Film ID:
YFA 5695



Visitor Tabs


This is part of a collection of films made by butcher and amateur filmmaker Henry Foster of Acomb.  The first part of the film features an athletics race, possibly with members of the Holgate Athletics Club.  This is followed by the anniversary of the Blue Coat and Grey Coat Charity Schools in York including an event at Mansion House and a service at St Michael-le-Belfry Church.  The Blue Coat Boys and Grey Coat Girls schools were set up for orphaned or poor children.  The boys’ Blue Coat school was housed in St Anthony’s Hall in Peasholme Green until it was closed in 1946. The Grey Coat School was run in a house in Marygate until 1784, when a new school was built in Monkgate.

The film begins with a line of girls in a field waiting to take part in a cross country race pointing at something, presumably towards the finishing line.  They set off, and later, the girls can be seen crossing the finishing line.  They are being timed, and some dramatically collapse as they cross the finish line.  The winner shakes the hands of a woman.  

Next it’s the boys turn, and they too are seen at the beginning of the race and starting, one at a time.  They cross the finishing line, to the applause of younger school children.  The winner shakes the hands of a man.  A group of the girls sit posing for the camera, and are then seen in a line, striking a running pose for the camera.  Again they are seen on a cross country race, and at the end lying on the ground.

There is an event taking place in a park, with lots of parents, presumably, and school children.  There is a maypole set up for the children to dance around.  There are several adults who are clearly the dignitaries, including a bishop.  A woman and a man, clearly important guests – the woman is genuflected to by two girls – and they take their seats on a stand to watch the dancing.  A boy and girl, both dressed in their school uniforms, also present the dignitaries a book.   

(Dufay Colour)  The children put on a performance of maypole and country dancing, including using sticks. 
(B&W)  Afterwards the children line up and the Lord Mayor and the other VIP man, pose for the camera.  Some of the teachers and other visitors walk around the stalls.  The VIP man buys a bar of chocolate at one of the stalls where others are wandering around.  A group of children are posed, waving for the camera.

Intertitle – Bluecoat Schoolboys and Greycoat Schoolgirls Anniversary Service (1933)

The school boys and girls line up in their uniform march through the city centre.  They process to the courtyard of the Guild Hall, just next to the Mansion House.

Intertitle – Leaving the Mansion House 

The boys and girls line up as the dignitaries leave, and then follow them out.  They walk through to St Helen’s Square.

Intertitle – Arriving and leaving St Michael-le-Belfry Church

The girls lead the procession, followed by the boys and the dignitaries.  They leave in reverse order.  They proceed down Stonegate, which is covered in bunting, including Union Jack flags.  They enter St Helen’s Square, past the Terry’s restaurant, towards the Mansion House.  The children process back out of the square as the film comes to an end.