Film ID: YFA 2920 Video of YFA 2920 Various Holroyd Films 1929-1963 VARIOUS HOLROYD FILMS 1929-1963 Visitor TabsDescription This reel of film consists of a number of different films from varying years and film stocks. The films included in this reel are in the following order: A Motor Run (1929) Opening of the Old Holiday Home at Norland (1937) Northowram Hospital Opening (1934) Opening of Gorple Reservoir (1934) The Great Yorkshire Show at Halifax (1939) Billet of Soldiers in Halifax (1940) VE Day (1945) Snow Scenes in Halifax (c. 1940) Halifax Smoke (c. 1945) Halifax from Beacon Hill (1948) Around the Town (1953) Coronation Flowers (1953) Billy Smarts Circus (1953) Opening of Shibden Hall Folk Museum (1953) Procession to the Shay (1953) Laying of Church Foundation Stone (1953) Building of Crossfield Bus Station (1954) Fire in Bull Green Halifax (1955) Lord Mackintosh Given Freedom of Halifax (1954) Ice Skating at the Shay (1963) A Motor Run (1929) 111 ft Black and White This film follows a group of travellers, local people from the Pennine Masonic Lodge, Halifax, on their day out in a car caravan. The film opens with a title card reading HKW's Year - A Motor run to Thirsk, Hovingham Spa, Spacey House. A group of men and women are posed in front of their cars. Most of them are older, rather well dressed, and many of the men are smoking. Another title card reading Borough Bridge - our next Port of call (or shall it be call for Port?) A man is then holding up two wine glasses for the camera, most likely filled with port. Then there is what appears to be some sort of estate house, and the travellers are then posed in front of the gates of the driveway leading to the house. There is another title card reading The Water Splash at Hovingham. The caravan of cars proceed to make their way through the water splash as there is only a small walking bridge over the water which can be seen in the background. Another title card reads Worsley Arms Hotel. Like at their previous destinations, the travellers are grouped together on the steps and posed in front of the hotel. Another title card reads A Few more 'shots' an then off again for supper at The White Swan - Halifax. The travellers are posed in front, there is a group smoking in the garden, and finally a few are posed seated in their cars at the end of the journey. Opening of the Old Holiday Home at Norland (1937) 36 ft Black and White This film begins with a large group of people sitting together outside on lawn chairs at what appears to be some sort of meeting. Nearby and after the meeting, there is a group of young boy scouts playing leap frog. Northowram Hospital Opening (1934) 26 ft Black and White 8th June A large group of people make their way into the front of a building and eventually explore the area surrounding the building. Opening of Gorple Reservoir (1934) 18 ft Black and White Title card - Members of Health Committee opening 7th June Members of the committee making their way out across a bridge to a looking post during the opening of the reservoir. The Great Yorkshire Show at Halifax (1939) 158.3 ft Black and White / Kodachrome This film documents the Great Yorkshire Show at Savile Park Moor in July 1939 at which different types of new farm and business machinery are being featured. The film opens with a title card reading The GYS Halifax 1939. Many types of machinery are being featured at the fair including the latest models of tractors, engines, ploughs, and other modern farm equipment. The Bamfords area has a display of engines, wheels, and pulley systems. In another part of the fair, there is an area reserved for machinery which would not be used on the farm, but rather in a business setting. Here, people are looking at the various cash registers and clocks.A title card reads The Stables - owing to foot and mouth diseases, only horses were on show. At the stables many horses are in their quarters, and different people from the fair have come to observe them. Title card - Jumping On the field, there are many riders and horses jumping over different obstacles. The Wight Rodeo Riders, a group of stunt riders, then enter the arena and perform a rodeo stunt show for spectators. The film then changes to colour as the Royal Corps of Signals begins to perform. On motorcycles, these stunt riders perform various manoeuvres and stunts for the audience. Title - The York and Ainsty Hounds. Hunters on horseback, accompanied by hounds, ride around the arena. Billet of Soldiers in Halifax (1940) 89.7 ft Black and White The film opens with a title card, in the centre of which is a caricature of Hitler, and around the edges reads 'Who said Hitler could stop us filming?' Title card - The Billet The army stands outside a house, and then by the gate standing guard. Title card - Quick March The solders then come out from the gates and proceed to quick march in formation. Title card - Dinner! There are large buckets of food at which the soldiers line up. A few others are on the opposite side to dish out the food for the soldier's dinner. The film then ends with the same title card with which it opened. VE Day (1945) 55 ft Black and White This is a short film which documents VE Day in Halifax. Massive crowds fill the street, many people are dancing, and there are patriotic decorations all over town. Snow Scenes in Halifax (c. 1940) 98 ft Black and White This film documents a large snow fall which has buried most of Halifax and the surrounding areas. There are a few scenes of the countryside and smaller country roads which give the scale of the snowfall. There are a few people playing in the snow and others trying to make their way through. After a glimpse of a ram in the snow, a family is trying to dig their way out using a tractor to plough the road. The snow again starts to fall, and there are additional houses which have been snowed in. The film closes with a nurse who is out playing with the snow and large icicles which have formed as a result of the storm. Halifax Smoke (c. 1945) 20 ft Black and White This film captures the city from an aerial shot the rooftops of the city of Halifax. Smoke and steam makes its way out of the chimneys of the houses, buildings, and factories making for a foggy, smoky view of the city's rooftops. Halifax from Beacon Hill (1948) 49 ft Kodachrome Quite similar to the film before it, this colour film captures the city's rooftops only this time, lacking the smoke and steam of the other film. Around the Town (1953) 15 ft Black and White This short film documents an example of some of the coronation decorations which had been put up all over town, specifically the display in front of the town hall. Coronation Flowers (1953) 93 ft Kodachrome This film documents the floral decorations around Halifax for the Queen's Coronation in 1953. Title card - Bull Green There are people sitting on a bench at Bull Green where there are special flowers set up for the celebration. Title card - Peoples Park More of the same kind of flowers, and there area few people lounging and sunbathing on the grass. Title card - Cow Wood Park Here there is a replica of a royal emblem made of flowers. Title card - The General Hospital Similar to the Cow Wood Park display, here there is a replica of the crown made of flowers. Title card - Bankfield. Title card - Wards End Around much of the same kind of flowers, cars, busses, and a motorcycle drive past this roundabout. Billy Smarts Circus (1953) 54 ft Black and White This film documents the arrival of Billy Smarts Circus to Halifax and the elephant parade through town. The film opens with an advert in the newspaper for the circus. A man on a horse leads a group of elephants through the streets of the city centre as people from the town are lined up on either side of the street. As they pass, the children and other members of the town follow behind the procession. Opening of Shibden Hall Folk Museum (1953) 255 ft Black and White This film documents the opening of Shibden Hall Folk Museum, a manor house with connections to the wool industry in Halifax and converted into a museum complete with craftsmen who demonstrate different activities connected to the textile industry. Title card - July 9th - His Grade the Duke of Devonshire opens Shibden Folk Museum There is a City Council of Halifax announcement for the day's events as well as a museum sign. Members of the museum, dressed in 18th century costume, stand outside the museum. On an outside stage, the Duke and other officials (including the Lord Mayor?) proceed to make speeches for a large audience. The doors to the house are then officially opened and, after a few more speeches, those members on stage as well as from the audience enter the museum. Inside, there are many re-enactors present demonstrating different crafts of the trade. Title card - Hand File Cutting (demo) Title card - The Farrier and the Blacksmith Making horse shoes and part of an iron gate Title card - The Sawpit Title card - Wheel Wright (demo) Title card - The Clogger (demo) Title card - Nail Making my Hand (demo) The film then ends with the Duke being escorted and shown around the remainder of the estate. Procession to the Shay (1953) 63 ft Kodachrome This film documents the Catholic procession so Shay Stadium and the theatrical performance put on by the group. Title card - May 17 - Catholic Procession at the Shay The procession to the Shay is made up of a marching band, boy scouts, and small children in different types of costume. At the Shay, the stadium stands are full of people, and on the field there is a group of actors performing a scene from the Bible, the manger scene and the birth of Jesus. There is a view of the overall crowd, and following the performance, a prayer or perhaps and entire mass is said from a stage in the stadium. The prises walk in, lead by alter boys and other members of the church. The film then closes with members of the procession in a long line on the field holding up letters which spell out "Long Live the Queen." Laying of Church Foundation Stone (1953) 56 ft Black and White This film documents the laying of the foundation stone at Mixenden Church. Title card - July 1st - Laying of foundation stone at Mixenden Church On a rainy day, there is a procession of members of the church and other clergy staff as well as other officials. They make their way to the construction site where they gather round as a giant foundation stone is put into place. After a blessing, the crowd then exits. Building of Crossfield Bus Station (1954) 43 ft Black and White This film documents the building of a bus station. The film begins with the new foundations of the bus station. Then when the construction has been completed, there are a few people walking around the new facilities. Additionally, a worker is washing the window of the ticket booth. Fire in Bull Green Halifax (1955) 76 ft Black and White This film documents the destruction of a fire at a gas station at Bull Green. The fire brigade has arrived at the scene of the fire and is trying to put out the flames. After, there is extensive damage to the gas station building and also tires which were nearby. Around the scene, there are spectators gathered watching the firemen in their work. Additionally, a policemen is present to direct traffic and pedestrians around the fire. Lord Mackintosh Given Freedom of Halifax (1954) 61 ft Black and White This film documents the Honorary Freedom of the county Borough of Halifax. Title card - June 29 - Freedom to Lord Mackintosh The Lord and Lady exit their car. Inside the hall, the Lord other city officials are seated at a long table on a stage. Here, various speeches are given, and the Lord is presented with an engraved sliver plate and a scroll on which there is an official seal. After the presentation, the Lord makes a speech as well. Ice Skating at the Shay (1963) 14 ft Kodachrome This is a short film in which people of all ages are ice skating in Shay Stadium under the lights. Context This film is in fact a collection of films all made in and around Halifax that have been put together on one reel. They are part of many films collected by Halifax Cine Club member Peter Holroyd during the 1970s and ‘80s. Peter later donated this very large collection of films to the Archive. Apart from Peter’s own films, this includes films made by other members of the Halifax Cine Club, and films for which the filmmaker is unknown, as is the case with this film. Peter had been making films from the early 1960s and joined the club in1967, becoming in effect the club’s archivist. It was through the cine club that he met wife, Kate, whose father had been a member from the 1950s. See the transcript of an interview with them on YFA, Peter and Kate Holroyd Interview (2007). Halifax Cine Club was established two years before the first film here, in 1938. It was one of many similar clubs across Yorkshire, especially strong in West Yorkshire where every city and town had one. At its height the club had nearly a hundred members. As well as holding their own meetings and social gatherings, with annual public film shows, the clubs would get together for regional events and competitions. Information on the films is sketchy. Of those that are shown here, and for which a name can be given, the 'Billet of Soldiers in Halifax' (1940), ‘Snow Scenes in Halifax’ (c.1940) and ‘Halifax from Beacon Hill’ (1949) were all made by Cine Club member Gordon Gledhill. ‘Halifax Smoke’ (c.1945) was made by Cine Club member Charles C. Thomas, and ‘Ice Skating at the Shay’ (1963) was made by Cine Club member Stanley Barron. All of the others were made by unidentified Halifax Cine Club members, including ‘VE Day’ (1945), looking down on Southgate in Halifax Town Centre. The title card ‘Dinner!’ shows a field kitchen for troops returning from Dunkirk on Savile Park Moor, just a short distance from the Billet, which is "The Gleddings", now a preparatory school. The first film in this compilation shows the Great Yorkshire Show when it was held in Halifax in 1939, in July 12-14th. This was not the first time it was held in Halifax, it was held there on at least one other occasion, in August 1895. The Show seems to be taking place in Savile Park – the tower of Crossley Heath School, at the western end, can be seen – where the current Halifax Agricultural Show also takes place. The Yorkshire Show goes back to 1837, with the first attendance figures for 1842, held in York, when 6,044 attended. It became known as the ‘Great Yorkshire Show’ in 1843. The show was held in different places, in some 30 towns, throughout Yorkshire before it settled in Harrogate in 1951, where a permanent showground was specially built in 1950. With the outbreak of war this was the last show until 1949, when it was decided that a permanent showground should be acquired – see the Context for The Great Yorkshire Show 1957. It is interesting that only horses were on show owing to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Not even the 1967 outbreak of the disease led to the cancellation of the show, although the one in 2001 did. The way the government handled this devastating outbreak – which resulted in the culling of six million animals (one lower estimate) – has been heavily criticised by many, including Abigail Woods, who argues that lessons from previous outbreaks hadn’t been learnt, and that the methods used to contain it, of isolation and slaughter, date back to the first outbreak in 1839 before the disease was understood – suggesting instead, as many did at the time, the use of vaccination (References). The Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, members of the Royal Corps of Signals and otherwise known as the White Helmets (although wearing red helmets in this film), originate at the Signal Training Centre in Catterick, Yorkshire, in 1927. They were using the Triumph Tiger 70 motorcycles up until the previous year, and are here riding the later 80 model. The display team is still performing, and they still ride Triumphs; now the 750cc Millennium TR7V Tiger originally supplied by the Meriden Motorcycle co-operative in the mid-1970s. Unfortunately it looks as if the other outstanding display team at the Show, the Wight Rodeo Riders, have disappeared into history. They may have been an Arabian team which folded with the onset of war (there are some pictures of them in all their glory at this Show on Gettyimages, References) The show also provides an opportunity to see stalls and advertisements for businesses, local and not so local. Many of these companies that have subsequently dissolved are difficult to trace – short of searching the National Archives. One of those that has left a presence is G H Gledhill and Sons Ltd, established by George H Gledhill in Northgate in Halifax in 1886. Gledhill invented an automatic cash till and automatic cash displayer, and in 1892 they moved into the top floor of the Trinity Works on Harrison Road, Halifax, to manufacture cash tills. He subsequently took over the whole factory and opened two others in Halifax and one in Huddersfield. The firm bought Frank Brooks time recording business to form Gledhill-Brook Time Recorders Ltd in 1912. During the Second World War they produced military equipment. The filmmaker Gordon Gledhill may well be related. The business closed in 1975. Another is the Anglo-Canadian Chemical Company British Basic Slag, operating in London and trading in fertilizers, which dissolved in 1955. The British Oil and Cake Mills was a Hull based company established in 1899, also in Selby, making oil-cake as an animal feed. Just after the First World War they had ambitious plans to build a Garden Village in Hull bounded by Holderness Road to the north-west and Portobello Street to the south, with houses and sports and recreation facilities. The scheme, however, soon ran out of steam, with only a small part of the original plans actually built – see the council document, Broadway Conservation Area, References. The company, initially owned by Unilever, later merged with Silcock in 1969, and was then sold by Unilever to form BOCM Pauls in 1992. Nearer to home is the famous John Crossley and Sons – at one time the largest carpet manufacturer in the world – based in Dean Clough Mills in Halifax until their closure in 1983. Shibden Hall, once the home of the Lister family, is of course still with us and open to the public, although it isn’t clear whether the Folk Museum operates in the same way as portrayed in this film, with the various traditional crafts still being practiced. There is a strong case that it was the model for Thrushcross Grange, which features in Emily Brontë's great novel Wuthering Heights. It was opened by Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, married to Deborah Mitford, the youngest of the famous sisters, and who was one of many members of the aristocracy to have tea with Hitler before the outbreak of war – although she doesn’t seem to be accompanying her husband on this occasion. It also isn’t clear what church is having a foundation stone laid for it on this wet July day. The most likely is the short lived Saint Bernadette's Catholic Church on Clough Lane in Mixenden, which, according Malcolm Bull’s very useful Calderdale Companion, was built in 1958 and closed in 1994, before being sold in 1998 to be converted into private dwellings. The foundation stone was laid by Archdeacon Eric Treacy. The Catholic procession at the Shay is on May 17, Ascension Day, when Jesus has risen from the dead on the third day, and appears before his disciples before, “he left them and was taken up into heaven” (Luke 24:51, NIV) This is intriguing in that the story that is being enacted appears to be the birth of Jesus, and hence a Nativity play. But perhaps the most striking film is that of the panoramic view overlooking Halifax around 1945 or 1946. It is no wonder that the Clean Air Act was introduced in 1956, although a photo taken from more or less the same place shows it to be pretty much the same in 1958 (Alan Burnett’s blog, References). The view down on the railway looks nothing if not like a model railway, albeit one much blackened by smoke. The other view, filmed on 11th of July 1949, was taken from Beacon Hill. From somewhat further out, a contemporary, and less smoky, view over Halifax is seen in the critically acclaimed BBC drama, Last Tango in Halifax (one of many recent TV productions to have been filmed in Yorkshire thanks to Creative England’s Film Friendly Charter). [With special thanks to Kate and Peter Holroyd for supplying much of this information] References Alan Burnett’s blog, News from nowhere Malcolm Bull’s, Calderdale Companion Wight Rodeo Riders, Gettyimages Gledhill Genealogy Broadway Conservation Area BOCM Pauls Further Reading Abigail Woods, A Manufactured Plague: The History of Foot-and-mouth Disease in Britain, Routledge, 2004.