Film ID:
YFA 4846

TRINIDAD HOLIDAY AND CARNIVAL

1953

Visitor Tabs

Description

Part of the Ian Smith collection, this film features a holiday to Trinidad as well as carnival celebrations.  The tradition of carnival celebrations which take place in Trinidad have been carried on in Caribbean communities in the UK, most notably in Leeds and Chapletown which is home to the longest running carnival in Europe.

The film begins on white sand beach at the water’s edge.  A few divers are with a local man near his boat, and the divers pose for the camera with their snorkelling gear.  Another couple walk towards the camera, and the holidaymakers hang around by the boat.  The filmmaker captures the beautiful surroundings:  white sand beaches, palm trees, and turquoise water.  Taken from the boat, there is footage of the coastline as they approach a pier.  Village huts can be seen amongst the trees, and there is footage of the ocean and its many shades of blue. 

In a local village, children smile and pose for the camera.  A few adults can also be seen.  There is more footage of the coastline and housing before stopping at another beach.  More locals are captured on film including a man who walks with a cane and a woman doing laundry.  Further along the journey, the filmmaker comes to a bay where the coastline can be seen and houses are built into the mountains.  There is a shot of the colourful ocean from an elevated position. 

In a village, locals have gathered, and there are shots of the village.  The houses have thatched roofs, and there are many palm trees.  The villagers can be seen walking down the main road.  There are shots of a school which is quite modern in architecture compared to its surroundings, and outside of the school there is a sign:  Bon Accord Govt School HER.  Following this is more footage of the town, beach, and bay.  One of the holidaymakers stands by a boat, and there are shots of local mothers with their children. 

There are shots of the filmmaker’s family, the woman feeding her child.  They are seated on a small deck near the water, and the family poses for the camera.  A horse and cart pass by a sign post, and there are shots of another beach.  Following this, a plane lands at a small local airport.  A group of passengers then board the plane, on the side of which reads Royal Air Mail – British India. 

Now at an English school, a group of children put on a performance.  They are all dressed in traditional country dress from various places around the world.  The school appears to be in a more modern city than previously featured in the film, and there is footage of the city including exterior shots of a hospital and streets filled with traffic and pedestrians. 

The last part of the film features Carnival celebrations.  The parade has lined up and is full of different groups of people, many of whom carry banners.  One of the signs reads, “Carsors Barrell Brand Paints.”  Children march with plaques too, and there are shots of the locals who have turned out to watch the event. 

The Carnival Indians are next to appear in the parade.  They are dressed in elaborate and colourful costumes, and one man is dressed as Sitting Bull, complete with a feather head dress.  The parade continues down the street, and some local businesses can be seen in the background including J.T. Allum & Co. Ltd. and an International Modern Café. 

Steel band drummers are next in line, and a group of drummers wear sailor’s hats.  There are more people in costume and other steel drummers, a group of which is dressed as members of the US Navy.  A man in the front of this group dances and waves an American flag.  Others have white powder on their faces. 

There are shots of the spectators and street vendors along the route, and there is also a band which has a horn section, different to the bands seen previously.  The procession ends up on a stage where all the musicians gather to play for the audience.  One of the groups in the parade looks like a group of scouts.  Everyone gathers on the stage to dance, and the film closes with shots of the Carnival Indians dancing in their elaborate costumes.