Film ID: YFA 2169 Video of YFA 2169 Chapters in Our Lives Horton Family CHAPTERS IN OUR LIVES - HORTON FAMILY 1938-1950 Visitor TabsDescription This film chronicles the life of the Horton family of Rotherham, from 1938 until 1950. The film highlights domestic and family life in Rotherham and the surrounding area during this time period. The film begins with titles and shots of individual members of the family. Title – This narrative puts before you scenes taken from our home life. There are general views onto a snowy road at Christmas time taken from the family's house. Vera Horton (age two) is on a Mickey Mouse rocking mouse by a Christmas tree. Her big sister Margaret picks her off the mouse and has a ride. There are shots of the girls Christmas presents including a dolls tea service. The girls’ toys have a Christmas tea party, and additionally there are snowy scenes in the grandparents’ garden nearby. Title – Easter 1939 The girls are on a tricycle in the garden, and they also make mud pies. Title – Helping Daddy in the Garden Helping in the garden, the little girl pushes a garden roller. Title – A visit to Clifton Park on Easter Monday There are shots taken from the road looking towards the park entrance, and the bandstand can also be seen. Crowds are walking through the park, many with babies in prams. The Horton family sits on the grass with a picnic. Title – When day is done The children take a final ride around the garden on the tricycle and then go inside. They get changed, take a bath, and after which, the girls are in their dressing gowns sitting on the sofa playing with a toy dog. The children read a book, and their mother also reads them a story. Title – At our new home in Stainforth 1947 There are some brief shots of the children with chickens and a dog. The family stand individually outside their house for filming, and their dog Billy, does a few tricks for the camera. Title – January 1949 The girls are now teenagers, and they walk and cycle by the canal and river at Stainforth, Doncaster. There are also scenes of local countryside and cattle. Title – Flamborough 1950' Though over-exposed, this portion of the film contains scenes of the seaside and cliffs at Flamborough. Title – Thornwick Bay, a piece of nature’s super craftsmanship The titles continue in praise of the cliffs (some shot over-exposed) with scenes of the cliffs and caves. The film closes with Margaret and Vera playing on the rocks. Context This film was made by Rotherham steelworker Ernest Horton. It brings together various films made over an extended period of time. It is not known whether Ernest made any other films that may have gone missing. Interviewed for the ITV series The Way We Were, Horton’s two daughters, Vera and Margaret, relate how their father was a devoted family man, never going to the pub and rarely going out on his own. He was a very creative and busy person, building a summer house, a swing and making the steps that can be seen in the new garden. Leaving school at just 13 to supplement the family income, his two brothers staying on at school, Ernest was a self-taught man, an avid reader and lover of films, regularly taking his daughters to the cinema. During the war Ernest was exempt from military duty due to the contribution of his job to war work, although he was a member of the Home Guard. As can be seen from the film, the house the Horton’s lived in overlooked fields (now built on), and his daughters relate how they had the freedom to play out in the local countryside. It was a traditional family, with mum at home as a housewife, and both sets of grandparents living nearby. These would regularly visit during the week, and they in turn would visit their grandparents for Sunday tea, reflecting a time when families were more tightly knit. In addition to this, the family would regularly go to Clifton Park for a day out at weekends, even in cold weather as seen in the film. This pattern was disturbed somewhat when the family doctor persuaded Horton to change his job for health reasons, and grandad Lucas died of a stroke aged 60 in 1944. The family then moved to Stainforth where Horton got a job at the local colliery. Now living in a more rural setting, the family would go cycling over to Scolls Wood, mum and dad on their tandem. Being without a car, their uncle would take them over to his caravan at Flamborough, again shown in the film. Being a naturally active and creative man Horton continued to be busy growing vegetables and making things, but his filmmaking wasn’t to last long – just long enough to leave us with this endearing glimpse into a Yorkshire family before the age of TV.Further Information BBC Radio Ballads, Song of Steel This has an archive of interviews with steelworkers, and other information on working in steel.