Film ID: YFA 36 Video of YFA_36 Aysgarth School Sports AYSGARTH SCHOOL SPORTS 1953 Visitor TabsDescription This good quality film is a document of Aysgarth School's sporting year in 1953. Located in North Yorkshire, Aysgarth School is one of the leading prep schools in the UK. The film features well-shot footage of the sporting events throughout the year including cricket, rugby, and football. Also included are some of the boys' leisure time actives during the winter. The film opens during the spring/summer months with the boys taking part in a race. The sun is shining, and spectators watch from a small hill at the side of the grass racetrack. Teachers with megaphones are on the side-lines as well as glamorous women parents watching the events. Next are the hurdles which include footage in real time and in slow motion. More races take place, and some of the boys make their way to the refreshment stand. The sports day continues with the boys and the physical education teacher performing a gymnastics display including vaulting. Finally, the Headmaster presents trophies and prizes. The next event to take place is a cricket match. The ivy-covered school buildings can be seen in the background. Later in the year, most likely in the autumn/winter seasons, a football match takes place. The film captures much of the action from close to the field. School children not playing in the game pose on the side-lines for the camera. They are all dressed in winter coats. It is now winter, and the ground is covered in snow. Crowds of the students are sledging. This is followed by more shots of the boys playing cricket as well as a brief scene of two boys roller-skating on a concrete pavement. The next scene shows more winter activities, and the students are sledging again. Some of the teachers stand at the top of the hill to keep watch, and a few students have built an igloo. Dogs and children assemble inside a large walled playing field in preparation for a hunt, and with a few shots of crocuses, the film moves into springtime and the rugby season. They receive instructions from their coach who stands in the middle of a huddle. Now at game time, there are a few spectators gathered along the side-lines. The film closes with the boys ice skating and playing ice hockey. Some of this footage has been shot in both real time and slow motion. Context It’s post-war Britain, but little has changed at Aysgarth Preparatory School for Boys in North Yorkshire. Here they continue preparing for a place in a top public school through athletics, gymnastics, rugby, cricket and football. Then in winter, focus shifts to sledging, skating, ice hockey and, of course, snowball fights. Aysgarth preparatory school was founded in 1877, and has been sending pupils to top public schools and colleges, like Harrow School, Radley, Sedbergh and Eton, ever since. Its system of Houses – Athenians, Corinthians, Spartans and Thebans – as illustrated here, was clearly designed to foster the classicism of the elite, as well as the emphasis on physical and sporting prowess. Among the post war beneficiaries are Olympic rower and gold medallist Matthew Pinsent and adventurer and environmentalist Robert Swan.