Film ID: YFA 4769 Video of YFA_4769 Leisure Hours LEISURE HOURS 1937 Visitor TabsDescription This film documents activities that students from Bootham School, York, took part in over the academic year. The activities range from metal work to Archaeology, and all thoroughly well captured by the filmmaker. Title - Leisure hours. Title - "The test of a man's education in in what he does when he is not compelled to do anything". The film opens with a shot of students sitting at desks. The next shot shows a chalk board which has a heading that reads, 'E. Latin'. A low shot captures students' feet as they run past the camera, exiting the classroom. Title - Archaeology. Title - York is unrivalled as a centre for archaeological studies. A view shows the exterior entrance to Bootham School. A group of students wearing flat caps and suit walk down a narrow alley and then stand by Bootham Bar, before heading up onto the city walls to get a good view of the Minster. Title - Excursions are also made to many abbeys and churches outside the city. The boys cycle down a country road and stop to visit a church. Title - Natural history. Title - The environs of York are regularly scoured for specimens and data. A bus drives down a village street and pulls past the camera to reveal many of the Bootham students making their way past a pub called the, 'Hare and hounds'. Title - At Escrick you meet bird life at the very start. A goose waddles across the road. The students then walk down the country road wearing shirts and shorts. They then head in amongst the undergrowth, tramping across the fields. Title - Parties are usually led by John (Sherlock) Dell. John Dell, wearing a light trench coat, stands with another student who investigates the tree trunk. Several students then pull some logs out of a lake before discovering eggs in the undergrowth. Title - Valuable work is done in bird "ringing". A young bird is held in the hand of a student who pulls a wing open several times, before a metal identification ring is slipped onto the bird's leg. Title - Denizens of the water world too are made to yield up their secrets. A student crouches by the edge of a pound and lifts a net from the water. Title - If scientific results are lacking, the joy of mudlarking remains. A student wades waist-deep into water waking through the reeds. The students then ring out their clothes. Title - There is no risk of chilled limbs with tea waiting at the "base". Students run in a group down a country path. Title - The fruits of natural history excursions are carefully studied in special "N.H." rooms. Several shots show students working at microscopes, looking at insects - including a live spider. The students then study the anatomy of several animal skulls. Title - Music. Title - Interest in the music society is increasing. A school orchestra play under the guidance of a conductor Title - The musical appreciation of the school is being clearly increased. A shot shows a student playing cellos, flutes and violins. Title - Metal working. Title - The metal workshop is now very fully equipped. A shot shows students filing, sawing and using pieces of heavy machinery. Title - Some beautiful work is done. The filmmaker shows several boys clustered round a work table, and, as they move aside, a student puts the finish touches to what appears to be a sewing machine. Title - Since the installation of a furnace boys can actually cast their own metal. A boy lifts the lid to a furnace and uses large tongs to remove the liquid metal which is poured into a mould. Title - With the forge wrought ironwork is possible. Stoking the fire in a forge, two students get a sheaf of metal extremely hot, before removing it from the forge and banging it into shape over an anvil. Title - After forging, rough-shaping and drilling. Still in the workshop, a piece of metal is filled down using a belt driven sander, before the student takes the piece of metal over to a fixed drill. Title - Wood working. Title - Under expert guidance the output is large and varied. In the wood workshop, male students wearing black waistcoats and trousers work at their separate stations. A shot then shows several students putting together what looks like a small wooden house. The next shows students painting and sanding different pieces of wood. Title - We find small boys making large boats. Still in the wood workshop, the boys set at positioning slats into the bow of the wooden vessel. Title - and large boys making small boats. The next shots capture older students working on more intricate smaller model sailing boats. A brief bit of humour is captured when a boy, distracted by a friend, hits his own hand with a hammer and his friend chuckles. Title -The show. Title - Each autumn term end diaries, collections and creations are exhibited in "the show". Teachers and pupils wonder around a classroom looking at different pieces of work, such as collections of butterflies and bits of art work. Title - Germanic influence seemed to have penetrated to the art section. A close up shows a sketch of Adolf Hitler with a tag below stating, 'Second prize'. Title- One remarkable exhibit of 1937 was a miniature library. A close up captures the model of a library, complete with seating, bookshelves and an open fire. Title - The end. Context Wading waist deep in marshy water, in somewhat inappropriate clothing of the 1930s, the adventurous students of Bootham School in York show plenty of both enthusiasm and talent. The students go out on adventurous excursions for field studies in archaeology and natural history. And, as well as the expected Latin with a fee paying private school, here we see students from well off backgrounds demonstrating their abilities in the traditionally technical subjects such as woodwork and metalwork. This is one of several films relating to the Quaker School of Bootham in the 1930s made by Alan Pickard, who attended the school between 1920 and 1924. The film highlights the school Natural History Society, formed in 1834, “The oldest society in the country of organising and furthering useful school hobbies.” The emphasis given to woodwork and metalwork also shows the broad approach of a school which, “Encourages its students to be creative thinkers, peacemakers, and confident humanitarians.” The students from Bootham were evacuated to Ampleforth College soon after this film when the school was prepared for conversion into a hospital. Close observation may possibly reveal Brian Rix, who was at Bootham at the time.