Film ID: YFA 4863 Video of YFA_4863 Beck Collection 2 BECK COLLECTION 2 1942 Visitor TabsDescription Part of the Beck Collection, this film features footage of Sheffield during the Second World War including a fair. The film opens with five soldiers who smile and walk past the camera. (This is filmed in slow-motion.) Next, there is a small fair at which there is a carousel full of children. The old man operating the ride stands in the middle of the carousel, and parents and other children are gathered around the ride. Many of them wear heavy winter or fur coats, and there are panning shots of the surrounding fair. The next portion of the film features an allotment, and the children walk down the garden path with small wheelbarrows. Context This is one of several films made by Sheffield hotel proprietor Cyril Beck during the war years. In this film Beck focuses on his two young boys, who, along with many other Sheffield children, were not evacuated. Here they enjoy a wartime fair and ‘help out’ on the allotment, with their very own wheelbarrows, as part of the ‘Dig for Victory' campaign. Cyril Beck, from a family of hoteliers, ran the Howard Hotel opposite Sheffield Railway Station. Presumably the Beck family decided that it was better to keep their sons – Tony and Jerry (aged respectively 9 and 4 at the time) – at home during the war despite the risks from aerial bombing. On the night of 12th December, 1940 the nearby Marples Hotel (on Fitzalan Square), received a direct hit killing an estimated 70 people (nearly ten times that number died in two nights of bombing). Yet many other Sheffield parents also kept their children at home, judging this the best for the whole family.