Film ID:
YFA 5233

ROTHERHAM UP TO DATE

1961

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a film commissioned by Rotherham Corporation to explain and promote the work of Rotherham Town Council.  The commentary provides an outline of council work with the film providing illustrations from many of its departments: education, health, home help, housing, refuse collection, entertainment and so on.

Title – Rotherham up to Date
Rotherham Corporation, Produced by Wrigleys Productions

The film begins with an aerial view of the Don Valley and Rotherham, with the commentary providing a potted history of the town and recent developments.  The film switches to a meeting of the town council and one of its committees.  Old housing is in a state of demolition, and there are new houses building after the war in Broom Valley, making up several large housing estates.

The film moves on to look at the Health Department, with a midwife and a new-born baby at the mother’s home.  A woman in home help uniform prepares tea and biscuits as part of the council’s home help.  A doctor examines the mother.  Later the baby is taken to a child health clinic where it is weighed and receives a polio jab.  Then the children’s nursing unit, which is on call 24 hours a day, is helping with a child in its own home.  A home helper also does some cleaning of the outside of the house. 

A child is brought to the Badsley Moor Lane nursery school.  Here the children read books in the classroom, paint, do woodwork and play on swings, climbing frames and slides.  At the Children’s Department’s nursery at Oakwood Grange, a boy is on a tricycle, and another small child is on a donkey.  Inside the children are “enjoying a homely atmosphere”, and lunch. 

Then onto one of the corporations own homes, in the suburb of Kimberworth, where the children set out on a trip by coach to the coast for their annual holiday.  At Ferham House dental clinic a girl is having a brace fitted.

The film movies onto a training centre “for the mentally subnormal”.  Here the users are doing crafts, with women fixing combs onto show cards, being paid having just got a new contract.  In the evening they play table tennis and dance at a “rock and roll session”.  Elsewhere children have eye tests and are treated at the physiotherapy department, with two girls exercising on wall bars.  Children are treated at the ‘Minor Ailment Clinic’, and a speech therapist “treats” two children.

The Education Department is next featured, and several schools are shown.  Children run out of the Broom Valley Infant School, and others do crafts in the classroom.  The school choir rehearses for Parents’ Day.  In the classroom they read and do arithmetic, in the playground they do exercises and some girls practice the recorder. Mr Gordon, the Headmaster, can be seen.

The Health Department is conducting audiometer tests on the children using a record player and headphones.  At the Oakwood Secondary Schools girls are doing domestic science.  There is a medical examination, with one girl being treated by a chiropodist.  In the gym girls are doing “expression in music and movement”.  A girl draws the stage background in preparation for Parents’ Day.  At the Oakwood Secondary Schools for Boys pupils are at work in woodwork and metalwork classes, “providing similar conditions to those the boys might meet in their working life”. 

At the Grammar school it is explained that students have their chosen subjects, and are prepared for university.  The boys race around a running track and do hurdles, shot put and the javelin on the school sports day, possibly Herringthorpe Valley Sports Centre.  At the College of Technology, students work in various laboratories, and at the School of Arts and crafts, students doing pottery, screen printing, and fashion design.

The film returns to one of the ‘self-contained’ housing estates, showing a shopping area.  Mention is made of the water supply, and dustmen are shown emptying metal dustbins into a dustcart, and other refuse being collected.  Some is taken to the salvage sorting shed where paper is being pressed into bales.  The dustcarts unload at a new tip at Car Hill, “with space for the next 30 years”.  A road sweeping machine goes along All Saints Square.  At a large Sewage Works, new work is being carried out, and laying road on the new estates. 

There is a new cemetery and crematorium.  Some elderly people sit on seats at Kimberworth, where an old blacksmiths shop used to be.  At the Transport Department on Rawmarsh Road a bus goes through the wash, and buses are shown in the town centre.  Shoppers wander around the outdoor and indoor markets, and there is an auction at the Cattle Market.

Children go on rides and swim in the outdoor pool in Clifton Park, where people play bowls and there is also an Agricultural Show, with large greenhouses.  A new park is being developed as Barkers Park in Kimberworth.  Some of the exhibits at the Museum in Clifton Park are shown.  Then the Library is shown, followed by the Civic Theatre, displaying many of the flyers for recent productions, such as Arnold Wesker’s ‘Roots’, in February 1961.  Customers relax in the foyer, coffee lounge and bar.  The Group of Three theatre company are rehearsing Peter Shaffer’s play ‘Five Finger Exercises’.

The Fire Brigade is shown in action, racing through the streets of Rotherham and attending a fire.  This is followed by the auxiliary fire service in training.  They release a boy who has his head stuck in railings.  Next the police are called out, followed by the ambulance service.  Then a reconnaissance party from the Civil Defence is out on an exercise at a derelict site, measuring radioactivity.

The film moves on to show some “old people’s homes”, and a chiropody clinic for the aged.  The Home Help Service comes out to do people’s laundry, and one helper does someone’s washing up.  Elsewhere a nurse dresses an elderly man’s ankle injury.  A welfare bus picks up “the physically handicapped”, including a woman in a wheelchair, while a blind couple are helped working on a poultry farm, with the man showing one of his prize rabbits.  Another man, trained by the council, copies a book in braille.

The film then shows a graph providing a breakdown of the amount of each pound of council money is spent on each department.

The film finishes by returning to the beginning, with pedestrians in the town centre, walking and queuing for buses, then to the council chamber and an aerial view over Rotherham.

The End.