Film ID:
YFA 5380



Visitor Tabs


This is a film made by Pontefract amateur filmmaker Jack Johnson celebrating the life and work of local historian and crime novelist Joseph Fletcher.  It takes the form of a re-enactment of Joseph Fletcher as he bikes around Yorkshire making notes.

Title – Home Exhibition Certificate:  This is to certify that The Admirable Mr Fletcher is considered by us to be suitable for exhibition to all types of audiences: ‘U’.   J. Johnson

Intertitle – The village of Darrington, Yorkshire in the 1870s. .

A man, playing Joseph Fletcher, stands looking up at St Luke and All Saints Church in Darrington.

Intertitle – Jack Johnson presents a tribute to Yorkshire’s Author & Historian: The Admirable Mr Fletcher

Mr Fletcher, in a sports jacket, lies on the grass leafing through some books.  The church can be seen in the background.  He walks to the church where he is met by some men and looks around inside the church at the stained glass windows and other features.  Outside the church he is joined by his wife, and together they leaf through one of his books.  He then cycles around the village, stopping to observe various places, accompanied by his wife, and making notes.  At home he writes up his notes. 

There is a brief interlude to the present, with people tobogganing down a hill in the snow with the church in the background.

The film switches back to the past, showing the title page of a book, Memorials of a Yorkshire Village, by J S Fletcher, and showing the illustrations.  Next Mr Fletcher goes off again on his bike around the village in the summer.  He parks up his bike and goes on foot around the village, past others in historic costume (although Fletcher is wearing jeans!).  He stops at various places in a town, possibly Pontefract, to take in the scenes. There is a group of people in historic costume outside a Court House and pub, the Wagon.  The group wander through the streets, past the Red Lion pub, and the Central Hotel.  Then we leaf through another Fletcher book, ‘The Town of Crooked Ways’.     

Intertitle – At the time of his marriage, Mr Fletcher lived at East Hardwick

Fletcher is shown in a suit outside his home in the village.  He walks around the church and the village, showing a new-born foal and spring flowers, making notes.

Some titles of his books are shown: ‘Mistress Spitfire’ and the Arcadian ‘The Threshing Floor’, both of this parish, showing a signed copy.

Title – Intermission

Intertitle – 1897, Mr Fletcher commenced his “Picturesque History of Yorkshire” with his artist friend, Mr Rhodes.

The two men set out on their bicycles through and out of the village, stopping by a fallen tree to have a drink.  They look at a map and have a banana.  They wander alongside a canal, stopping by some houses and looking out at a mill with a tall chimney.  They stop the five rise locks at Bingley looking across at a couple of tall chimneys, Damart Mill.  They next walk down Howarth High Street, occasionally stopping to take in the views, then to Haworth Railway Station. High up a hill they look down on a valley with train passing by, pulled by two steam locomotives.  They continue on their journey, one taking notes and the other drawing.

There is a section of film taken from the front of a vehicle driving along country road.  Next they stop at Ripon Cathedral, then to a river, on to Whitby and Captain Cook’s statue.  There are various views of Whitby, including the Abbey and boats.  Then they visit the gravestone of Anne Bronte at Scarborough.  They reach another ruin overlooking a river with a bridge, with a view down onto a village with a church.  Then on to York Minster, and places in York, including the cemetery.  Someone leafs through one of Mr Fletcher’s books, ‘A Picturesque History of Yorkshire’.

Intertitle – In later life Mr Fletcher won universal fame as a writer of detective stories.

Mr Fletcher sits in his garden writing, showing his detective books, including ‘The Cartwright Gardens Murder’.  Now in older age, he wraps himself in a modern looking blanket, and then we see a village game of cricket.  He continues to wander around a village taking notes, revisiting the church in Darrington where he set out.

Intertitle – Joseph Smith Fletcher died Jan. 31st 1935.  There is a memorial to him in this district.

Again the church is shown, including close ups of the stained glass windows.

Intertitle – 1969 Pontefract Remembers Mr Fletcher

There is a panoramic view down from the top of the church onto Pontefract.  There is also a shop window displaying copies of a book about Pontefract, by J S Fletcher.  The woman assistant in the shop holds it up for the camera.

Intertitle – This film was produced in Pontefract in 1969 on actual locations by Kodachrome.  Colin Livsey appeared as the young Mr Fletcher, Jack Johnson as the older Mr Fletcher.  Musical score by Alan Ackling

The film ends with the Mayor and vicar unveiling a plaque to Fletcher in the library.  A group of people pose for the camera.

Title – The End