Film ID:
YFA 1997

UNTITLED - BRUCE COLLECTION (STORTHES HALL)

1929

Visitor Tabs

Description

The film shows a sports day and other activities for patients and their families from Storthes Hall Mental Institution (Huddersfield). The final sequence of the film contains views of Storthes Hall and several interior shots of the busy laundry room.

The film opens with shots of men, wearing white shirts and shorts, jogging in the centre of a sports field. The men then perform calisthenics on the green in front of stands packed with spectators. Acrobatics are next, with the men performing choreographed routines. A man in a dark suit then files down a row of performers holding out a box, and each man takes a medal from the wooden box. A refreshments table is then shown being set up by several women dressed in white uniforms of matching aprons and hats, and they fill cups of tea with water from a large silver tank.

The next sequence opens with people dancing on the green while a band play; interspersed in this section are portrait shots of some of the patients enjoying the day. The filmmaker then captures gentleman in suits and trilby's snacking on sandwiches, before more acrobatic performances are captured. A comedic performance is next; a clown rides a pantomime horse before being thrown off. Two young men eat ice-cream in front of a "Coletta & Son" ice cream stall. More portrait shots capture the patients, some of whom smile at the camera. A man then holds a pearl necklace aloft outside a pavilion where a large crowd have gathered.

Brief shots capture some of the sporting events, which include a game of bowls, an obstacle race and a skipping race. More shots capture people enjoying the day, with many of the shots showing men lifting their caps, smoking pipes and cigarettes and staring slightly bemused at the camera.

A clown then performs a juggling routine, followed by some acrobatics using chairs and some volunteer school children. Members of the audience then throw balls at the clown, who tries to catch them with the spike in his mouth. Shots then show a sack race, with the clown leaping ahead and winning the race. More events captured include a wheelbarrow race, obstacle race and running backwards race. Two men then have a sack fight, attempting to knock their competitor off the wooden log. Further portrait shots capture individuals at the event. A shot captures a row of children watching the band, before more dancing ensues.

A multitude of shots capture the exterior of the hospital with other shots capturing the surrounding roads. Views then enter the building showing the wide hallways. Moving shots (most possibly taken from a car) explore the building's exterior further and one particular shot shows a line of mattresses drying the sun. Inside the laundry room, large industrial washing machines are at work and female workers unload the laundry into large containers.

The clothes are loaded into vats, perhaps for sterilisation purposes. A panning shot captures the hive of activity in the laundry room, where many workers work at various machines, washing, drying and pressing the clothes. Female workers then fold the clothes into tall mounds. The final sequence contains more views of the exterior of the hospital and the surrounding grounds, as the moving camera approaches the entrance.