Film ID: YFA 4450 Video of YFA 4450 Rowntrees Sports Day 1946 ROWNTREES SPORTS DAY 1946 Visitor TabsDescription A film of the first Rowntrees Sports day after the end of the Second World War, showing all the events, and naming the winners, who often pose for the camera. It is accompanied by a humorous commentary. Title - 'Sports Day' Filmed by Debenham & Co. Beverley. Recorded by Imperial Sound Studios. Music by M.de Wolfe The film begins showing the outside of the Rowntree Theatre and the Cocoa Works on Haxby Road. The commentary states that this is not only a factory but also a community that cares for the welfare of the workforce. Women workers wearing white overalls rush out of the main factory gates, followed by those taking a more leisurely pace. The commentary states that there follows a film of the first post-war meeting of the yearly athletics sports event held at the end of June on the company's fields, with a commentary by the Chairman of the Sports Committee. The first race is a sprint for boys between 14 and 16 won by L. Quinn of the Dispatch Department. Next comes the men's sprint, won by James Chapman of Engineers, who is congratulated by the second and third placed runners. Then the girls' sprint, won by Mary Barker, and the 14 to 16 year olds boys' 200m race won by Tom Armstrong. As it begins to rain, and the spectators get under umbrellas, there is the men's 200m race. Then there is a 1 mile walking race, won by George Attlee, being filmed by another filmmaker. Another one of the competitors, coming in third, is Arthur Morgan who lost his sight during the war. The announcer is shown as it starts to rain again, and spectators clap from the side lines. A Taylor wins the 200m handicapped race for boys aged 16 to 18. Then comes the 100 yards open, attracting some of the finest runners from the north of England, won by D A Stevenson, with E Wagstaff of Leeds Athletic Club second. Then there is a tug-of-war, followed by a women's three legged race, with one pair falling over. This is won by Jean Dundas and Lila Try. In the 80 yards senior girls, Jean Downy of Boxmill Department comes first. As the rain continues to pour, the spectators seem happy enough but it is decided to postpone the event. It resumes the evening of the following Wednesday, when there are more races, including a women's obstacle race and a girls' hurdle race, won by Doreen Whitehead. There then follows two men's hurdling races, the second won by Tom Gardener of the technical staff, the only one wearing proper modern athletic dress and hurdling correctly. Just before the women's sack race, the spectators and a brass band with the factory displaying a giant 'Rowntrees' banner in the background can be sseen. The three winners of the women's sack race pose for the camera. Then there is a women's skipping race, with the three winners doing a skipping demonstration for the camera. Then another boys' sprint race followed by the boys' and the men's potato races. After the last race, with the brass band still playing, Mrs G J Harris, the wife of the Company Chairman, gives out the prizes and the two Championship Shields. The men's champion is Tom Gardener of the technical staff and the girl's (sic) champion is Mary Barker of the Cake Department. The End Context This is one of a large collection of films from the Rowntree Archive that YFA has recently been able to restore and digitise with the aid of Nestlé funding. The collection mainly consists of adverts, many dating from the 1950s onwards, covering just about every product that Rowntree has produced over this period, as well as of the Rowntree family in the 1930s. Coupled with this film is one on the Rowntree Dunollie Rest House Scarborough from around the same time, 1947. For more on the advertising films see Mr York of York, Yorks (1929) and the Contexts for the various advert films available to view online. This was the first Rowntree Sports Day since the end of the war, in June 1946. Photographs of the event can be found on the Cocoa Works Magazine (CWM) of Summer 1946, although this doesn’t provide any record of who competed in the game, nor is there any mention of this film. The following Summer’s CWM does give a list of the winners. By and large the winners for this year have changed; although Mary Barker wins again, only this time in the hurdles and the sack race. The Rowntree enterprise might be traced back to Mary Tuke, from a persecuted Quaker family, who in 1725 opened a grocer’s shop in Walmgate, York; later moving to Coppergate. By 1815 Tuke’s started making cocoa and chocolate. It was this side that Henry Isaac Rowntree bought in 1862, transferring the production from Castlegate to premises by the river at Tanners Moat. Much prior to this, in 1822, his father, Joseph Rowntree, set up a shop on 28 Pavement as a “Grocer and tea-dealer”. Joseph Rowntree died in 1859 and the shop passed to his son, Joseph Rowntree Jnr., who was to become much more famous. In 1869 Joseph merged his business with that of his slightly younger brother. The small family business struggled through to the 1880s, when help was at hand via French confectioner, Claude Gaget, who introduced them to his gums and pastilles, which went on to sell extremely well; as did ‘Elect Cocoa’ launched in 1887. Having become a limited liability company in 1897, eventually, in 1890, Rowntree bought the 29 acres on Haxby Road. This was followed by the purchase of another 31 acres just to the north in 1899, and a further 53 acres to the north east in 1905. The move to the site was completed in 1906. By 1909 it was employing 4,000 workers. In 1914 another 23 acres was bought just to the east of the site. By this time the site had a school, a gymnasium and dining facilities for 3,000. This was much larger site than that of York’s other, and older, chocolate manufacturers, Terry’s, situated in Bishopthorpe Road (production stopped here in 2005). Like many of his fellow Quakers who became wealthy businessmen, Joseph Rowntree Jnr developed a reputation for treating his employees well. This was true also of his fellow Quaker chocolate manufacturing rivals, Joseph Storr Fry and George Cadbury. Indeed, many Victorian Quakers became famous as philanthropists and campaigners for social reform. For the Rowntree's it was a family trait, started by Joseph Rowntree Snr, and passed down the generations, with Joseph Rowntree Jnr perhaps the most notable of them all. At one time Quakers had a huge presence in British industry, which is drastically reduced today (see Alan Barclay, References). This benevolence and reforming zeal took on many forms. Like George Cadbury, his friend Joseph Rowntree built a model village, that of New Earswick, with its school and many other facilities. Designed by proponents of the garden village movement, planner Raymond Unwin and architect Barry Parker – who went on to design the first Garden City at Letchworth – this wasn’t just for employees at Rowntree’s but for the "working people" of York – see also the Contexts for Free To Grow Up and Joseph Rowntree Senior School – New Earswick (1947). They both also set up trusts. Although Cadbury was the first to do so, those of Joseph Rowntree have proven to be far more long-lasting, far-reaching and influential. He believed that poverty had social causes that could be remedied. Like the Scottish born American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, both Rowntree and Cadbury believed that great wealth ought not to be inherited, but should be passed on for the good of society (although they all died extremely wealthy). On the death of Henry in 1883, Joseph Rowntree became the owner of the company. As well as running this fast-growing business, Rowntree devoted a considerable time to public work. He served on the committee responsible for two Quaker schools in York and taught in an Adult School on Sunday. Rowntree also played a leading role in the establishment of the York Public Library. He also provided a park in York as a memorial to those killed during the First World War. Rowntree was a supporter of the Liberal Party. In 1907 he funded the Nation, a weekly journal that advocated social reform. Three years later he helped purchase the Morning Leader and The Star, in order to stop the newspapers falling into the hands of supporters of the Conservative Party. Influenced by the bookPoverty, A Study of Town Life, written by his son Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, Joseph Rowntree attempted to improve the quality of his employees' lives. He provided a library in the factory and free education for workers under seventeen. A social welfare officer, doctor and a dentist were employed to provide free services for the workforce. Joseph Rowntree also donated £10,000 in 1906 to establish a Pension Fund for his workers. One of his main innovations was to give the workers a say in the appointment of their immediate supervisors. A long time active member of the Temperance Society, Rowntree wrote several books and pamphlets on the subject including The Temperance Problem and Social Reform (1900), Public Control of the Liquor Trade (1903) and The Taxation of the Liquor Trade (1906). Like most other Christian denominations, non-conformist or Anglican, Quakers focused initially on temperance. According to Andrew Martin they thought, ‘that drinking chocolate would provide a popular alternative to alcohol’ (References). But Rowntree soon looked at other causes of poverty, such as housing and social care. This resulted in the establishment of three trusts: the Village Trust, the Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Rowntree Social Services Trust. All these were set up in 1904 when Joseph was 68 – endowing them with half his fortune. Joseph did not anticipate the Trusts to be long-lasting; but his principle of focusing on research, and not just projects which alleviating the effects of poverty, meant that they took on a life of their own. His son, Seebohm, continued these principles, although his first researches on poverty predate the Trusts by some six years – see the Context for Seebohm Rowntree, Wife And Friends (1935/36) for more on Seebohm. As can be seen in the film, at this time around half the employees at the factory were women. The moral behaviour of women was an early concern for the religious minded Rowntree, and in 1891 a Lady Welfare Supervisor was appointed to oversee this, especially as some were as young as 13. In comparison with that has been written about the Rowntree family relatively little has been recorded of the experiences of those who actually worked at the cocoa works. Such testimony as there is tends to paint a different picture from the one that would see an empowered and contented workforce. In the BBC oral history archive one former woman worker recalls that, “it was like being at school actually” – see CocoaReworks (References). Another example of an enterprise that sought to integrate the workface through its own recreational facilities and events is Newton Chambers works at Thorncliffe – see Thorncliffe - A Story of Enterprise in its Seventh Generation (1953). Joseph jnr.’s other son, John Wilhelm Rowntree, was concerned that the dominant strain of evangelical fundamentalist theology was stifling, and so he sought to bring together religion with social and international issues through study circles and summer schools ( a project for a ‘civil religion’ that can be found still today in the work of, for example, Andrew Shanks). He was part of the ‘new Quakerism’ and was influential in setting up the Quaker ‘settlement’ of Woodbrooke, in Birmingham, in 1903. Upon his death two years later the Yorkshire 1905 Committee was established to carry on his work, especially in the field of adult education. The Trusts have had a remarkable history, and have branched out beyond poverty and housing into international peace, social justice and democratic reform. Joseph Rowntree deliberately set up the Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust to be non-charitable organisations so as not to be restricted by the laws regulating charities regarding political work. In his 1904 Memorandum for the Trusts he wrote of the need for ‘searching out the underlying causes’ of social problems, and was critical of mere charity. He goes on to state; “If the enormous volume of philanthropy of the present day were wisely directed it would, I believe, in the course of a few years, change the face of England.” Clearly this has not happened, as the continued existence of the Trusts testifies – for more recent developments see Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust publications (References). In his honour the Joseph Rowntree Memorial Library was built, designed by distant cousin Fred Rowntree, who died just before the building was opened in 1927. Now, although Grade II listed, unfortunately no longer functioning as a library (at the time of writing, March 2012, it is due to become a crèche and café). In 1969 Rowntree merged with Mackintosh, and became part of Nestlé in 1988. At this point the Trusts became totally independent and the archive was split up, with paperwork going to the Borthwick Institute and other items to the York Castle Museum. References Elizabeth Jackson, ‘Joseph Rowntree (1801), Citizen of York’, York Historian, 23:2003 Joe Murphy, The History of Rowntree’s in Old Photographs, York Publishing Services, 2007. Joseph Melling, ‘Welfare Capitalism and the Origins of Welfare States: British Industry, Workplace Welfare and Social Reform, C. 1870-1914’, Social History, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Oct., 1992). Andrew Shanks, Civil Society, Civil Religion, Blackwell, Oxford, 1995.Joseph Rowntree Inheritance Joseph Rowntree Reform TrustTrusting In Change Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Mark Freeman, Quaker Extension c.1905-1930: The Yorkshire 1905 Committee Borthwick Institute, University Of York Geoff Bunn, Charlie and the chocolate factory Alan Barclay, 'The Rise And Fall Of The Friends', Management Today, 1st February 1995.The Development Trusts AssociationCocoaReworks This has also produced a booklet with the same information, Memories of Rowntrees Emma Robertson, Working at Rowntrees in York, BBC LegaciesAndrew Martin, ‘Death by chocolate’, Guardian Further Information Ian Bradley, Enlightened Entrepreneurs, Lion Hudson, 2nd ed., 2007. Joseph Melling, ‘British Employers and the Development of Industrial Welfare’, Phd Thesis, Glasgow, 1980. Ian Packer, ‘Religion and the New Liberalism: the Rowntree family, Quakerism and Social Reform’, Journal of British Studies, 42, April, 2003.