Film ID:
YFA 3101

RAMSDEN NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES

1950s

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by Betty and Cyril Ramsden, this film captures the festivities of New Year's Eve house parties. The couple were semi-professional filmmakers filming both for pleasure and taking on commissions from companies such as the Yorkshire Evening Post. Five New Year's Eve parties are filmed both at the Ramsden's home as well as Betty's sister's Freda. Party guests include Betty's parents, (Mr and Mrs Howarth) her two sisters and their husbands; Freda and "Bunny" Heywood, Eunice and Leslie Fear, and old friends Mary Day and Joan Valentine. During the parties they play many games together with both Betty and Cyril filming the events.

Title-A Ramsden Film

Title-Christmas Crackers

Film opens with one of the women eating a stick of celery and pretending to be surprised by the camera.

Four of the women and one of the men stand at a microphone and sing.

There is a brief shot of Freda and some of the others singing on their own.

Betty's parents sit in armchairs and smile at the camera.

Freda holds a stick of celery and dances around the microphone while she is singing. There is a brief shot of Mr Howarth and then another shot of Freda playing the celery stick as if it was a trumpet. One of the women in another armchair with celery roars laughing.

Cyril and the other people sing at the microphone, and then he sings into an item in his hand and jokes about. This is followed by Freda doing a dance and using her hands to move around.

Cyril and another man sing into the microphone while he holds a tankard of beer; he then drinks from it.

Title-Festive Frolics
Freda is sitting down. She smiles at the camera and makes other expressions. The other women in turn all sit down and act as if they are having a conversation with the camera man. When it is Cyril's turn, he claps and makes funny faces.

In the next shots, the group dance around while wearing party hats and some of them sing. Freda jokes about with Cyril, dancing around him, and he pretends to be going mad. The guests all take turns wearing the hats and posing in humorous ways.

They stand in a group singing while one of the women pretends to conduct them.

Title-Frivolity at Freda's

A calendar date of Monday 31 December comes up on screen over the image of a snowy garden.

Cyril ties balloons to bunting strung up around a sitting room.

There is a brief shot of Mr. Howarth and then a of a programme on television. Three of the women sit and watch it while Cyril mixes drinks on a tray.

Four of the women stand around the piano and sing while Cyril pretends to conduct them.

Cyril has a scarf tied around his head and dances beside another woman with a trilby hat on her head.

Title-Feeding the Famished.

All of the guests sit around the dining room. Freda brings a tray of sandwiches around and offers them to people. Then she offers a tray of small desserts. This is followed by a shot of all of the empty plates and trays.

The calendar date of Monday 31 December fades into Tuesday 1 January.

Freda gives Cyril a kiss, and then there are shots of all of the guests kissing each other on the mouth and having a drink as the New Year begins.

They play party games including throwing playing cards into a hat.

Title-Conversation Piece!

Cyril and one of the women talk at each other while Mrs Howarth laughs in the background. They end up laughing too. Cyril tries the game with another two of the women.

Title-The Subject Is?

Title-`Nitting!'
The guests play charades and they all laugh.

Title-`Shoeing a Horse'

They all pretend to shoe a horse.

Title-One for the road

Freda brings out pots of tea and pours it out for her guests. They all drink their tea in comical ways.

Finally, one of the guests leaves the house and goes out into the dark, snowy street.

Title-Hogmanay High spots.

The scene opens with Freda playing the piano and some of the guests stand around and sing. In the next shot one of the men plays a saxophone as they sing beside the piano.

One of the women plays the piano, and the woman beside her puts a stick in her hair.

They party-goers play another game. It is a race to see who can blow a ping pong ball from glass to glass.

All the guests sit around and sing, but they are all doing the same specific hand movements to the song.

There is a shot of a clock reading midnight and then a brief shot of the mechanism inside of the clock striking the bell.

Freda opens the front door to Cyril who enters and gives her some items from his pocket. Again the guests all kiss each other on the mouth to celebrate the New Year and hold hands as they sing `Auld Lang Syne'.

Title-Eat, Drink and Be Merry New Year's Eve 1952

Zoomed in shot of a card with a snowman on it; it reads `greetings'.

Freda enters the room with a Christmas cake and places it on a table laden down with food.

All the guests sit down and eat the food. In the next shot, they all have paper and pencils and are writing things down as they appear to play some sort of party game.

Cyril measures drinks into glasses as the others eat sandwiches, sweets and joke about with the camera.

Betty has a celebratory drink with one of the other women and smiles at the camera.

They all pretend to sleep.

Title-Careless Rapture.

The table is laden with food. One of the women pours tea, and Betty helps to pass the food around. They all smile for the camera.

Freda jokes about with a celery stick in her mouth, and then in the next shot, Betty stands in front of all of the women as they all read a copy of the `Evening Post'. They all search for something in the paper, and the camera zooms in to their legs as they all cross them at the same time and in the same direction.

They all play another party game where they try to walk along a line on the ground while looking through binoculars. This is followed by yet another game involving match sticks and party hats.

Cyril gives Betty some items from his pocket and they kiss. The rest of the guests all kiss each other in celebration and sing `Auld Lang Syne'.

The final shot in this scene is a picture of the "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" monkeys with the title-`Boy! What a party!

Title-New Year's Eve 1954

All the guests are sitting around.

Cyril enters the house and gives Freda some items from his pocket.

They all link arms and sing `Auld Lang Syne'

Title-The End