Film ID: YFA 1975 Video of YFA_1975 Family Snapshots FAMILY SNAPSHOTS 1936-1942 Visitor TabsDescription This film is part of a collection from the Ward family from Malton and spans the years 1936-1942. The films illustrate many aspects of their family life and social activities as well as showing evacuated children spending time in their home in Malton. This film contains footage from family life in Malton. There are shots of Christmas in the Folliott-Ward household, the children playing with puppies and a party for a Golden Wedding Anniversary. Title-Family Snap Shots Title-Christmas at Hornton le Dale 1936. The film opens with shots of the family at home. There are various family members sitting around including mother, father and possibly the grandparents; they all smile at the camera. Title-The younger generation. There are shots of the younger family members, including David (about 3 years old) in a sailor's uniform. Title-Heather, Wendy and David in charge of willing pupils. Sit! The three children are out in the garden playing with puppies. Title-Down Puppy. David is running around the garden and some of the puppies run after him. Soon all of the puppies are chasing the little boy. He begins to run faster but this only makes the puppies want to run and jump on him more. Title-David Defeated. He falls over onto the grass and the puppies steal his beret. Title-A budding musician. A girl plays the piano and occasionally looks at the camera. The camera is filming her from the side of the piano. Title-Snap The next shot if Heather and Wendy playing a game of snap. Title-David's Bedtime David has supper sat in his highchair and brushes his teeth before going into his cot along with his teddy bears. Title-Look Daddy David plays in his cot and smiles and laughs at the camera Title-By the fireside. Father sits on the sofa with a puppy on his lap smoking a pipe, and flicking through a copy of Horse and Hound. David sits on his mother's lap leafing through a picture book with his sister besides him. Title-The start of a London adventure. The children and some adults gather on a railway platform and try to load a large wooden crate before they are waved off. Title-Wendy and Heather grooming Peggy. Wendy and Heather groom Peggy the pony. Title-Winter sports. The shot then cuts to the children in a snowy garden, rolling huge snowballs. One of the girls tries to push the snowball further but it won't move. they have a snowball fight. Title-Heather just learnt to ride April 1937. Heather cycles her bike in the garden and smiles at the camera, and then two girls go on a garden swing swing together. Title-Seen through the study window May 1937. The children in the garden waving are waving Union Jacks. Title-My Vauxhall 25 outside office. The next shots are of a Vauxhall 25 parked outside father's office on Malton high street. The street is decorated with bunting. Title-After the Golden Wedding. There are shots of many guests of all ages at a golden wedding party in the Folliott-Ward's garden. Title-A sherry party follows. There are shots of the guests talking and laughing. There is a close-up of one man who sips from his sherry glass and nods at the camera. Title-David. More shots of David wandering around the garden. Title-Uncle Humphrey. An older man is talking to a few women at the party. Some of them look at the camera and smile. Title-Two canons. Title-Col Scott. The man smiles at camera. Title-Stewart Tidmarsh. He drinks sherry and salutes camera. Title-Joan Branfoot Turns around to look at camera and then turns away again. Title-Winter sports in Dennis' Field 1 Feb. 1942. In the last scene the children are sledging across the snow in Dennis field. Context Family Snapshots” is part of a larger collection of 11 films all made during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The collection was filmed by local solicitor and father, Mr Folliott-Ward and his films mainly focus on family life in and around Malton. They were donated by Mr. Folliot Ward’s daughter, Heather Reynolds, in 2003. Heather can be seen in the films as a small child grooming her pony, learning to ride her bicycle and playing with puppies, amongst other things. Other footage from Reynolds’s collection is similar, and show activities such as fox and otter hunting, a street party to celebrate the coronation of King George VI and a New Year’s Party. “Family Snapshots” focuses on family life and offers an insight into what country living might have been like for families in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The standardisation of 16mm film in 1923 opened up the world of filmmaking for the first time to non-professionals. Eastmann Kodak first developed this film format and pioneered accessible and affordable film technology during the early 20th century. Kodak had vastly improved the safety of its products too, with new-fire resistant rolls of film meaning that amateur filmmakers could enjoy a cigarette whilst projecting their home movies without fear of causing an inferno. By the mid-1930s, a German observer estimated that the British amateur cine scene had around 250,000 hobby filmmakers and about 3000 to 4000 of those people was a member of an amateur cine club; the home movie craze had taken hold of Britain. During the Second World War, amateur filmmakers began to record daily life after specialist hobby press began urging readers to document the daily struggles that people would be experiencing during wartime. Films that showed how civilians prepared for the threat of bombardment or invasion and that showed the effort on the Home Front were encouraged. Scenes of family life, like this film, offer visual testimonies to clothing styles and technology of the time, as well as relationships within the family and how certain roles would be fulfilled with the older males being usually absent. Amateur footage of families in this period would usually include significant events within the family, such as a child’s first steps or a birthday/wedding/christening etc. Films such as Folliot-Wards are testimony to the British public’s desire to carry on with their lives as normally as they could under the circumstances. Wartime home films offer an intimate snapshot of family life, as they would often be made with the idea that they would become surrogate memories for those who were away at war and unable to participate in family events. Home films of this period show us a unique narrative of the war. They offer historical evidence from the point of view of someone who is living at the time of these events and therefore offers a more accurate portrayal of life during World War II in Britain. These films also narrate a family’s private history; it would record a moment in time and would provide the family with nostalgia for generations to come. The period in which this film takes place is during the economic recession that followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929. A speculative craze swept the stock market of America during the 1920s which eventually led to the collapse of the markets and a worldwide economic slump resulted. Because of this, heavy unemployment affected Britain during these interwar years, and lack of American investment and trade further worsened the British economy. Despite this, some families enjoyed a degree of affluence and a rising standard of living during the 1930s. The average salaried person could, for the first time, buy their own house (usually on a mortgage), run a car, and afford luxury consumables thanks to the drop in prices. A typical semi-detached house could be purchased for as little as £450 – approximately twice the annual salary for the average working professional. Electricity was now available in most homes, and the cost of electrical appliances fell too. The Ward family is seemingly unaffected by the Depression and appears to be rather financially comfortable. The family owns various pets; a Pony named Peggy, a family of Golden Retrievers, and a couple of border terriers. The father’s car, a Vauxhall 25, is seen parked on Malton high street. Life for people during the 1930s varied completely, depending on their social standing or income. The 1930s was a decade of contrasts, with mass unemployment and hunger marches a common sight in some parts of Britain, and the rise of the affluent middle-class like the Folliot-Wards more visible in other areas. The film provides an insight into family life during this period; we are shown the family celebrating Christmas 1936 by sitting around together and opening gifts; the younger generation playing and smiling. Christmas had been re-invented by the Victorians, and emphasis was purely on the family during the festive season. It was the “done” thing to focus on the family at Christmastime; it became fashionable after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert commissioned a portrait of their family seated around a Christmas tree. This image was extremely popular and circulated throughout Britain. A Christmas that focused on children and family was a fairly recent tradition. There is a later scene where the family is sat by the fire; the children are reading a book together and father is reading a copy of Horse & Hound newspaper. This scene depicts a family unit typical of the decade; Britain’s demographic had seen a lot of change with a dramatic drop in fertility rates and decline in child mortality rates, but had reached some form of stability by the 1930s. The average Victorian family of 5 children was now a thing of the past – and children where living to adulthood too. It is important to note that in this film there seems to be no clear distinction between wartime and peacetime, despite the film spanning the years 1936-1942. For a lot of people that lived in rural Britain, there was a sense that the war was something happening to other people elsewhere. While Leeds, Bradford and Hull where being bombarded by the German Blitzkrieg, rural areas such as Malton where much safer. Many children were evacuated to Malton during the war and the Ward family took in some evacuees themselves, and they can be seen in “Family Snapshots” as well as another film from this collection, ARP/Malton Evacuees. Also, rationing was not as hard for many people living in rural areas compared to cities, those who had connections or were better off financially could barter extra food from local farms. References: Nicholson, Heather Norris “Cinemas of Catastrophe and Continuity: Mapping out twentieth-century Amateur Practices of Intentional History-Making in Northern England” in Amateur Filmmaking: The Home Movie, 2014, The Archive, The Web Wilma de Jong, Erik Knudsen and Jerry Rothwell, Creative Documentary: Theory and Practice, Routledge, 2011. Fielding, Raymond, A technological History of Motion Pictures and Television, University of California Press, 1992. Rieger, Bernhard, Technology and the Culture of Modernity in Britain and Germany, 1890, 1945, Cambridge University Press, 2009. Stevenson, John and Cook, Chris, the Slump: Britain in the Great Depression, Routledge, 2009. Jackson, Steven, Britain’s Population: Demographic Issues in Contemporary Society, Routledge, 1998. Forbes, Bruce David, Christmas: A Candid History, Cambridge University Press, 2007. Rural and Urban Perceptions of War: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/18/a1135018.shtml Further Reading: Stories from Yorkshire folk who lived through WWII: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/categories/c1145/index_2.shtml Biography of an Evacuee who was sent from Hull to Malton: Edwards, Dr Raymond, To Hull and Back, Lulu.com, 2013.