Film ID:
YFA 1998



Visitor Tabs


This film primarily captures the annual sports day at Storthes Hall mental institution, Huddersfield, and there are brief snippets from the opening ceremony of a new wing at the facility.

The film opens with a shot of a mother walking along the banks of a pond carrying her baby. A portrait shot captures the two of them together and the mother smiles at the camera, before the father takes her place in the following shot. The baby is briefly shown at home in a white baby chair, kicking frantically for attention. Outside the mental institution, two suited men walk down from the veranda and one of the men, an older gentleman with a large moustache, poses for the camera in the next shot. A male patient, wearing a white gown, is helped from the veranda by two younger suited men, who lead him towards the camera and hold him upright for the camera.

Inside the institution, nurses laugh and play act for the camera, while some of the patients can be seen wondering around in the background. The mother (from the earlier scenes) pushes the baby in a pram around a garden outside their home.

The next sequence captures the annual sports day. Men in white shirts and shorts perform choreographed gymnastics on a sports field. They then line up in rows, each taking a medal from a wooden box taken round by a distinguished individual wearing a dark suit and sun hat. A shot then captures the families in their best formal wear sitting in the side lines. A puppet accompanied by a band is briefly featured.

The next sequence captures attendees enjoying the day; one gentleman holds up a glass fish bowl that he has won, some people pose for the camera, while other are caught sharing a joke. A panning shot captures the large crowd in the stands from an elevated position, before shots show a man on the field doing a jig.

People are filmed snacking on sandwiches, with one woman offering one to the cameraman. Views then show young girls skipping rope and, in the next shot, older men and women join in. The filmmaker then focuses on individuals; close ups show some men and women smiling, while others stare blankly. Shots capture nurses watching as some of the competitors (patients) take up their positions before an egg and spoon race, with the filmmaker capturing shots as they race to the finish. A sprint race is next, with the winners receiving soft toys from a bespectacled gentleman. A shot captures the stands with a woman standing in the foreground, who turns in surprise as she spots the camera. Older men then race in a fairly leisurely sprint event.

A young boy stands alone in front of the bandstand, where a conductor leads his musicians. Men, of evident stature, stand in the field chatting and smoking pipes, before views capture a tug-of-war contest between the nursing staff - still in uniform. An obstacle race is next; men wearing slacks and trousers have to crawl through sacks, barrels and shimmy beneath a canvas canopy.

Over-exposed shots capture senior members of the institution making speeches from a platform. A group of men and women then stand at the entrance to a new wing of the hospital, and people file in as a man unlocks the entrance for the very first time. A smartly dressed older man looks proudly at the silver box he holds, which contains the key to the premises. Men and women are the captured enjoying themselves as they wonder around the ground, all of whom wear formal attire. The filmmaker captures a long straggling line of men and women as they walk down a wide road towards the camera.