Film ID:
YFA 4524



Visitor Tabs


This film captures a review of the special constabulary in Wakefield, 1980. As a documentation of the ceremony, the filmmaker comprehensively shows all the significant moments such as the preparation, parade, award ceremony, and a brief glimpse of the reception. The film also includes a voice over, which provides a running commentary throughout the event.

Title - Projectionist focus now. This leader has been attached by the West Yorkshire Metropolitan police to avoid film damage.

Title - Review of the special constabulary.

Title - At the Police headquarters, Laburnum road, Wakefield on Sunday, 4th May, 1980.

Title - A unique occasion in police annals.

The film opens with a shot of a female police officer dusting down a senior officer's uniform, and he laughs genially. There are then close ups: first a man scratches his leg with his shoe, then a badge is shown on a uniform, and finally some medals are captured which are pinned to a man's breast. A voice over gives a brief overview of the event, detailing some of attendee's and preparations.

Various shots then show officers and members of the marching band tightening their outfits. A senior officer then barks commands at the marching band, sending an officer off. Special guests are then shown taking their seats in bright red plastic chairs.

The officers in the courtyard are now lined up in various organised rows as the senior officer, holding a staff, shouts out orders. The filmmaker shows a wide, expansive view of the courtyard, with the police constables in position and some of the important guests watching from the side-lines. Some local religious representatives then arrive on the scene wearing white robes, and some senior police officials take their seats on a small platform. Officers in the audience then salute as the brass band begin to play and there are shots of the other audience members.

A senior policeman approaches the platform and leads several top officials towards the rows of policemen. The next shot captures an officer talking with the Mayor of Wakefield. The inspection begins and the top official walks along the rows, stopping occasionally to talk to some of the constables. There are then shots that capture some constables of previous generations, who, wearing civilian formal wear, stand in rows themselves.

The top police official continues his inspection, while the Mayor of Wakefield follows close behind. The top official then talks to some female officers and some shots capture the inspection from the crowd's point of view. More views show the top official talking to some of the older generation police officers, before the inspection comes to a close.

The next sequence begins with the senior officer marching past the camera holding his staff, before the brass band march past. There are again elevated views, which capture the brass band playing, before they set down their drums in front of a podium area, and a microphone is placed before them.

Constables unroll a metropolitan police flag, while the priest makes a speech into the microphone. After this, the flag is handed to the top police official, who, after holding it momentarily, returns the flag to the constables, who march between the ranks of policemen; there are also some shots of the crowd interspersed throughout.

Once the flag is carried past, the marching band picks up their drums and move off. Awards, including scrolls and medals, are handed out to several individuals by the top officer, and a close up captures a medal, which has an inscription that reads 'for faithful sever in the special constabulary'. More awards are handed out and the top official shakes each recipient's hand.

A speech is then made by the top official from the platform, and again elevated shots of the courtyard capture the rows of policemen, who, on a senior officer's command, shuffle back quickly, before marching past the platform.

The brass band play as the procession continues to move past the platform, and once all constables have passed, the special guests, priests and senior officials, file out of the courtyard. The rows of policemen then salute before braking formation.

After the event, the participants mingle in the courtyard and the filmmaker captures a police constable holding his young son in the crowd. More shots of the crowd show officers and attendees drinking tea.

Title -Photography Rex Matthews, Sound - Gerald Hancock.