.

Title - At the police academy, Bishopgarth, Wakefield on Sunday, 27th September, 1981.

The film opens with a constable standing motionless before the camera holding a red flag. In a car park, male and female police constables stand in organised rows. There are the shots of medals laid out of a white table. A panning shot captures the scene in more detail; officers maintain their formation, while a line of senior officers stand rigid in front of them. The camera pans further across the scene showing spectators gathered around the edges, and an empty VIP box is also briefly visible.

The next sequence shows important guest taking theirs seats, before a brass band march past the camera and around the officers. More important guest arrives, such as high ranking officers, local dignitaries, the Mayor of Wakefield and a local priest. The VIPs walk past the already seated guests and take their positions, with the mayor stepping up onto the platform. A photographer is briefly captured taking a photo of the guests before a salute is made by the senior officers. The Mayor of Wakefield is led off the platform and introduced to several senior police officers, before inspecting the police regiment, and there are some brief glimpses of the crowd in this segment.

The Mayor, and other senior police figures (each with a lengthy row of medals pinned to their breasts) continue to move between the ranks, stopping occasionally to chat with an officer. The brass band starts up again as the inspection proceeds, before the mayor chats with some of the band members. The Mayor returns to the podium and the marching band move past, with the drummers laying their drums in front of the podium. A blue flag is handed to then briefly handed to the priest, before being draped across the drums by an officer. The priest then leads a prayer, speaking into a microphone, and shots show the spectators and police officers alike bowing their heads.

Once the prayer is over, the flag is rolled up and passed by to an officer by the priest. The flag is then paraded through the ranks of policemen with shots showing the band playing and spectators watching. Medals are presented by the Mayor of Wakefield to distinguished officers, with shots of some of the crowd taking pictures as the Mayor pins a medal to a female sergeant. Once the presentation concludes, the officers shuffled back into tighter rows - preparing for the march past.

The brass band is captured playing as the groups of officers march past the podium, with the high-ranking officer saluting from the raided platform. The audience then rise to their feet, as the officers' fall back into their stationary positions. The crowd sit once more as the priest, Mayor, and other VIPs make their exit. The marching band are next to leave. The guests begin to drip away slowly as the officers salute for the final time before breaking formation.