Film ID:
NEFA 20170



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An amateur film made by Edward Roberts of traditional working life on a hill sheep farm in Weardale. The film includes footage of lambing season and sheep shearing with hand clippers. The filmmaker, son of a miner from Mount Pleasant, was at the time County Inspector for Schools in the Durham City, Spennymoor and Weardale areas.

Title: Life on a Hill Sheep Farm in Weardale.

Title: Collecting the sheep.

The film opens with scenes on a hillside where, in the distance, a flock of sheep are herded down into a valley. A farmer and his sheep dog help to guide the flock through a gate and down a country lane into a farm yard.

Title: Dipping.

One by one sheep are dropped into the dipping bath by a number of farm hands. One farm hand uses a shepherds crook to push the sheep’s head under the liquid sheep dip. Once out of the bath, the sheep are herded into a pen.

Out on the hillside the farmer sends a sheep dog off to herd more sheep. The dog herds a small flock back towards the farmer.

Title: Lambing Season.

The film shows a number of ewes with their lambs out on the hillside. The farmer and sheep dog herd them away from a stone wall. A lamb suckles from a ewe. The farmer assists another lamb to suckle. The farmer walks back across the hillside.

Title: Two motherless lambs to be adopted by two ewes whose lambs have died.

The farmer pulls the fleece off a dead lamb and places it on the back of another. Two of the farmer's ewes are grazing in a field. Two lambs run over to them and they all walk of together.

Title: Shearing.

Outside a farm building a farm hand holds an un-sheared sheep by its forelegs. Inside a barn, a sheep is being shorn using hand clippers. A young farm hand begins to shear another sheep, overseen by another farm hand. He is a lot slower than the first shearer. Outside again, a farm hand holds up the now shorn sheep, while two others display the shorn fleece.

The film closes with shots of the shorn sheep being branded with a “V” sign, and herded back into a pen.