Film ID:
YFA 4496



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This film documents the West Riding Constabularies annual boxing tournament held at Drill Hall, Wakefield, in 1939. The film consists of three separate boxing matches, which include a juniors contest, followed by middleweight and heavyweight bouts. Towards the end of the film there are also interesting scenes backstage, which capture prominent regional fighters preparing for their own contests.

Title –West Riding Constabulary presents.

Title – Amateur boxing tournament at the Drill Hall, Wakefield. Wed. Feb 22nd 1939.

Title – The youngster from Wakefield City boys’ club and Pontefract boys’ club gave the audience a lively start.

The film opens in Drill Hall Wakefield, and the filmmaker captures a boxing match between two young boys wearing vests and shorts. After some brief shots of the boys fighting, the scorers ring the bell, and the boys return to their corners. The audience (predominantly male) applaud the boys efforts, before the bell is rung again and the boys move to the centre of the ring to trade blows.

Title – Though “under observation” by the police – these lads seemed well able to look after themselves.

The next round starts; the boy’s spa for a period before the bell goes and an announcer stands in the ring to declare the winner.

Title – Middle weight competition. P.C. Arthur Knowles, Goole division V P.C. James Prunty, Harrogate division.

Two men fight in the ring. After a prolonged exchange they return to their corners.

Title – “Each found the other was "a real tough guy".

The match resumes with both men punching rapidly. Back in their corners the trainers attend to each fighter, wiping their faces and fanning them with towels. The bell is rung by the scorers, and the filmmaker captures another round of the match. The fight then comes to an end; the fighters flop into their corners drenched in sweat.

Title – And the winner…big hearted Arthur.

The fighters are presented with their respective trophies by men in suits. They then exit the ring and there is a shot of the spectators applauding.

Title – Now for it! West Riding Constabulary Heavy weight final P.C. George H. Roe, of Goole V P.C. Frederic Smith, of Barnsley.

The heavyweight boxers sit in their corners waiting for the match to start.

Title – The time keeper was watched on his “beat” by Colonel R.E. Sugden.

This sequence captures the heavyweight match; the bell is rung by the adjudicator and both boxers fight aggressively. One fighter lands a particularly vicious blow on his opponent’s jaw, who stumbles back, shaken.

Title – Bravo, fast fisted Fred.

One of the fighters is sprawled out on the deck, while the other rests on the ropes. The bell is rung and both competitors return to their corners.

Title – And now behind the scenes to meet Arthur Russell last year’s Fly-weight champion of Great Britain.

In a backroom, a trainer massages a shirtless Arthur Russell.

Title - …watched eagerly by the Northern Lightweights Richard Shields of Liverpool and J. Malloy of Everton.

Two boxers (most probably Richard Shields and J. Malloy) stand with another man, staring at the camera. Panning round the room, the filmmaker captures a scene where several men wearing suit talks amongst themselves, and Arthur Russell is still being tended to by his trainer.

Title – B. Woodcock (of Doncaster) and M. Smith (of Derby) are happier with the gloves than the camera.

Two boxers draped in towels and blankets walk into a room, where a trainer unties the string around one of the boxer’s gloves.

Title – Back to the ringside, where the Chief lets these youngsters off with a caution.

Back in the boxing ring two fighters are presented with their prizes by the Chief, who wears a dark suit. The next shot shows a young boy in the ring wearing a long coat, who receives a talking to from the chief.

Title – This is where the superintendents shine…but not with their fists.

From a raised position a shot captures superintendents mingling in a corridor.

Title – And now entering the ring are Chief Superintendent H.S. Steel M.B.E and Superintendent J.L. Dunn general supervisors…

The superintendents stand in the ring and briefly pose for the camera. The next shot shows the audience applauding.

Title – Whose combined efforts have raised considerable sums for many deserving charities.

The final shots show the superintendents posing again to another rapturous round of applause.

Title – And so to all concerned many thanks.