Film ID:
YFA 1220

A QUESTION OF CHOICE, ST GEORGES HOUSE, HARROGATE

1979

Visitor Tabs

Description

This documentary features St. George’s House, a residential home in Harrogate which is run by the Yorkshire Association for the Disabled.  The home provides specialist facilities for its disabled residents, and the film features the lives and activities of some of the people who have been helped by St. George’s House.

Title – Norwood Studios Presents
 A film for the Yorkshire Association for the Disabled
 A Question of Choice

The film begins with Harrogate street scenes, people walking, driving, and going about their daily lives.  The commentary emphasizes how difficult it can be coming to terms with disabilities.  The film then shows the inside of St. George’s House.  One of the elderly residents, Mrs. Arnold, was struck down with rheumatoid arthritis in her middle age.  Mrs. Arnold explains how she first became affected by arthritis which eventually led to the loss of her independent lifestyle.  Outside in the grounds of the House, nurses and residents are taking in the sun. 

The commentary explains that in 1976, St. George’s began extensions for purpose-built homes which would accommodate 40 people.  There are plans for the extension, and Lady Masham initiates the ground breaking ceremony in August, 1976.  Work begins on the build, and the new facilities are officially opened in 1978 by the Duchess of Kent.  She makes a speech congratulating the hard work of the Yorkshire Association for the Disabled.  The film goes onto show the specially designed homes.   Interiors of the homes are shown highlighting specially designed facilities for wheelchairs and other specialist additions for those with other types of disabilities.  St. George’s House also organizes physical activities some of which include fencing, baseball, and archery.  One couple, who were the first to get married in St. George’s House, demonstrate what it was like to cope in unsuitable accommodation by comparison. 

The film then shows the layout for the new development for 28 purpose-built bungalows for the disabled and 66 houses for the able-bodied.  Various residents are interviewed about their thoughts on the new accommodation.  One of the residents in a wheelchair demonstrates some of the facilities which have been specially designed to allow for her to live independently.  Residents also test the carpets so that the friction does not put too much stress on wheelchair users.  A group of residents who are in wheelchairs watch a cricket match at Headingley.  One of them speaks about his experiences and the difficulties he has faced.  There is a brief appearance of an African-Caribbean drum band, and then the film moves onto show a workshop full of people making various arts and crafts.  One of those using the workroom explains how her injuries, which happened as a result of a car accident, have affected her passion for playing the piano.  More of the workroom is shown, including sewing, and is followed b a kitchen and dining area where residents are served dinner. 

St. George’s House also opens its activities to non-residents and other disabled people from the surrounding area.  Some of these people are driven to the Home in a specially adapted bus to use the facilities.  The final scene shows plans for a new day centre before the film comes to an end.

Narrated by Brian Truman