Film ID:
YFA 1336



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This is a documentary by members of the 1812 Youth Theatre Group, made with the help of Yorvid Productions as part of the Yorkshire Media Consortium project.  It features lots of interviews with farmers and others in the area of Rufforth village and Helmsley, north of York, about the BSE outbreak of the time, and about the farming industry in general.

Title – Yorvid Productions present  Meat Crazy

The film begins with children lying on the floor with their heads forming a circle, shouting out the title of the film and making various farm animal noises.  At an agricultural show, an elderly sheep farmer explains how he has won the Championship for the seventh time.  One of the organisers explains that farmers aren’t doing well mainly because of the strength of the pound.  At the Brandsby Agricultural Trading Association, a farmer’s daughter explains that she used to come there when she was small with her dad to buy cattle feed.  She introduces us to Ken, the Warehouse Manager, who states that the feed can no longer contain ground up meat and bones because of BSE.

Next at York Cattle Market at Merton, an elderly man explains that here cattle are sold to end up at butchers.  The farmer’s daughter and her friends show us around a closed slaughter house (not being allowed in one that is operating).  They show what the carcases look like, the various instruments that were used and the bins with bones in them, declaring they wouldn’t like to be a pig.

Then they are in Rufforth where there are some concerns over the incinerator used for all cattle over 30 months old and for those which have traces of BSE.  Standing in front of what looks like an abbey ruin, a boy asks an elderly man about BSE.  The other children then interview various people in the village about the BSE scare, including a shop assistant in Homeworks and a woman shop assistant in a clothes shop.  A farmer explains that a calf is slaughtered and cremated soon after birth as they cannot be exported to Europe because of the ban.  Another farmer blames the outbreak on intensive farming, whilst cattle are shown being herded at Boulton and Cooper auctions.

Then various people are asked about how they think farming has changed over the years.  One of the farmers explains that the farms have got much bigger and that there are far fewer working on farms.  Another elderly farmer explains how that when he was young farms were much more communal, with some old photographs to accompany his story.  He tells of the old farm equipment as the children have a go with old farm machinery in the Farming Museum at Murton.  They then visit retailer of new farm machinery.  The elderly farmer explains what some of the old machinery in the museum used to do.   Livestock lorries are parked across the road from the Spotted Cow pub. 

Then the film switches to a protest on behalf of British meat by pig and cattle farmers outside a supermarket.  The film then finishes with the children back on the floor in their circle giving their comments on what they found out in the film and the making of the film.

End Credits
Presented and filmed by members of the 1812 Youth Theatre Group, Old Meeting House, Helmsley, North Yorkshire: Ellen Archer, Ed Bailey, Daniel Bowes, Anna Brucksbank, Ben Durrant, Tabitha Grove, Dan Pickering, Danielle Plowman, Adam Plowman, Sophie Seymore, Amy Souter, Hannah Silcock, Katie swift, Hannah Swift.
With thanks to: Brandsby Agricultural Association, John Rowbottom, British Pig Industry Support Group.
Farmers: Richard Harrison, Chris Rick, John Poucher, Roland Stephenson
Robert Hicks, National Farmers Union, Bert Hazell, Paul Holdsworth, TGWU, Rural and Agricultural Workers Section
Helmsley’s Shopkeepers Malton Agricultural Society
Malton Cattle Markey, R Yates & Sons Ltd., Malton
York Livestock Centre, Yorkshire Museum of Farming
Theatrical Director Jo Potts, production Assistant Jim Turner, Production Old Dairy studios, facilities and moving graphics, Acorn Video
Facilitator/Editor John Phillips, Producer/Director Jeni Vine
Meat Crazy is part of the A4 Contemporary Video Collection
©Yorvid Ltd 199