Film ID:
NEFA 19735



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Amateur film that records a single day in the life of young members and officers of the Newcastle Battalion of the Boys Brigade camping at Alwinton, Northumberland, in 1959. Their activities combine drill, sports, music, hiking and a religious service in the open air.

Title: A Day Under Canvas

Title: Alwinton 1959

The film opens with a close-up shot of an alarm clock approaching six thirty in the morning. A hand reaches over and turns off the alarm. A Boys Brigade officer wakes up, yawns and rubs his eyes. Dressed in uniform, he leaves his tent. He beats on the tent next to his own to wake up the occupant. Heroic portrait shot of the first officer in his Boys Brigade beret. General view of the row of tents in a grass field. He greets another officer emerging from his tent in a vest, a towel slung over his shoulder. The first officer raises the Union Jack on a pole. He salutes the flag. A ginger-haired boy blows a bugle.

A bunch of boys race out of their tents, some still in their striped pyjamas. They take an early morning wash in a rocky river, some using tin bowls. They return to the campsite.

A cook, crouching down outside a tent, ladles food out from a large metal pot. Three boys operate a potato washing machine using pumped water. Some boys lay the breakfast table inside a tent, and other boys help the cook carry food to the tent.

Next, they arrange all their their kit outside on the grass for inspection. Two officers examine the boys kit. One of the boys is handed a stick tied with a small banner that reads: "Top marks today". The troop of lads pose with their award.

A bunch of boys play football. The goalie makes a save.

A boy in a yellow booble hat and wellies stands in a river aiming stones at a tin can target.

A group of boys wash their breakfast plates in a tin bath at the campsite.

Four boys in kagools return to the campsite in drizzly weather after a walk in the countryside, possibly an orienteering exrecise.

Boys are playing cricket, watched by a group of Boys Brigade officers in casual gear.  In the background a badminton match is in progress.

A bunch of lads in swimming trunks head off to the river and take a swim.

General view of the campsite. A line of boys led by a Boys Brigade officer tramp through the fields heading for the "Boys Mess".

Groups of boys are still having fun playing net and ball games.

A boy in a yellow bobble hat plays a guitar to two other boys. he smiles to camera. Another boy is reading a book. He turns around to see two boys arrive who are playing tin drums.

The boy in a yellow booble hat and wellies still stands in a river aiming stones at a tin can target.

A gang of boys practice throwing balls quickly to each other.

The camp chaplain conducts the evening religious service at the campsite field, complete with organ, hymn singing and prayers.

The Boys Brigade officer walks to the mast and salutes. A different boy sounds the bugle at the end of the day and the Union Jack is lowered.

Pan across the quiet campsite, all settled down in their tents for the evening.

Title: The End (letters hand made in round green and pink circles of paper laid on ground).