Film ID: YFA 1699 Video of YFA_1699 Bank Robbers THE BANK ROBBERS - FOXHILL SCHOOL 1957 1957 Visitor TabsDescription This is a fictional story performed by a class of school children at Foxhill Junior School in Queensbury, Bradford, in 1957. Performed outside, the play involves a group of children who capture two bank robbers. Title - Foxhill Films present The Bank Robbers By Class 2c The film opens with a group of school children playing in a field. They suddenly become serious, and one of them points into the distance. Title - I wonder what those two are doing. The children creep up on two boys who, in the next field, bury something in the ground before running off. The children then run over to dig up what was buried and find an OXO tin containing a large bundle of £1 notes. They pass it around examining the bundle. Title - Let's tell the Police Title - No! The children discuss what to do next. Title - We'll watch till they come back. Then we'll get the gang. Three children stand watch, two of them reading comics and one of them check the time on his pocket watch. Meanwhile a group of the children go to a local shop where they see headlines or the Daily Express: "Boys steal £100 from bank" and "£100 stolen by clever trick." The children chip in to buy a copy of the paper and gather around to read the story. Later in the afternoon, the two boys return to get their money, and two of the look-out children run off: the girl to the phone box and the boy to round up more of his classmates. The group of children all dash towards the two boys who are looking for their buried loot. The robbers see them coming and run off, but they are chased by the group of children. Meanwhile, the girl waits for a police car to arrive. When it does, she gets in, and off they go. Eventually the two boys are caught by the group of children chasing them. The children drag the robbers to the policeman who will handcuff them. The policeman congratulates the school children, "Well done," and they wave to him as he drives away. Afterwards, the Bank Manager visits the school and gives the teacher a reward to share among the children. The film closes with the children cheering for the reward. Context A little tale of thieves getting their comeuppance and their captors their just reward, starring young children from a West Yorkshire junior school, giving wonderful performances as they gang up to trap the bank robbers. A moral lesson they probably needed, and a real insight into the imaginary mind-set of Dixon of Dock Green Britain. Mention bank robbers now and you’re as likely to think of bankers receiving bizarre bonuses than robbers of the traditional 1950s kind. For a school to make a film of this kind in the 1950s usually called for a teacher who was into making amateur films, but we don’t know who this might have been at Foxhill School. The 1950s saw an increase in organised crime gangs carrying out highly planned robberies, such as the 1952 Eastcastle Street robbery. There was also increasing youth crime, mostly petty thefts, and the dread of the Teddy Boys. But in the main, it was a time when you could leave doors unlocked, at least for those who never had anything worth stealing (still under a half of households owned a TV). In the mid-1950s there was just half a million reported crimes, a figure that would double in each of the succeeding three decades.