Film ID:
YFA 669



Visitor Tabs


A light hearted amateur documentary, this film tells the story of the Sheffield Spartan Swimmers who swam at Millhouses outdoor pool, located in Sheffield.  The swimmers (all men) dive, perform synchronised swimming, and race in the winter snow as well as the summer.  Most of the swimmers are named in the intertitles.    

Title: ‘Sheffield Spartan Swimmers — Millhouses Pool 1933-4’  ‘Three early worms with an eye for the birds’ 

The film begins with three men carrying towels, running out of a house across a cobbled street.

Intertitle:  ‘Ain’t they tough’  They walk down the street.

Intertitle:  ‘Just a little warm-up’  A group of men are playing basketball outside in their swimming costumes.

Intertitle:  ‘The perfect pike?  Captain Jim Pryor’  A man dives from a diving board into a swimming pool.

Intertitle:  ‘And a perfect pie-CAN.  His hobby is S-women’  Two men dive in from diving boards of different heights.

Intertitle:  ‘T’watters of Babylon’  A man is shown running over to the pool and dipping his foot in.

Intertitle:  ‘Flint the mighty at em’  A man dives in, and another man is stood in up to his briefs.

Intertitle:  ‘The Jolly Rodger (with an image of a skull)’ A man dives into the pool.

Intertitle:  ‘And a leg by H.Marsh’  A man dives into the pool from a handstand from the highest board.

Intertitle:  ‘C.Lee – The Kay Don of the Club – (with small model cars running underneath’  A man dives into the pool facing backwards from the second highest board.

Intertitle:  ‘H.M.S. Duggan (with a model boat passing underneath’  Another man dives in.

Intertitle:  ‘Wooley – the original ‘Lock-Ness’ Monster (with a representation of the monster having a doll’d head)’  A man dives in off the second board.

Intertitle:  ‘The Bold Sir guy (with image of a suit of armour)’  And again a man dives in off the second board.

Intertitle:  ‘George – The hardy annual’  Another man dives in off the second board.

Intertitle:  ‘Banner – The gay young dog (a puppet dog walks underneath)’  A man dives in rolling over.

Intertitle:  ‘This is booth in a hurry, what? (with Beecham powder logo)’  A man takes a running dive in over the camera.

Intertitle:  ‘What’ter spider — he rules the waves (with an image of a comic duck)’  A man does a somersault dive off a board.

Intertitle:  ‘Oh Dear! Sydney always was a backward child’  A man diving in backwards is shown in reverse, and another man jogs towards the pool.

Intertitle:  ‘And Hill completes the chain (with an image of a lavatory chain)’    

All the men, lined up at the pool edge, dive in turn, swim back and get out.  The three men at the beginning are then shown dressed, in a street play acting, and having a mock fight.  Back at the pool the men are gathered around a diving board.  Two of them are shown diving in and swimming.  The others are running around the pool with some people looking on from the outside the pool on a grass bank.  There is more of the men diving in and swimming followed by film of a group of men, women and dogs watching at the pool side.  The men are again shown jogging around the pool followed by fast walking and headstands.  They then reveal their faces, in turn, in a line, from behind their towels.  Next the swimmers are spread out doing exercises touching their toes.  They do an acrobatic display, and two men have buckets of water poured over them.  Next a diver goes off the second board, followed by more from the first board, and then they clamber out.  The film shows the swimmers diving, in reverse.  Then a man does a comical walk on his hands and feet before diving in. 

By a snow-covered poolside, the swimmers have a snowball fight.  Two swimmers try to get out of the pool have snow shovelled onto them.  One man sits on the snow by the water, and another two swimmers dive off the top board with one of them hanging upside down on the back of the other. 

This is followed by film from later in the year, with a line of swimmers diving in one after the other.  The Tea Room is in the background, and one swimmer is timed swimming a width of the pool, and then back again.  The men perform a series of dives, some of which are in slow motion and in reverse.  One swimmer is on his back in the water, and with his arms and legs outstretched, is pulled around in a circle by four other swimmers.  Other swimmers do the breaststroke and front crawl. 

The film then returns to the snowy pool, with three swimmers larking about on the snow.  They swim in a section of the pool where the ice has been cleared.  One swimmer brings out a piece of ice and shivers on the side covered in snow.   

Back to snow-free wintertime, the swimmers pose in the pool next to a cake, after just finishing a race.  The winner receives a small cup and is watched by a group of women. 

End title: ‘And that’s that’