Film ID:
YFA 2295



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This is a film made by Chapeltown dentist Willie Thorne of Ecclesfield Holiday Week in 1942, set in Ecclesfield Park with people playing bowls and tennis, a women’s cricket match, children in a swimming pool, having races and playing on swings, and a game of baseball being played by American GIs.

Title – Chapeltown Film Society Presents: Ecclesfield Holiday Week 1942

The film opens in Ecclesfield Park, Sheffield, with men playing bowls with more watching sat on the sidelines.  In the rest of the park, with the Church of St. Mary in the background, there is a children’s sports competition, including sprinting, with parents watching.  The winners pose for the camera.  There is then a girl’s three legged race.

The film then switches to show members of the Home Guard training on a rifle range, and boy scouts making a fire on the ground.  Behind them someone holds a tin with the words 'Ecclesfield Holiday Week' on the side.  Two men stand at a microphone commenting on an outdoor boxing match watched by a sizeable crowd, including an off-duty soldier.  Two men, possibly local dignitaries, have a chat with a police officer. 

One woman, sat on the grass, has some problems with her small child, while other children, and some women, paddle in a small pool, and there is also a larger swimming pool with children.  Others lay snoozing on the grass.  A boy gets as high as he can stood on a swing.  Others crowd onto an ‘umbrella’ in the playground. A long line queue for the slide.  A girl is also shown stood up on a swing.  Some adults play tennis and then back to the bowls.  People gather around a bandstand where a brass band is playing.   There is an all women cricket match being played, with some bowling under arm.  The film finishes off with a game of baseball being played by American GIs, many of them black, watched by a large crowd.

(These men are believed to be members of the 65th Ordnance Company, the 315 in number, US Army personnel who were THE FIRST black servicemen to arrive across the Atlantic during WW2.  They were based over at Wortley Hall whilst they established a munitions store there that superseded the RAF one initially in operation.)