Film ID:
YFA 5929



Visitor Tabs


This is a film of the newly opened Clarke Hall in West Yorkshire as a “living museum,” explaining the educational rationale of the museum and showing children interacting with the 17th century items that were typically used in that period of history.  The Museum closed in July 2012 due to Council cuts.

Title – Merrilees Movies Present:  Living History

The film begins showing Mrs Nicholson, the Warden of Clarke Hall, seated and writing at her desk.  It is stated that West Yorkshire County Council bought the property after its last owner left in 1967.  The West Yorkshire Education Committee, under its Chairman Mrs Fitzpatrick, decided to turn the Hall into an interactive museum for children of all ages and also for adults in Further Education, and appointed Mr Peter Briers as the Curator.  The film shows the various rooms in the Hall and all the items on display.  It is explained that the furniture and fittings have been restored to present a typical 17th century country house to allow children to get an idea of what life was like at that time.  The formal gardens too have been re-designed in 17th century style.  It is stated that the Hall was opened as a museum in September 1975 by Sir Alec Clegg, former Adult Education Officer.

Mrs Nicholson shows some teachers around the Hall, and then they go into a study room to discuss how the museum can be used.  A school party arrives by coach, with many of the children dressed in 17th century costume.  After being shown around, the children make full use of the items in the Hall.  They light a wood fire, sweep up using an old broom, bake flatbread and roast chickens on a spit on an open fire.  Children can also see the pigs on the farm next door.