Film ID:
YFA 5564

COMMUNITY BUILDER

1968

Visitor Tabs

Description

To solve the housing problems in the city plans are made to create new blocks of flats that will house many different numbers of families. They will have hot water and private bathrooms with space for neighbours to interact and children to play. The film shows how the flats are created with pre-fab supplies and the finished product is proudly shown off at the Hunslet Grange Leek Street site.   

The film opens with views of the city. The rural areas are shown to have big power plants in the background, while in the city areas children run down a street while others throw a ball back and forth. Two children are outside a corner shop, while a small boy stands on a different street. On another neighbours are stood outside their houses, while a line of washing hangs in the distance. Dogs run around in a darker street, where a boy kicks a ball up in the air. In one of the houses, a man sits is in the bath in front of the fire in their living room while his wife pours hot water into the tub. Their son runs outside and past three other houses to their shared toilet; washing blows above him, before other streets with washing hang from one house to the other opposite. More flats can be seen, and individual houses in the background as a boy runs up an estate. Magazines with record players, chairs, televisions and more are shown, being advertised by models and sportsmen before a woman with a pram and small child opens a lift to go up a block of flats. The flats are shown from the outside; a woman sweeps her balcony in one of the flats before looking down at the children playing below. 

There are pictures of advertisements featuring children's books and toys. This ends with a shot of a woman from a magazine with the text "Your home says everything about you…" 

Title – COMMUNITY BUILDER THE STORY OF THE YORKSHIRE DEVELOPMENT GROUP in white text over black stones.

There is a shot of a crane followed by a typewriter and various Housing Committee forms from places including Nottingham and Leeds. Coloured cubes with different amounts of stick figure families are shown to illustrate housing problems of different sized problems; these shift into blocks of different houses to show where they are allocated to live - whether it is a semi-detached or detached house or flat. Numbers also pop up to help explain the problems faced. They want to put all the different families together, but show when the coloured squares are brought together they do not fit correctly. 

Now back to the beginning blocks of houses, they convert them to numbers instead of stick figures and show how the smaller units - 1, 2 and 3 could be placed together on one floor, and 4, 5 and 6 solved by splitting them between 2 floors. Orange models of the flats are now seen, with wall partitions and windows added. This stack now joins others to show how blocks of flats can be joined to create communities, with bridges and stairs and a courtyard in between.

The diagram falls apart to show all the different parts involved in pre-fab buildings, and how it will be simple to slot together. The pre-fabricated packages are now seen in a manufactures yard in long rows, while a man in a red hard hat and white overalls watches the crane overhead that is carrying one piece.

The planning proposals are overlaid with the image of the crane before already constructed pre-fab flats are seen, zooming in rapidly to specific windows. A typewriter can be seen writing, "£14m Housing Project for Shepherd to be built in Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield and Hull in three years." 
 
Architects are now seen planning the buildings in their offices, with plans drawn on tables in pencil, and models made from wooden drawers slotted together by a man. On a building site near York a two story model is created and tested for its effectiveness by a fireman spraying water. Two men gaze up at the model thoughtfully, with one touching the wall. A woman in a blue and black shirt types out graphs while a man calculates the cost. An architect in glasses creates another wooden model, and sinks and toilets are also equipped with real plumbing to test all the equipment and make sure it up to standard.

Chimneys are seen collapsing as buildings are demolished to make way for the new building site in Leeds. Sheffield, Hull and Nottingham's sites are also explained with illustrated plan. Men wear yellow hard hats and suits as they watch the first wall panel be put into place. On the panel it has the local MP Anthony Greenwood and other fellow councillors’ names. A man in a large checked coat waves his hand over at the workers beginning to move materials. Cranes lift the finished parts for the flats up after the builders have smoothed the concrete to make panels.   

Several colourful schedules are seen, with pins sticking out of them. In between these the panels are moved, and electricians prepare all the systems ready to be installed. They are transported by a yellow truck to the building sites then have concrete poured over them. Pipes and heating systems are also seen before carefully being stacked. More work is seen being done, and another wagon drops off bulk packs of wood the crane then lifts. After the wood, workers then carry glass to put into place. After more scenes of cranes, stones, concrete and pavements are seen together, which will form the road and pathways. The flats are now almost finished, some already have windows fitted. A man drives a digger near a new tiled path which is just in front of the new block of flats. In the other direction there are more flats which look out over the city. 

A green Turnbulls Leeds removal van drives up the same dirty streets seen at the beginning of the video, which all the neighbours watch. Various men help bring chairs and other household objects into people’s new homes at the Hunslet Grange Leek Street building. The finished product is seen from different angles, with some of the new occupants walking down one of the bridges that connects the blocks together. The same family from the beginning of the film who had to bathe in their living room, is seen excitedly opening their new front door and walking inside. More scenes of the flats are shown, with focus on the steps and overlooking windows that form a shelter for the flats underneath. A passerby wearing glasses looks up as he walks past. The boy examines the new appliances in their new home, especially the heater. He then stands at the edge of the double doors that lead out to their balcony to look out over the estate. There are more scenes of the new build and its surroundings. The Mother switches the water on and smiles at the hot water coming from the tap. She also turns the heating up, before the boy explores their new private bathroom. A woman with a hat and shopping bag walks down one of the paths beside the flats, before the boy heads back into the bathroom pulls the lid up and closes the door. All the flats are seen again from a distance, before the milkman steps out of the lift and deposits milk on the doorstep. Children run around playing, and neighbours of all age talk together. People clean the part outside of their front door and decorate their garden with plants. Women walk with their children and a young boy eats an ice cream. An old man in a flat cap talks to a woman and a group of boys climb a piece of wood in their new park. Two boys play together, one on a bike and one using a play gun to 'shoot' his friend who falls to the floor. Girls and boys run about in the grass where new trees are growing while a neighbour looks out. A boy rides on a scooter while children play chase and a little girl pushes a toy pram. Three boys make a homemade see-saw with a plank of wood, and the film ends with a boy on a bike being looked at by a little girl. 

END CREDITS: 

Producer PETER BRADFORD
Director ROGER COWARD
Editor KEN MORGAN
Animation RAY MOORE

A Shepherd Building Group Film
made by WORLD WIDE PICTURES.