Film ID:
YFA 5392

THE BESOM MAKER

c.1942

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is one of a series of films made by Sam Hanna under the heading of Old Craft films.  It follows the work of Dick Eastwood, from Grassington in Yorkshire, as he makes a besom (broom) using traditional tools and materials including heather gathered from the Yorkshire Moors. 
Title – The Besom Maker
Produced and photographed by S Hanna ARPS 

Intertitle – Lancashire and Yorkshire besoms are made from ‘Ling’ (heather) gathered from the moors.

A man carries a bunch of heather over his shoulder back along a country lane to his back garden.

Intertitle – The knee-vice is a tool peculiar to this craft. 

The man uses the knee-vice which is attached to a chair.  

Intertitle – The method of weaving the ‘spell’ was often a family secret.

The man wraps straw around the heather to make a bundle.

Intertitle – The ‘ling’ is bound together by means of ash ‘spell’.

He continues with the binding, using an iron rounded grip to hold the heather in place.   He cuts off the edges at both ends.  

Intertitle – This traveller over the moors was indeed a lucky person to see such a craft.

Another man appears and is shown the end product.

Intertitle – The ‘tail’ has been cut from a nearby coppice.

He attaches the ‘tail’ to form a handle and sweeps with it.  

Intertitle – It is the flower end of the plant that does the sweeping.

He continues to sweep.

Intertitle – A domestic article that brings to the home a sweetness of the very moors and woods from which it was ‘born’.

The End
End credit – Sole distributer Brun Educational Films Ltd., Burnley, England
Provided by Reverend G Curry of the Upper Wharfedale Museum Society