Film ID:
YFA 4450



Visitor Tabs


A film of the first Rowntrees Sports day after the end of the Second World War, showing all the events, and naming the winners, who often pose for the camera. It is accompanied by a humorous commentary.

Title - 'Sports Day'
Filmed by Debenham & Co. Beverley. Recorded by Imperial Sound Studios. Music by Wolfe

The film begins showing the outside of the Rowntree Theatre and the Cocoa Works on Haxby Road. The commentary states that this is not only a factory but also a community that cares for the welfare of the workforce. Women workers wearing white overalls rush out of the main factory gates, followed by those taking a more leisurely pace. The commentary states that there follows a film of the first post-war meeting of the yearly athletics sports event held at the end of June on the company's fields, with a commentary by the Chairman of the Sports Committee.

The first race is a sprint for boys between 14 and 16 won by L. Quinn of the Dispatch Department. Next comes the men's sprint, won by James Chapman of Engineers, who is congratulated by the second and third placed runners. Then the girls' sprint, won by Mary Barker, and the 14 to 16 year olds boys' 200m race won by Tom Armstrong. As it begins to rain, and the spectators get under umbrellas, there is the men's 200m race. Then there is a 1 mile walking race, won by George Attlee, being filmed by another filmmaker. Another one of the competitors, coming in third, is Arthur Morgan who lost his sight during the war.

The announcer is shown as it starts to rain again, and spectators clap from the side lines. A Taylor wins the 200m handicapped race for boys aged 16 to 18. Then comes the 100 yards open, attracting some of the finest runners from the north of England, won by D A Stevenson, with E Wagstaff of Leeds Athletic Club second. Then there is a tug-of-war, followed by a women's three legged race, with one pair falling over. This is won by Jean Dundas and Lila Try. In the 80 yards senior girls, Jean Downy of Boxmill Department comes first. As the rain continues to pour, the spectators seem happy enough but it is decided to postpone the event. It resumes the evening of the following Wednesday, when there are more races, including a women's obstacle race and a girls' hurdle race, won by Doreen Whitehead.

There then follows two men's hurdling races, the second won by Tom Gardener of the technical staff, the only one wearing proper modern athletic dress and hurdling correctly. Just before the women's sack race, the spectators and a brass band with the factory displaying a giant 'Rowntrees' banner in the background can be sseen. The three winners of the women's sack race pose for the camera. Then there is a women's skipping race, with the three winners doing a skipping demonstration for the camera. Then another boys' sprint race followed by the boys' and the men's potato races. After the last race, with the brass band still playing, Mrs G J Harris, the wife of the Company Chairman, gives out the prizes and the two Championship Shields. The men's champion is Tom Gardener of the technical staff and the girl's (sic) champion is Mary Barker of the Cake Department.

The End