Film ID:
NEFA 11345



Visitor Tabs


A film made by Oscar Colls on the 25th July 1928 of the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School 50th anniversary celebrations. The film features a special service at St Cuthbert’s Church in Darlington, and records the Jubilee cricket match between Old Boys and the School on the Abbey Road playing fields.

Groups of boys in school uniform march in formation through the main gates of St Cuthbert Church in Darlington. Three teachers, one wearing a gown and a mortarboard, quickly follow them. They are followed by a number of women and then another group of younger boys in uniform, accompanied by teachers.

A Bentley car with three women passengers drives through Darlington marketplace past the Dolphin Hotel. Groups of smartly dresses dignitaries arrive either by foot or car at the gates of St Cuthbert’s Church. The dignitaries, boys in uniform, the vicar of St Cuthbert’s and an old boy of the school, R.F. Drury, arrive at the church.

The 88 year-old senior ex-pupil, Tom Watson, in suit and bowler hat, walks with two walking sticks. Another older man stands on a cricket pitch near a pavilion. Another man stands some distance away holding a cricket bat and smoking a pipe. Two men walk out of the pavilion carrying cricket stumps and proceed to lay out he pitch. A man in white cricket jacket and hat walk out to the stumps. A group of men, women and children sit around the grounds chatting. The school's chemistry master, David Carrick, runs towards camera. Another group of men roller the cricket pitch.

A group of cricketers in whites are applauded onto the pitch. There are various shots of spectators. Tom Watson walks onto the pitch, talks with one of the bats men and makes the first bowl of the match.

There are shots of wickets run in the match, intercut with shots of spectators of various ages. A group of smartly dressed women sit beside the pitch, smile to camera and chat together. The woman on the far left dressed in white is Miss Henson who taught the junior fee-paying pupils. A batsman walks back to the pavilion as the crowd applaud.

Eight young boys in cricket outfits assemble for a group portrait. There is a distant shot of action in the cricket match. Three men in dark suits seated on a bench smile at camera. The middle man is Mr Hughes, a Welshman who taught French. Some boys beside the pavilion notice the camera. Various shots focus on men and women around the pavilion.

The film cuts to a shot of two men playing leapfrog, encouraged by two other men. One of the two men watching is Mr Fothergill who is walking with a cane due to injuries sustained during World War One. As one of the men leaps over the other Mr Fothergill smacks the back of the standing man’s leg and they all laugh.

There are various portrait shots of men and women at the event, some smoking, Tom Watson sits on a bench in front of the pavilion chatting. A woman sits next to him and addresses the camera. Another man in a dark suit and hat poses for camera. The Headmaster L.W. Taylor talks to a man in a flat cap. People appear to be leaving the field while others stand around chatting. These include R.F Drury seen earlier, who chats to a large man in cricket gear. The Latin master A.J. Smith doffs his hat to the camera.

There is a general exterior view of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School on Abbey Road. A man on bicycle rides past as three students walk through the main gate. Alberto Martino sells ice cream to a child from his hand cart in front of the school. The film closes with a shot on Vane Terrace. A car driven by the botany teacher ‘Bug’ Allen, turns into the school from Abbey Road.

[Notes from the depositor:
The film was shown to the school on the 9th November 1928. It is not known if the film was shown again before it was discovered in 2005.

Tom Watson was a well-known local personality with a great sporting history, including captaining the town cricket club and founding the rugby club

Mr Fothergill was shot with 14 machine-gun bullets in the Great War, losing his left arm and one eye.

Alberto Martino sold ice cream in the summer, including the ‘Hokey-pokey’ a much cheaper and weaker ice cream, and roast potatoes and horse chestnuts in the winter. He was later interned during World War Two.]