Film ID:
YFA 4525



Visitor Tabs


This film documents the opening of the Leeds City Police headquarters in 1965. The film features prominent political figure Frank Soskice who, at one time, was the Home Secretary for the Labour government. Sir Frank Soskice opens the HQ, and, along with other VIPs, is taken on a tour of the new police facilities.

The film opens with a shot of senior police officer and an important looking woman, who wears a dark dress suit and pearls; they talk briefly before another shot captures a plane landing. The filmmaker captures Sir Frank Soskice and other VIPs, who step off the plane and are met by senior police officials. A brief sequence shows them shaking hands as they walk towards their cars.

The next sequence, outside the newly build Leeds city Police HQ, shows the VIPs and senior police officials greeting each other and posing for photos outside the entrance.

Inside the HQ, the VIPs are initially shown round the canteen facilities; the VIPs stand in front of the counter posing for pictures, while chefs can be seen working in the background. Moving on, they are led through several corridors, and shots capture them talking animatedly. A brief shot then shows the visiting party on the facilities roof, with the background of Leeds city centre visible, including a high rise building under construction nearby.

Returning inside the HQ, the visitors are shown some offices and in one instance a VIP is directed to a piece of paper on a desk. The group then enter a communications room, where several officers sit at desks answering telephones. The VIPs stand behind a seated officer working at a desk and are talked through the process by a senior policeman. They then move to the back of the room, where a woman sits at a switchboard, and again the VIPs are talked through her vocational procedures.

The next sequence opens with more important guests arriving. Static shot capture the fashions: the men wear dark suits and service uniforms, while the women wear formal dresses. One woman stands before the camera for an extended period of time wearing an extravagant and very ornate looking necklace. A dinner then takes place; the camera pans round the table showing the important guests, some of which are senior police officials in service uniforms, while others are special guests in more traditional formal wear. An older gentleman studies the menu using a magnifying glass, and many of the guests are captured conversing as they enjoy the meal, while a waitress stands behind attending to the guests; pouring some wine for a man in one instance.

A bespectacled man then gives a brief speech to the diners, before another official introduces Sir Frank Soskice who, at one time, was the home secretary for the Labour government. Sir Frank Soskice rises from his chair and gives a speech into a microphone, shuffling his notes as he progresses through the speech.

Outside the HQ, a brass band plays as Sir Frank Soskice emerges from a black car and is greeted by senior police officials. He then moves past the camera to stroke an officer's horse. The next shot shows Frank Soskice inspecting some constables lined up along the pavement, while a sign in background reads 'Queen Street Closed'. The party then head inside, where a group of VIPs sit on a platform behind a microphone. Frank Soskice is introduced and he stands to make a speech, and photographers can be seen in the foreground. Sir Frank Soskice then unveils a plaque on the wall that reads 'Leeds City Police. These headquarter were opened by the Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Soskice QC. 9th April 1965'. Some of the senior officials pose photos with Sir Frank.

The filmmaker captures an exterior view of the new police headquarters. Constables enter the building and the camera tilts up to show the sign above the entrance that reads 'Police Headquarters'. Shots again capture the communication room with many officers at desks, on the phone. A secretary then files a record away, before a close up shows a printer printing a document.

More shots capture switchboards and command consoles. A plaque on a door then reads 'Chief Constable', and inside the room the chief constable sits writing at a desk. The next shot shows both male and female police officers enjoying their lunch in the canteen, before in another room inside the HQ Sir Frank Soskice shakes hands with senior police officials. The final shot shows Sir Frank and other important guests being led through the communications room and Sir Franks smiles as he passes the camera.