Film ID:
NEFA 9092

ABOUT BRITAIN: HALF THE BATTLES WON

1980

Visitor Tabs

Description

A Tyne Tees Television production originally broadcast in 1973 and re-broadcast in 1980 as part of the About Britain series that looks at the North Yorkshire village of Botton, a Camphill Community for the mentally handicapped, which is celebrating its silver jubilee. The film intercuts interviews with both co-workers as well as parents of residents talking about what their children gain from being part of this community with views of the disabled at work in various farming, craft and therapeutic workshops.

Credit: Tyne Tees Television

The film opens on a view from a window looking out onto rolling hills and countryside. The camera pulls back to show two dolls sitting on a window sill and around a table a number of residents sewing. General views of various male and female workers performing tasks in workshops.

Interview with two women about the mentally disabled. The second woman says that the disabled “belong to world” and if you can get people to work with them as normal human beings “then half the battle is won”.

The film cuts to a view looking down onto farms and fields. The camera moves in on one of the fields which is full of cars.

A large crowd walking along a path towards the village. The film cuts to a woman sitting behind a small table collecting entrance fees from visitors in a large silver tin. Visitors pick up maps of ‘Botton Village’.

Outside a book shop a large crowd walk past. Inside the glass workshop a crowd stands behind a woman as she holds up a cut glass flute to a light.

Outside on a trellis table a label on a block of cheese reads ‘Home Made Cheese from Botton’. People walk past the table containing small tubs and blocks of cheese. Some pick up a piece of cheese and look at it.

In the garden crowds look over a large number of potted plants laid out on another trellis table. Behind the table a number of residents sit, one in a floppy hat sits and looks at the camera.

Interview with the parents of a Botton resident. They are asked about how they came to terms with having a disabled child and what they think of the Camphill community.

A phantom car drives past Botton Hall and its large front garden.

The film cuts to two men appearing from behind a large shed, walking along a path and down a set of steps to stand in a yard beside a building or workshop. One of the men, Botton Secretary Peter Hogg, is interviewed about how they select residents and what they need to bring to the community.

In a large vegetable garden near to Botton Hall a number of residents’ work weeding the soil. The film returns to the interview with Peter Hogg.

General views of Botton village.

In the village store a co-worker helps a resident put together an order. He takes apples from a display and weighs 4lbs on a set of scales. He then takes a can of Heinz Baked Beans from the shelf.

In a workshop another resident delicately engraves a glass tankard. In another workshop a resident pours molten wax over a number of candle wicks hanging from lead weights. The excess wax pours back into a vat. In a large room a number of residents sit round a table stitching children’s dolls watched over by a co-worker.

In a metal workshop, co-worker Stan Lee watches over three men as they hammer pieces of metal inside a mould. He takes one of their creations and places it on a windowsill.

Stan Lee, an old soldier, is interviewed about why he came Botton to work in this community. Outside in a courtyard a younger man wearing white overalls and a hat and apron is also interviewed about why he came to Botton. The film cuts to one of the women seen at the beginning of the film being asked the same questions.

In the Cheesery a resident unscrews a press and takes out a round cheese and places it on a table. The young man seen previously being interviewed in the courtyard removes the cheese from the mould. The resident takes it to another table where a woman brushes the linen on the cheese with water.

Outside a female resident talks about why she likes working in the Cheesery.

In another workshop a resident makes alter candles from pure bleached bees wax. He discusses how the candles are made as he pouring wax over the wicks. In the glass workshop another resident continues to delicately engrave a glass tankard.

On a table is a display of calendars with different drawing shown for each month. The film cuts to a display case full of candles wrapped in plastic. A cut glass vase is shown on display.

The film cuts to interviews with two sets of parents about the problems dealing with disabled children and how Botton has helped their children find peace and contentment.

Around a large table a resident leads others in prayer before food is dished up by two co-workers. General views of everyone eating and chatting.

Interview with a woman about her role as a ‘house-mother’ and her work in the medical centre. As she talks about her work in the hair salon the film cuts to her in the salon washing a female resident’s hair and putting it into curlers.

Two chickens stand on farm wall. Into the farmyard come two residents who begin to herd cows, moving them into a shed.

Interview with a couple on the steps of their house about what attracted them to Botton and how they had grown up with the village.

Inside the ‘Coffee Corner’ a resident purchases a cup of coffee. General views of other residents going into the café, purchasing drinks and cake and sitting around relaxing.

The film cuts back to the couple being interviewed on the steps.

On a stage a number of residents in costumes perform a scene from a play which they do as a mime. Their performance is inter-cut with an interview with a co-worker who says they put on a performance for each of the four main Christian holidays. She believes performing helps to raise their self-confidence.

Interview with Stan Lee about some of the frustrations he felt working with the handicapped when he first started.

The film cuts to a brass band performing under a marquee during the village’s silver jubilee open day. General views of the fete showing a man throwing a ball at a painted target, a woman sliding down into a pool of water and a boy attempting to hit a wooden mole as it slides down a chute.

General views of people walking to and around the farm. Inside the baker a resident and his father work together to sell loaves of bread.

Interviews with a number of parents about what they believe their children gain from being part of the community. One mother says they get a full life here where they wouldn’t at home.

A large crowd walks around the outside a number of workshops. A man holds the hand of his disabled daughter.

The film ends with views of the Botton community down in the valley taken from a rocky outcrop.

End Credit: Tyne Tees Television Colour. © Trident Television 1980.