RAYS (1944) film no: 2204
Made by Kenneth Raynor, this is a film which features the people and places in the South Yorkshire village of Swallownest. It includes scenes of the surrounding countryside as well as provides a good example of wartime Christmas celebrations.
Title: ‘Spring Sunshine Abounding’
The film begins with wintry trees set against a darkening, cloudy sky. Next people walk down a village street with rows of terraces, and a dog sits on the steps of a house. The tops of houses are shown and followed by a shot of a bridge over the river.
Intertitle: ‘Babies Versus Tennis’
Two babies are in their prams, and some men and women are sitting in deck chairs watching a tennis match. Then some people are out on the streets cycling.
Intertitle: ‘Youth In Decline. Unarmed - risking his life your intrepid reporter gets exclusive shots of the much-discussed topic – modern youth’
Following this intertitle are many posed shots of the head and shoulders of different young people, children, and some young adults. There are also some more people playing tennis.
Intertitle: ‘Photographic Evidence or Who Wunnit’
There is a short section of a race.
Intertitle: ‘Harvest Time’
Hay is in piles in a field, and two men work a harvesting machine whilst a woman sits looking across the countryside.
Intertitle: ‘Clouds and Sunsets’
There is a moody sky with strong contrasts between the light and dark clouds. This is followed by a sunset and its effect on the skyline.
Intertitle: ‘I’m Herbste . . .’
A man sweeps up the leaves from a street and shovels them onto a cart being pulled by a horse. A small boy and girl run down an alley holding hands.
Intertitle: ‘The vile purposes of man’
Intertitle: ‘Christmas Moonlight. Wesley Guild Christmas Special.’
A large number of people are having a party playing various games and having tea and coffee. Among the games is a conga. Couples dance around in a circle gradually speeding up. This ends with one seated and the other standing behind giving the seated person a kiss. Another round begins with people sitting on the chairs in a circle whilst the rest run around before falling onto someone’s lap. The film finishes.
End title: J K Raynor Films
Rays is one of about 18 films made between 1940 and 1947 by Kenneth Raynor – Kenneth had earlier changed the spelling from its original ‘Rayner’. Most of the films are of life in and around the village of Swallownest, 8 miles east of Sheffield.
Rays is one of about 18 films made between 1940 and 1947 by Kenneth Raynor – Kenneth had earlier changed the spelling from its original ‘Rayner’. Most of the films are of life in and around the village of Swallownest, 8 miles east of Sheffield. Kenneth was born in Swallownest and brought up there by his parents in a terraced house in School Street. His father Gerald was the caretaker of the local school where his mother, Maud, was a cleaner – the school features regularly in the films, and Kenneth too often makes an appearance (fuzzy dark hair and glasses – although not in this film). Kenneth trained as a chemist and was employed in a steelworks in Sheffield during the war, being registered as a conscientious objector. As a youngster Kenneth was an avid collector, keeping all his toys and comics, and later collecting books and records – which can be seen in his wartime Christmas films.