Film ID:
NEFA 20597



Visitor Tabs


An amateur film by Ronald Torbet of the Bedan Scout’s from Sunderland summer camp at Milfield in Northumberland in 1957. The film begins by showing many of the day to day activities around camp including morning inspection and cooking around the campfire which includes the making of home-made duff. The final part of the film shows the boys and their Scout Master paddling a home-made canoe along a river, possibly on the River Till.

The film opens on a general view of a Scout camp in a field surrounded by trees and hills. The film cuts to a Union Jack flag flying on a flagpole.

Sitting on the grass a man looks through a set of binoculars. General views show the surrounding countryside.

The film cuts to show a man waving a white flag or sack from a long pole. There is a view of the campsite with a number of boys playing a game on the field.

Title: Be Prepared

Title: for anything!

Title: Bedan Scout’s Summer Camp Milfield 1957

A tattered Union Jack flag flaps in the wind from a pole.

Title: Flag break 9am then inspection

Standing beside their tent are four Scout’s, their kit laid out on the grass in front of them. As the Scout Master and another boy approaches, the first of the four Scouts comes to attention and salutes. General views show the Scout Master and assistant looking over the equipment and around the tent.

The Scout Master and assistant move on to a second tent where five boys are also standing beside their kit laid out on the ground in front of them. As the Scout Master looks over the tent the assistant making notes on a small paper pad.

With the inspection over, the Scout Master leaves the boys to relax and remove their scarfs and woggle. General view shows the Scout Master talking with a number of the Scouts around a large pot that is smoking over a campfire.

Title: Duty patrol detailed off

Around the campfire Scouts are involved in various tasks including chopping wood, washing up and making sure the camp fire doesn’t go out by adding more wood. The film cuts to four boys peeling potatoes from a bucket. Along a trestle table the Scout Master makes dough.

Title: Chief cook makes the duffs

The Scout Master holds up his dough mixture. He continues kneading the mixture on the table and then places it into a pot jar.

Title: Menu. Corned beef and onion, potatoes, peas, carrots. Jam roll and custard.

General views show food being served to the boys from pots laid out on the ground and from the trestle table. Two boys are filmed going into a tent.

Title: Meanwhile back in the jungle –

Beside a tent a young man waterproofs the hull of a small red canoe. The film cuts to show two boys manoeuvring their canoe into the middle of a small river and climbing inside. General views of the boys paddling up and down the river. Other boys in swimming trunks wade into the river and follow the canoe along the river.

Titles: The experts demonstrate

Working in tandem two older boys paddle the canoe along the river at speed. On the far side of the river two boys dive into the water and race across. Two other boys are seen using single rather than double headed paddles in the canoe as they travel along the river. Along the riverbank two boys get out of the canoe and a third gets in followed by the Scout Master. The two of them paddle off along the river fighting against the strong current.

Title: Stand clear!

General views follow of the Scout Master standing in the canoe and then paddling back towards the riverbank.

Title: Phew!

The film ends with views of two more boys climbing into the canoe while the Scout Master swims against the current in the river.