Film ID: YFA 428 Video of YFA 428 Huddersfield International Club Opening Night HUDDERSFIELD INTERNATIONAL CLUB OPENING NIGHT 1968 Visitor TabsDescription This film deals with the issue of race relations and the immigrant community in Huddersfield, specifically in terms of education. It was filmed shortly after the famous "Rivers of Blood" speech given by Enoch Powell which addressed the rise in immigration during this time period. The film opens with a man, John Murray, announcing the opening of the International Club for the Springwood Adult Education Centre. He is standing in the middle of a dance floor surrounded by people dancing. The crowd has gathered this evening to sign a paper in support of a town official in favour of racial harmony. The diverse crowd can be seen dancing to music and dressed in fashions very typical of the 1960s. Later in the film, the principal of the Adult Education Centre is interviewed. He feels mainly education will help race relations within the community. Immigrants from India, Pakistan, and the West Indies make up 10% of the population (about 10-12,000 people) of Huddersfield. The principal’s hope is that through education, ignorance will no longer breed prejudice within the community. Intercut with this interview are examples of members of the immigrant community including one man near his shop and another man loading a musical instrument into the back of a vehicle. There are also shots of the city streets and older members of the community. Context This is a film of the opening night of the Huddersfield International Club at the Springwood Avenue Adult Education Centre, which took place on 27th April 1968. The film was made by John Murray, a filmmaker who also ran the Film Unit at Leeds University Audio-Visual Service – the YFA has a large collection of other films made by John Murray. This was just a week after Enoch Powell's so-called 'Rivers of Blood' speech, which was delivered to a Conservative Association meeting in Birmingham on April 20th 1968. Given the time such an event would take to organise, it was probably organised before Powell's speech, rather than as a response to it; in any case, it was thought by the makers that the film would make an interesting news item. Powell's speech was made in Birmingham, just down the road from his Wolverhampton constituency, which had recently had an influx of West Indians and Kenyan Asians. The speech had huge repercussions, which remain to this day. Powell got little sympathy from Conservative Party leader Edward Heath – who Powell had lost out to in a recent leadership contest – and who sacked Powell from the Shadow Cabinet. The speech was something of a self-fulfilling prophecy: inflaming racial tensions, with thousands of workers marching in his support. The need to develop understanding and sharing between different ethnic cultures was clearly felt then, as it still is. The film deals with the issue of race relations and the immigrant community in Huddersfield, specifically in terms of education. It was introduced by John Murray and includes an interview with M.U. Rahman who was the Principal and also the founder of the club. The function was organised by the Race Relations Study Group, who at the time were running a series of lectures and discussions under the title of ‘The Rainbow Community’. The idea was to help promote understanding between different nationalities and cultures. According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner (29th April 1968, p. 5), it included a beat group, Pakistani, Indian and English food, a fashion parade and a preliminary heat of the ‘Miss Caribbean’ beauty contest. It was attended by some 350 people, of which two hundred signed up to form the International Club. This was followed up by a further event on 24th September which elected officials for the Club, followed by a party entertained by the Lockwood Silver Prize Band (see the Huddersfield Daily Examiner 25th September 1968, p. 6). The Huddersfield Daily Examiner claims that Mr Rahman, the secretary, stated here that the Club was social and recreational, not political. The film shows the area around Springfield, which had an immigrant population. One of the dancers in the film is Trevor Burgin of Huddersfield Education Authority, who wrote Spring Grove: The Education Of Immigrant Children, the year before, and Practical Suggestions for Teachers of Immigrant Children in 1970; both published by the Commission for Racial Equality. Another one of the dancers is a West Indian nursing sister involved in the project, Joanna Mapp. The film cameraman was Keith Hardy, working for the Yorkshire Film Company, in Huddersfield, which he later ran. Hardy came from a show business family, and this stood him in good stead for his career in filming where he became highly sought after, producing a great variety of films, including the official record of the lifting of the Mary Rose, the Elizabethan flagship. References ‘Race group hold International Evening’, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 29th April 1968, p. 5. ‘Internationalists’, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 25th September 1968, p. 6. ‘Captivating Skills of the Cameraman’, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 14th July 1986. Profile of Keith Hardy Robert Winder, Bloody Foreigners, Abacus Books, 2005.