Film ID:
NEFA 21333



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This melodrama tells the story of how an Irish Sweepstake win reunites a couple after an enforced separation. Includes scenes on a farm and a short sequence filmed at Newcastle Racecourse (Gosforth Park), Newcastle upon Tyne. This was a Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) film with an all-women production team, first screened at an ACA club meeting in January 1931.

Credit: The Ladies of Newcastle & District ACA Present

Title: “All’s Well” or “Love Among the Chickens” (with apologies to PG Wodehouse)

Credit: Scenario and Production by Elsie Taylor

Credit: Photographed by Gladys Greener and Janet Cameron

Credit: Titles by Ailsa Cole and Winefred Warmouth

Credit: Cast

Douglas – James Cameron

Joy – Ailsa Cole

Betty – Peggy Penning

Anne – Vivienne Greener

The Farmer – Jack Kelly

His Wife – Doris Graham

Sandy, his Son – James Stewart

Jerry – Cyril Ormerod

Maid – Vic Wilkinson

Title: Douglas A Medical Student has not the means for buying a practice and decides to go abroad

Portrait shot of Douglas looking sorrowful.

Title: This unfortunately does not meet with Joy’s approval

Douglas and his girlfriend sit together on a bench in the garden at Joy’s home. Joy is shocked at the news that Douglas plans to go abroad to work.

Title: “Don’t go away -!”

She sulks, puts up her parasol and walks away haughtily. Douglas looks at the engagement ring and broods.

Joy walks slowly through the beautiful garden of her home. She rests on a wall and breaks down, crying. She pulls herself together and thinks about the news, then tears well up again (portrait shot). Two friends, Betty and Anne, appear in the garden for a stroll.

Title: “Hello Joy! Whatever is the matter dear?”

Title: “Is it Douglas?”

Her friends try to console her.

Title: “Don’t fret Joy. Come with us to the farm.”

She relents and the three friends walk together into the grand house.

Title: Off to Sunnyhill Farm

The motorcar is parked up ready for the trip in the forecourt of the mansion. A servant puts the luggage in the back seat. One of the friend’s cranks up the engine to start the car, whilst Joy and her friend take a seat in the back. The friend opens up the engine cover. The car won’t start. The servant comes over to see if she can help.

Title: “Oh! Look – “

The servant girl spots a flat tyre. Joy’s friend begins to jack up the car but finds it hard work. She requests that the servant bring out a chair. She tries to jack up the car whilst seated, but is not up to the task. She asks the servant to take over.

Title: The journey’s end. A hearty welcome.

The group arrive at a gentleman’s farm, it’s front garden a riot of summer foliage and flowers. The farmer and his wife come out to greet Joy, Betty and Anne, shaking hands with the three women. They walk into the farm garden. Joy is greeted by the farmer’s son, Sandy. They all retreat to the gardens to have some tea al fresco.

Title: “Why, here’s Jerry!”

Sandy’s friend Jerry drops onto the grass casually, joining the friends.

Title: The inner-man refreshed.

After lunch beneath a parasol on a gloriously sunny day, they leave the table.

Title: “Shall we introduce them to our children?”

Jerry and Sandy head off. The farmer and his wife lead the women into the barnyard to see the farm animals. Sandy shows Betty some calves. She is a little timid.

Title: Was Betty really afraid I wonder.

Betty and Joy step into the yard, encouraged by Sandy, but step out quickly. A farm hand herds the calves out of the farmyard. Ducks are drinking from an old sink. Hens and geese roam free. Pigs are fed in the farmyard. Joy pats the pigs.

Jerry and Sandy fool around with Joy’s friends in the yard, Betty pushing over one of the men. They have a straw fight.

The farmer and Sandy hand the friends grain to help feed the hens.

Joy strolls through the farm gardens on her own and is joined by her friends in the evening.

Title: And so to bed.

Title: One morning very early. But – the early bird catches the –

Jerry and Sandy fling stones at the women’s bedroom window to wake them. Betty and Anne look out, then catch the men unawares by pouring a jug of water over them.

Title: The Lonely One

Joy reads a newspaper in the gardens. A letter is delivered to her. Close-up of the letter from Douglas dated 25th September 1930. It reads: “My dear Joy, I have great news for you, just a pleasant surprise, but I know you will appreciate it. The draw has taken place. What a good horse you have drawn. “Love in Absence”. Do hope it does well for you. I enclose your sweep ticket. Douglas.”

Sandy joins her in the garden dressed in his knickerbocker suit and tartan socks. Joy shows him the sweep ticket, an “Irish Two Mile Hospital Subscription Fund” ticket.

Title: “The Race was today. I must go for a paper.”

Sandy hurries off to buy a newspaper and check Joy’s horse.

Title: If Only

Joy dreams of what a win could mean for her relationship with Douglas.

The scene cuts to a racecourse paddock, where a jockey is helped onto his horse. Race action follows with a huge crowd lining the route. The horses return to the paddock. A man is wandering around with a cine camera on his shoulder. [This footage was probably filmed at Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park.]

Back at the farm, Jerry is smoking a cigarette in the garden where Joy is seated alone. Sandy returns in a hurry and shows her the newspaper.

Title: “Cheers! Joy. ‘Love in Absence’ came in first. What a wealthy girl you will be now.”

Joy is at first delighted. Then she suddenly becomes dispirited again. She crushes her winning ticket and throws it down. Without Douglas by her side, the win seems meaningless.

Title: “What good can it do me now.”

She stomps off. Sandy scratches his head in puzzlement. He picks up the crumpled sweep ticket. He leaves with the ticket and seals it in an envelope, then posts it to Douglas.

Title: “Time and tide await no man.”

The farm holiday draws to a close. The three friends are leaving and the farmer, Sandy and Jerry see them off.

Title: “Well! Well. Now you take care, Miss joy.”

They say goodbye and laugh together, but Joy lapses into sadness almost immediately.

Title: All due to a slip of paper and ‘Love in Absence’.

A car pulls up at Joy’s home. Douglas gets out, sneaks up to his lonely lover, Joy, and holds his hands over her eyes. Joy is ecstatic.

Title: Oh! Douglas –

They embrace.

Title: The End