Film ID:
YFA 5864

DONKEY DERBY AND TRACTION RALLY AT HAREWOOD HOUSE

1964

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a film in two parts. Made by Eddie Percy of Settle, the film features the Settle Conservative Association Donkey Derby in July, 1964 as well as a traction rally at Harewood House.  

The film begins in a crowded pub of mainly elderly patrons who are seated around drinking and ordering drinks at the bar.  On the bar stands a tall pile of coins with notes stuck onto to it.  The collection of coins is pushed into a large sack, and several of the patrons collect the coins into smaller bags to count.  The filmmaker the focuses on a poster advertising, “Settle Conservative Association Donkey Derby, 24th July 1964 at Bridge End Fields, Settle, with hot dogs and ice cream stalls.”   

Donkeys are standing in a field, some of them drinking water from a bucket.  There is an old horse drawn trap with “Judges” written on it.  The field where the event is being held is being organised, with a caravan, a large marquee, loudspeakers and a blackboard.  Children look on as bookies set up their stalls.  Those attending the event begin to arrive.  There is a close up of a boy, and some young jockeys, as well as some spectators, stood in a field watching as the donkeys get prepared for the races.  They are led to the start where several races take place around a circuit.  One donkey in particular doesn’t seem to be keen to race, despite the frantic efforts of its girl rider.  The judges wait with the trophies, and at the end the winners all seem very excited.  

The second part begins showing a fair, with barrel organ, a “Melody Mirth,” and a steam traction rally at Harewood House.  There are several traction engines including those for J M Crowther of Long Preston, P S M Carter of Shelley – which is giving children a ride on the back – M D Thackery and Sons, and Old Malton.  The traction engines drive around the field in front of Harewood House with spectators looking on.  These are followed by a display of vintage trucks, including, B M Stafford of Houghton-on-Spring, Contractors, Fearnlegs of Castleford, L V Brookbank of Hedon and H Parkin.  Then there is a fairground, with a carousel, boat swings, with some images of the Beatles and teenagers dancing, a coconut shy, ‘Aunt Sally Amusements,’ and other children’s rides.  There are more shots of the traction engines and then an impressive display of vintage cars.  The film ends showing a Gavioli fair organ.