Film ID: NEFA 17609 Video of NEFA 17609 Women's Institute Sports Day at Horton Grange (1930-34) WOMEN'S INSTITUTE SPORTS DAY AT HORTON GRANGE 1930-1934 Visitor TabsDescription Home movie footage by a member of the Reed family of a local Women’s Institute (WI) event with sports, lunch and performance held in the grounds of Horton Grange, near Dinnington, in the 1920s or 1930s. This was the home of Lady and Sir Joseph Reed, part-proprietor and Manager of the Evening Chronicle. The film opens with shots of the Horton Grange gardens. The Reed family's pet dogs are ambling around, and two women play with them. Some women gathered in the gardens are having a go at playing the bolo bat game, batting a ball attached to bats by elastic. Women members from a regional Women's Institute club are gathered for lunch at a long trestle table set up in an open lean-to outside the Horton Grange mansion. They are served by silver service waitresses. A group portrait follows of young and older women seated in an arbor outside the mansion. A woman in a dark dress outfit with cloche hat and umbrella wanders around in a field, where a cow begins to urinate. The scene changes as women's sprint races take place on the lawn, two of the women fall down during the race. A long row of seated women in their best frocks watch a bean bag race. Portrait shots of some young women lounging on the grass in between races, including an individual portrait (possibly Joseph Reed's daughter?) of a young woman grinning and enjoying the fun. In the next race women carry small umbrellas and wear miniature top hats. An obstacle race follows with women in the race ducking under a rope barrier and balancing objects on their heads. Women lounge informally on the grass. A large number of women are now seated back outside the Horton Grange house waiting for the entertainment to begin. A pipe major with Highland bagpipes and full tartan dress walks onto the lawn followed by a young girl (?), who then performs a Highland dance for the guests. Next, some of the women form choirs and sing at the event. The pipe major now plays while the young girl (?), now wearing a sailor's suit and hat, performs the "sailor's hornpipe" dance. Some of the women attending the event then take part in traditional country, or folk, dances. [The next scene is filmed in Kodacolor.] In the next scene, which may be a comedy performance for children, a group of both women and men dress up in what appear to be stereotype gypsy outfits. One of the men in a suit and trilby hat squeezes into a small pram, and one of the women, larking around, pretends to wipe "the baby's" face with a cloth. The group are watched by lot of young lads and lasses on the lawn, amused and laughing. [End of Kodacolor sequence.] The next sequences may have been filmed at a different Women's Institute event. Several women arrive at the Horton Grange gardens, some carrying small baskets, and admire one of the garden displays. Long trestle tables are arranged on the lawn in a cross shape. Women, young and old, begin to sit at the tables, or gather in small groups in the gardens. All the women are then seated at the trestle tables for tea, served by silver service waitresses. Portrait shot of two women in silver service outfits of black dresses and white aprons. After tea the women lounge around, some smoking. Group portraits follow of all the women seated outdoors, many wearing home made paper hats. More beanbag races take place. Portrait shot of a woman (?) dressed up in a kind of music hall beggar woman outfit, who pretend smokes a clay pipe. In the final sequence, Long Sword dancers perform in the grounds of Horton Grange. The sword dancers pose for the camera after performing. Context Rapping with a sword and the Women’s Institute Sisters of the Women’s Institute descend on a Tyneside publisher’s mansion for some vigorous sports day fun. Girls just want to have fun! Sir Joseph Reed, the Newcastle Daily Chronicle publisher was on hand to film local members of the Women’s Institute, including Lady Reed and daughter, enjoying silly sports and a silver service lunch in the 1930s at his Dinnington mansion, Horton Grange. This engaging home movie also captures the spirited performance of a visiting Northumbrian rapper sword dance troupe. Sir Joseph Reed, a printer’s devil at age 14 and knighted in 1922 for his services to the Press Association and newspaper industry in general, was part-proprietor and MD of the Newcastle broadsheet Daily Chronicle, launched on 1 May 1858 by Radical politician, journalist and Newcastle MP, Joseph Cowen. Also a progressive force and radical social network during a repressive era, despite its “jambuster” image, the Women’s Institute Movement in Britain numbered former suffragettes Edith Rigby and Grace Hadow, and social reformer Lady Gertrude Denman (first Chairman of the Family Planning Association), amongst its first representatives.