Film ID:
YFA 6036



Visitor Tabs


This is the first of three films taken by John Spencer while he was working at Wrathmire Farm.  The farm was run by the Chapman family, and the film shows life on the farm in Upper Littondale in the Yorkshire Dales.  This film also includes an agricultural show and livestock auctions.

The film begins with farmer Bob Chapman on a tractor.  He is cutting the grass in a meadow, and with the help of other farm labourers, Dick Lund and his son Garnet, then bundles it into bales.  Eddie Chapman is driving a tractor pulling a hay cart with Bob Chapman and Eddie Chapman on the cart.  John Cowan is making hay on Manor Farm with John Cowan Sr. (known as "Unc"), before rounding up other sheep, Masham lambs and Dales bred lambs, on Chapman’s moor.  Bob Chapman is then clipping a ewe and dipping them one at a time in a single bath, with Ernest Campbell with pipe (Veteran of W.W.1) watching, and Irishman Tony giving a helping hand.  Bob Chapman then trims their feet.  The sheep dog, Bess, belonging to John Spencer, is seen running around before the whole family join the farm labourers for a lunch break, including Jack Chapman drinking tea, Elsie Chapman, son Colin Chapman, Peggy Chapman and Hazel.  There is a close up of a local elderly man, Eddie Chapman (Roadman) on his bicycle.  Tom Cowan of Manor Farm, aged about 17, is mowing the grass in the garden.

Two young children are playing in the farmyard, Richard Emmett, on a tricycle, and his sister Susan, at New House Farm.  Children are playing cricket in front of the school and church.  Cows are herded down a country lane and into the village to be milked – note that these cows have horns. Young cows in nearby field were some of the first to be dehorned.

Keen fisherman Bob Chapman is fly fishing in river Skirfare. He crosses an old wooden footbridge into Angram meadow.  A young couple, Brian Rayner and Anthea Hazelgrave*, walks among the ‘Giant’s Graves’ near Pen-y-Ghent Farm.  Here, a calf can be seen feeding from its mother.   There is a shoot meet at Litton Shooting hut, for a Grouse Shoot Dennis Lund, keeper at Litton, is on a road talking to his boss, Harry Walker.  A group of men are seated by a stone wall with others having a beer, Maurice Bramley with a sack over his shoulders, and Dennis mopping his brow.  Then Jim Gill keeper from Arncliffe, is counting the ‘bag (killed Grouse), about 50 Brace (100 birds) laid out on the ground.  There is Geoff Lund, with a beer, and Dave Cowan, with a bogged down Land Rover, with Stan and Maurice Bramley on a tractor coming to assist.  A couple of young men playfully slide down a steep hill.

The film switches to the Kilnsey Show around 1960, which has a demonstration of dry stone walling and a parade of cattle, showing a short horn cow which was breed champion at the Great Yorkshire Show.  Russel Carlisle is with his younger brother. There is a tractor handling competition of Massey Ferguson tractors.  Other agricultural machinery is seen at a marquee for Craven Motors.  Following this is the one mile handicap race around a circuit in a field, and there are lots of stalls, including one Fluke and Worm disease products.  Then there is the one mile gallop, with the Tennant’s Arms in the background.   Meanwhile, on Hawkswick Cote farm, Susan Fell shows off her pet rabbits Geoff Lund is with some piglets and young hedgehogs, and he tries to playfully ride on the back of a pig.

A local bus passes by, stopping at Hawkswick and Arncliffe Cote.

Now at Skipton Auction Market, Masham lambs are kept in pens and led around an enclosed area.  Among those watching are Maurice Bramley, Dick Lund and  Garnet Lund There is then film taken from the front of a car as it travels along country roads passing the Tennant’s Arms at Kilnsey.  Also visible is Emma Campbell at Halton Gill Church.  This is followed by film of some flooding at Litton Foss and New Bridge Litton, and behind New House.   

Bales of hay are being moved to feed the sheep.  A calf is put into the back of a van, being taken away to be hand reared.  Another load of hay passes Low House   Bess, the sheep dog, leads cows – still with their horns – over a stream.  There is another auction at Sawyers Garth Farm, to sell Metcalfe's farm livestock, with auctioneers Arthur Taylor and Sons.   Stan Metcalfe is displaying his sheep with his sister Betty.  Now the film looks down on Darnbrook Farm where there is a demonstration of Land Rovers being put through their paces over muddy ground.  Ken Uttley, a man with only one leg, is directing operations.  There are some Dales bred rams at Darnbrook  bred by the Robinson brothers (which are sold for £200), and there is a shot of a view over the Dales.  Bob Chapman is driving a new shiny red tractor from Litton up on to Potts Moor, pulling fence posts in a trailer to erect a new fence separating his farm form that of Potts Moors Farm, with Dennis Lund with gun surveying the way, and with Pen-y-Ghent seen in the distance.  The film finishes showing a sunset over Halton Gill Church, and a very brief bonfire and fireworks display. 

* Later to marry John Cowan Jr.