Film ID: YFA 4811 Video of YFA_4811 Blenheim Boys School Events BLENHEIM BOYS SCHOOL EVENTS 1957 Visitor TabsDescription Taken at the Blenheim County Secondary Boys school in Leeds, this film contains a number of school events and activities including rugby matches, Christmas lessons and assembly , Christmas, Lessons, school woodwork, rugby at Headingley, gardening, York, cricket, pottery, basket weaving, and prize giving. The film begins with external shots: School gates with building behind, boy hanging on railings, the school sign, 'Leeds education committee/ Blenheim County Secondary School/Boys'. School buildings - boys milling about. Rugby: A game is being played on a very foggy pitch. After the match, boys and spectators sitting at the edge of field are smiling and making faces at the camera. Houses are visible behind the pitch. Blenheim schoolyard on a foggy day: There is a shot from within school grounds, with iron fence and gates behind the boys. Pupils and masters mill about and make their way between buildings. Inside one of the classrooms, the boys sit at desks and drink milk from glass bottles. The film moves onto show other pupils at rows of desks, all eating, drinking, playing games and playing up to the camera. The shot dissolves to show close up of some pupils - some wearing paper decorations on their heads. In the school library, pupils are sitting quietly reading. They sit in groups at the tables. In the classroom, pupils are seated at desks, playing cards and reading books and comics. Two boys appear to be playing with toy cards or tanks. The teacher watches from the back of the room, and there is a shot from above of teacher chatting to pupils. One group of pupils appears to be playing monopoly, others are playing chess and draughts, some are painting or drawing. Dark image - Christmas assembly: A school band, including a brass section, plays while students sing carols around a decorated and illuminated Christmas tree. There are more shots of pupils in classroom, playing. Close ups of pupils, some apparently talking to camera. One of the teachers watches and instructs students playing a game of chess. Dark image - Christmas assembly: Some pupils are lined up and singing by Christmas tree. The rest of the school can be seen singing during the assembly as well. One of the teachers reads from a lectern by the Christmas tree, and the school band performs. Another fog-ridden rugby match takes place at Archie Gordon field, Bridge Road, Kirkstall, Leeds. The pitch is surrounded by houses, fields and electricity pylons. The boys run about, throwing and catching the ball. A scrum occurs. One boy tackled to the ground by three others at once. Line of spectators comes into view, and one pops up in front of the camera and cheers. School buildings can be seen in the background, beyond the edge of the playing field, as well as a bridge and factories. A try is scored, more running, scrum, huddles. View of spectators cheering, waving hats and wooden rattles, and there is a shot of the ball heading straight for the camera. The game action continues with more scrums, tackles and falls. The coach talks to the team huddled around him. A large shop is visible beyond the boundaries; Thrift Stores Ltd. Half time oranges and then back to the game with more tackles, running. Steam from a train passes through the trees beyond the pitch. By this point the game appears to be getting rough, tackle after tackle. Spectators run up and down edge of pitch, cheering. Posed shot of team in two rows, back row stood, arms folded and flanked by coaches, second row kneeling in front, arms crossed. The winning team accepts trophy from man in flat cap, and hold it up for the camera. The team captain appears to give part of a speech, and spectators can be seen standing around in coats and flat caps. The winning team cheers with the trophy, pretending to drink from the cup. Woodwork classroom, two teachers clearing up, one hammering nails into a piece of wood. Another surveys the room. A rugby match on a clear day includes lots of tackling, scrums and falling over, not much running. A rugby match played in an outdoor stadium (Headingley - Carnegie Stadium). Wobbly camera work, but there are lots of spectators, the stands filling up throughout games. The winning team is awarded a trophy. Pupils are digging, raking and preparing a garden plot, houses are visible beyond the fence. Other pupils tending to areas already dug over and planted. Some boys use trowels and plant seeds. Seen from across the road, a group of pupils and teachers exit York Minster, using the South Entrance, and cross Minster Yard. They walk through the Shambles, and the Austin Hayes Gallery and Craftsmen in Wood shop signs are visible. Sports: Students are playing badminton in school gym. Vaulting horses line sides of room, and pupils peer in through windows from the passage. Some student practice batting and bowling for cricket outside in cages. Teachers or older students bat while pupils bowl. Inside one of the classroom, students are seated at tables. They wear aprons while making pottery, some smoothing edges with knives and others throw pots on a pottery wheel. A teacher removes vases from the kiln to examine them, and other students try their hand at weaving baskets. Sports Day: The four house flags are planted in the ground and blowing in the wind, and pupils are seated in lines behind the flags. Teachers, score keepers and megaphone-van are set up opposite them. A track race takes place, and there is a shot of score board and a teacher grinning at the camera. This is followed by more track races. Spectators are behind a rope, cheering and playing up for the camera. Other student athletes throw a shot-put. A long stream of pupils are being shepherded down a street in Leeds. Some of them are carrying musical instruments and cases. Both pupils and teachers play up the camera. Possibly inside at the school assembly hall, there is a Triptych on wall, and the sign beneath 'Work hard - play fair'. There is a row of seats on stage platform behind a lectern. Pupils fill up rows of seats in audience, and there is a long trestle table with trophies and prizes. Shot from behind teachers on stage, looking out over pupils in the audience. Teachers, some in gowns, give speeches to the audience, and ladies present pupils with shields, trophies and prizes. Context Groups of lads hang around the school gates, equal in their scruffiness, and at having all failed the 11+. Here they demonstrate their many talents, mainly in turning everything into one big joke, but also show impressive rugby skills against another school within view of the local mill as their cloth capped coach provides the team talk. But they also get down to serious study, make pots, tend the allotment and enjoy batting in the cricket nets adjoining the terraced houses. All that is left of this school, once in Woodhouse Leeds, are two gate posts, somehow mysteriously preserved, and the memories of those who attended it. It had only just got inside sanitation, but was well known as a rugby league school, and the close up of the players may well show a young Brian Jefferson who later played for Keighley and Great Britain. At this time it would take 11+ failures from places like Quarry Mount Primary School. Yet the failures were decided well in advance of this rigged examination system, and this film shows that these boys were capable of living up to the school motto, “work hard, play fair”.