Film ID: YFA 1969 Video of YFA 1969 Drive with Clare 1963-1968 DRIVE WITH CLARE 1963-1968 Visitor TabsDescription This film is an instructional film which explains the basic workings of a car as illustrated by a woman who is learning to drive. The film was sponsored by Jack Clare Driving School in Sheffield. Title – Drive with Clare Camera: Ian Gillott Production: John Mottershaw Direction: Alec Dalby The film opens on a sunny day with two women driving in an open-top Ford Consul across the Derbyshire moors. They stop and have a picnic by a stream. The commentary explains that it is not necessary to understand how a car works to drive it, but it helps. In the next scene, there is a shot of a model car stripped down to reveal its working parts. The engine and drive shaft are explained. There is a white mini with the Jack Clare Driving School badge on the side of the car, and the male instructor is standing by. The woman gets into the car, and the fuel pedal is explained through an analogy comparing it to turning up the gas of an oven. A group of men push a car along a road. Then, the woman begins to work the pedals and gearstick, the gears and clutch being explained. The clutch is shown in operation and taken apart to show the plate and springs. The woman drives along a road and performs an emergency stop. The handbrake is demonstrated and various parts of the dashboard are shown. The film then emphasises that ‘Safe Drivers Have Good Manners,’ with visual reminders on how to enter the car safely including: seat adjustment, ensuring the door is properly shut, handbrake is on, gear in neutral and mirrors adjusted. The woman then drives off down a Sheffield street in a Ford Classic. The film closes with a shot of the front of the Jack Clare driving school. Closing credits: ‘Sponsored by Jack Clare school of motoring, 629-631, Abbeydale Road, Sheffield 7’ ‘An MCF Production, Mottershaw Commercial Films Sheffield’ Context The film was made by Photofinishers (Sheffield) Ltd trading as Mottershaw Commercial Films, an Associate Company of Sheffield Photo Co. Ltd. (The original text has been corrected by the producer of the film, John Mottershaw - see the Open Space). The company was originally founded by Frank Mottershaw (b. 1850, d. 1932), an important early filmmaker. Frank Mottershaw's cousin, John William Mottershaw, although having no connection with the company, was also a keen photographer (many of his old photos have been collected in a book - see Shearstone, References). Frank Mottershaw started a photography business in 17 Castle Street, Sheffield in 1882 (although one account has this as 1887) - Sheffield Photo Company. The studio and shop then moved to Fargate, and another shop was opened on Pinstone Street, before the Fargate studio moved to premises on Norfolk Street. Frank Mottershaw’s two sons moved into cinematography; starting out showing cinematograph entertainment, then branching out into producing films using their own home-made cine camera. These were usually of local events, including football matches, that were shown the evening of the same day, and often at fairgrounds. Some of these, such as Sheffield Tram Decorated For 1902 Coronation, which shows Sheffield celebrations of the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, are also held at the YFA. Frank Mottershaw son, Frank Storm Mottershaw, spent a year in London, in 1900, gaining practical film experience with the filmmaker Robert W Paul. They processed the films as well as making them, and made projectors for home use. Among the well-known films they made was one of the life of the notorious Sheffield burglar Charles Peace; unfortunately, like most of these films, lost (although a similar one made in 1905 by William Haggar still exists). Many of their early films were shown in the US, and they even took a film unit to Serbia to film the coronation of King Peter in 1904. Their fictional films, all made before 1910, numbered 63 in total, mostly from between 1904 and 1906. Drive with Clare was produced by John Mottershaw, in the mid 1960’s, as a promotional film for the Jack Clare School of Driving. Drive with Clare is an example of the kind of documentary films that the company produced in the 1950s and 60s, making commercial films right into the 1970s - see also Books in Hand (1956). John Mottershaw is the fourth generation of the family and continues to run a photography business. The film features some good examples of popular cars of the time: a Ford Consul convertible, a Mini and a Ford Classic. The motor car was already a dominant part of life at that time: as early as 1948 a Ford brochure described one of its models as a ‘living room on wheels’, and ever since the 1940s houses have been designed around the car – it has been likened to a ‘detachable room’. Of course, as can been seen from the film, the number of cars on the roads has greatly increased from this time: in 1961 just four out of ten households in Great Britain had a car, but by 1998 seven out of ten households had at least one, and a million households had three. It is not only trends in car numbers that has changed dramatically, so too have the trends in who drives. Statistics on the number of women car drivers for the 1960s are difficult to find, but in 1976 only 29% of women held a licence, and this had more than doubled by 2006 to 62%. This promotional film looks as if it may be aimed specifically at women: and, with the analogies used in the film to explain the workings of a car, in what might be thought a somewhat patronising way! The areas in and around Sheffield shown in the film, especially between Abbeydale Road and Eccleshall Road and Abbey Road, will be familiar to many. Some of the same areas, also going west into the Peak District, are also featured in other films on YFA Online, like Short Stop, made in 1960. Film buffs might recognise the accompanying music, from a classic film also featuring cars, that came out in 1953. The first driving school was set up by an engineer's apprentice called Stanley Roberts in London in 1910. Very shortly afterwards this became the British School of Motoring (BSM). The course it taught included the basics of mechanics as well as driving – just as this film does. At first teaching both ladies and gentleman to become chauffeurs, it later trained motorists for the army. Four years after the publication of the first edition of The Highway Code, in 1931, the BSM helped the Ministry of Transport to set up a practical driving test in 1935, even providing the first examiners. It also taught the first person to pass the new test, a Mr. Beene! However, the first British woman to pass her driving test, Miss Vera Hedges Butler, did so in France, in 1900. Of course, much has changed in the driving test since this film was made, not least the abolition of hand signals, shown in the film, in 1975. Interestingly, in 2007 there were just under 3,000 fatalities, the lowest number since statics started to be kept in 1928 – even though there are some 33 million vehicles on Britain’s roads, compared to 2.5 million vehicles in 1934 when the idea of a driving test was agreed, and when there was over 7,000 fatalities. So there is no doubt that the driving test has made our roads much safer. This is more so with regard to women: Home Office figures from 2004 showed that men are responsible for 97% of dangerous driving offences and 94% of accidents causing death or bodily harm, and on average men committed nine times as many traffic offences as women. References Peter Marsh and Peter Collett, Driving Passion, London, Jonathan Cape, 1986. Geoff Mellor, Movie Makers and Picture Palaces, Bradford Libraries, 1996. Pauline Shearstone, John William Mottershaw's Sheffield: 1860-1930, pub. Pauline Shearstone, Sheffield, 1994. The YFA has a small collection of material – including newspaper cuttings – on Frank Mottershaw and the Sheffield Photo Company. Further Information Clifford Shaw and Stuart Smith, The Early Years of Cinema in Sheffield 1896-1911, Sheffield Cinema Society, 1993.