Film ID:
YFA 2252

THE CITY OF WAKEFIELD

1965

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by the Wakefield Amateur Cine Club, this is a promotional film about the city of Wakefield.  The film presents Wakefield as an industrious, modern, and progressive city highlighting its shopping centres, schools, parks, and gardens.  There is a commentary which runs throughout the film and provides extensive detail about the film’s content. 

The film opens with four stills of Wakefield which are shown behind the Wakefield Cine Club emblem.

Title – The City of Wakefield

Following the opening title is a map of the United Kingdom, later with a focus on the location of Wakefield.  The commentary notes its location on the River Calder. 

A man comes out of Wakefield train station and gets into a car.  Footage of the city is filmed from the moving car as the commentary introduces Wakefield and speaks about its excellent transport system.  The car pulls up outside the Stafford Arms.  Wakefield has become a prime shopping location, and the Bull Ring shopping centre is featured.  There is footage of the various shops and the busy city centre full of cars and pedestrians which make their way down the city’s wide pavements. 

There are buildings in Wakefield which highlight its history including the Cathedral Church of All Saints.  External shots of the cathedral are shown before the film moves onto a more modern part of the city.  The Springs is a shopping are where many new shops have been built.  The film focuses on many of the shop’s front window displays which include an optician, a bike shop, a bakery’s cake display, television sets at an electronics store, clothing and shoe stores, a toy shop, and a jeweller’s watch display. 

West Moorland House is described as typical of modern shopping blocks as it includes office space and flats which are available to let above the shops.  New Market Hall is also featured.  The Market opened in 1964, and there are interior shots of the market with its many stalls. 

Wakefield is also home to an outdoor market.  Open Market is full of brightly coloured stalls at which fruit, vegetables, and other goods are sold.  The market is full of patrons young and old.  Many are dressed in hats and overcoats, and one of the flower stalls is shown.  The commentary notes that Open Market is open Friday and Saturday each week, and there are more shots of the varied stalls in the lively market. 

The film moves on to show the area of St. John's North including St. John's Church and Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, noted by the commentary as Regal buildings of the Georgian period. 

At Wakefield Town Hall, a City Council meeting is taking place in the Council Chamber.  The Lord Mayor enters the meeting, preceded by the Mace Bearer and followed by the Town Clerk.  As the council members take their seats, the commentary notes that the mace being used in the proceedings was presented in 1936.  The Council is made of 11 Aldermen and 33 councillors, a mixture of men and women, and the commentary notes that special committees also meet in these chambers. 

Sign – City of Wakefield Central Car Parks 1000 free spaces

The large car park, full with modern 1960s cars, can be seen, and the commentary notes that this is an essential part of a forward looking city.  The bus station is located in the city centre, and a number of different routes service the city as well as its suburbs.  There are some people who wait at the bus stops at the station.  Following this, a bus travels through the streets, out of the city centre heading south, and across the River Calder by New Bridge Road. 

The bus stops at a housing estate, and the film includes footage of the different housing estates outside of Wakefield.  There are many different types of housing available including bungalows built especially for those with disabilities needing wheelchair access.  Queen Elizabeth House was built as a residence for those described as being, “in the autumn of life.”  There are exterior shots of the retirement home as well as footage of the residents sitting around the lounge where they watch television.  An example of a typical bedroom and bathroom are also shown. 

The commentary notes that the estates hold annual garden competitions and points out that the houses are attractive places to live.  Private building is encouraged in Wakefield, and there are exterior shots of the different types of houses built on these estates.  There are also flats available.  Carr House has 11 floors, and inside the city centre, there are 2 and 3 story and multi-storey flats.  Two Travellers' caravans can be seen making their way down the street near the modern flat buildings, and there is also footage showing the interior of a typical flat found in these buildings including the kitchen, living room and bedroom.

The cityscape can be seen from its outskirts, and the commentary speaks of the development and expansion of the city.  4400 buildings have been constructed since 1947, including 1300 privately built homes.  Construction workers, specifically bricklayers, can be seen on site.  The film shows a chimney being pulled down and a building being demolished as derelict sites are cleared in order to create a modern city.  There are further shots of demolition.

Wakefield’s educational facilities are the next to be addressed by the film.  There are 38 schools in Wakefield, many of which have been newly built.  At one of the infant schools, the children are shown in various lessons.  The children all sit cross-legged on the floor as their teacher reads a book to them.  In another reading lesson, the teacher holds up a card, “Jack will bring the ball.”  The children are also shown during art class, and the commentary notes that every effort is made to encourage self-expression as the children colour and paint. 

There is an exterior shot of the Cathedral School, and inside the library, students are studying.  In other parts of the school, two girls work on design, while elsewhere, students study Domestic Science which includes dress-making, sewing, baking, and washing cloths using mangle.  In the gymnasium, boys climb ropes and participate in other physical activity.  The gym is also used for other functions such as a space for the school’s orchestra rehearsal.  A teacher stands in front of a small orchestra and conducts the students as they play their instruments. 

Safety also takes a high priority in Wakefield’s schools.  The high school holds a fire drill.  The call is patched through to the emergency services where an officer answers the phone call.  At the fire station, the firemen jump into the engines which quickly leave the station.  Back at the school, the pupils file out of the school and congregate on the lawn.

Wakefield schools also care for students with varying types of scholastic aptitude, and the film shows children who are being tested for learning disabilities.  The children work one-on-one with teachers, some taking special awareness tests using blocks.

Sign – Welcome to Hornsea

There is an exterior shot of the City of Wakefield Summer School at Hornesa.  The course held at the summer school is described as a working holiday with an emphasis on physical activities.  The male and female students play a variety of sports on the fields outside the school, and they participate in races as well. 

Wakefield is also home to a Technical and Art College.  Inside the college, pupils are taught a variety of technical skills including those of a blacksmith, woodwork, and carpentry, in order to prepare them for a career in industry.  The commentary notes that the college provides instruction in the latest techniques.  Following this is footage of the new Technical and Arts College which was opened in 1962 by the Princess Royal.  Inside the school, students are shown during art class.  The students work in different mediums including painting, working with a printing press, and pottery and sculpture.  The pottery is fired in a large kiln, and the finished projects are displayed.  The college also houses an Engineering Department, and male pupils can be seen in the workshop using a variety of machinery including steel welding. 

There are shots of the power station and mills which are situated along the river.  The commentary notes that the textile industry employs many of the students from the college, and the products produced in Wakefield are famous world-wide.  Machinery production businesses are also an important industry in Wakefield and employ many students as well.  A new tractor made in Wakefield leaves one of the workshops.       

Sign – Wakefield Library

Leisure time is the next topic featured in the film, and there are exterior shots of the City Library.  Inside the library, a man checks out a book.  The commentary notes that there are over 100,000 items available in the library.  The record collection is popular, and a woman looks through the vinyl collection.  Specialist researchers are also available for assistance in the special collections and research department. 

The City Baths are located on Sun Lane, and inside, the pool is filled with swimmers. The pool also includes multi-level diving boards.  Other leisure activities include cricket at College Grove Cricket Club and golf at the City of Wakefield Golf Course.

At Wakefield Trinity Football Club, spectators make their way inside the stadium.  Inside, the stadium’s stands are full as the Rugby League match begins.  There is good footage of both the match and the spectators gathered for the game.  Wakefield has won the Rugby League Challenge Cup, and upon the return from Wembley, the team’s cheering supporters gather as the team makes its way through the city on an open bus tour. 

Wakefield is also home to many parks and gardens, including a large greenhouse which stocks the city’s many floral displays.  There are close-ups of the plants growing in the greenhouse while the commentary notes that over 200,000 are produced here, the plants being used for floral decorations at civic functions.  There are also 655 acres of parkland, and there are more shots of the various plants.

Families walk through Clarence Park and gardens.  There is also a bandstand in the park.  Spectators are seated on the grass in front of the bandstand to watch the performance.  Following this, the film highlights the different sports which can be played in the parks.  Men play bowls on the bowling green, there are shots of an eighteen hole pitch-n-put, and the park also has tennis courts.  There are many families who walk along the park pathways which wind near a lake.  Children fill the playground where they play on slides and swings.  There is also a small paddling pool. 

August Bank Holiday, and it is time for the annual agricultural show.  Tables are set up which feature exhibitions of various fruit, vegetable, and flower displays.  The event held at Thornes Park also includes a pony jumping competition and a parade of fox hounds.  A large crowd of spectators have turned out for these events, and they are seated at the edge of the area, behind a rope.  There are shots of the crowd as the children participate in races and a fancy dress parade.  A brass band performance rounds out the day’s activities.  There is also a colourful and lively fair, and many fairground rides have been set up as well as game and food stalls.  A firework display ends the week long festivities. 

At Sandal Castle, people walk around the castle ruins on a sunny day.  From the highest point, there is a panning shot of the city in the distance.  The commentary reiterates Wakefield’s importance as an industrious, modern, and progressive city, and the film ends with shots of the cityscape.

Title – Produced by the Wakefield Amateur City Club.
Title – The End.