Film ID: YFA 3412 Video of YFA_3412 Out And About In Yorkshire 1950 OUT AND ABOUT IN YORKSHIRE 1950 Visitor TabsDescription Made by Lucy Fairbank, this film documents her visits to tourist destinations in North Yorkshire including Aysgarth Falls and Brimham Rocks. She is accompanied by friends on these excursions. Title – Out and about in Yorkshire Ingleton The film opens with some women walking across a field where cows are grazing. They then cross over a river using stepping stones before making their way into a field with sheep. Here, the women pick flowers off a small tree. Title – A few happy memories in Alne, near York. Aug. 1950. Some men stack hay bales, and an elderly couple and some children, accompanied by a small horse and dog, wander around the farm. They look on as whilst the wheat (or barley) is cut by a harvester. The group visits a detached house called Holly Bank. Apple trees have been planted on the property. In a village a Pullman bus pulls up, and there is a sign for the ‘Fox Goose.’ Some children ride by on bicycles, and Alne Church can be seen. An elderly woman and a man with a dog chat outside the house. After walking though a garden filled with flowers, a small girl poses for the camera with the dog. A sign shows, ‘Malham, Yorkshire.’ A car drives down a country lane and stops outside a house near Malham Cove where there is a cyclist and walkers. Two women walk across stepping stones to over a stream, and sheep are grazing nearby. A woman pushes a pram over the bridge in Malham village. The group then drive off to Richmond where they sit on the river bank overlooking Richmond Castle and bridge. Title – Outing to the Dales, with Carr Lane friends. There is a street sign for the A6108 shows Reeth 10 ¼ Richmond 11 ¼, and a group of people board a coach (possibly Leyburn). Title – Aysgarth Falls, Wenslydale. A group of women and children are visiting the falls, and one of the women is holding a brown cine camera. The whole group pose for the camera in front of the falls. At Fountains Abbey, the tour group unload their car and have a picnic while sitting on picnic chairs. The group have a walk around Studley Royal Water gardens and have tea in the car park before looking around the Abbey. Title – Brimham Rocks The Wonder of Nidderdale The group walk around the Rocks, and some of the members have their camera with them. Title – With friends from Slaithwaite Centenary. A sign shows ‘Nostell Priory Open Today at 2 pm.’ The group pose for the camera while standing outside the Priory and then again as they exit the Priory. The film closes with a baby in a pram. The End Context Out and about in Yorkshire is one of very many films made by teacher Lucy (Louisa) Fairbank, who lived in Linthwaite, Huddersfield. Lucy became interested in filming in the early 1930s when she joined the Huddersfield Cine Club, which was founded in 1932 (still going today as the Huddersfield Video and Cine Club). Having learnt filming techniques from her fellow members, Lucy bought a fairly expensive Sieman’s cine camera (which cost £29 in 1939). Her earliest films date from 1934, and she continued filming to at least 1962, with a break during the war years when film was difficult to obtain. The YFA has copies of some of the films from the 1930s and 1950s. Lucy made some exceptional film of the local area around Linthwaite, with intimate portraits of the people and places. One of these is from 1938; another, a longer and more extensive film of the Colne Valley, is in four parts, beginning in 1956. What gives these films special interest is the fact that they are of working class people in working class areas. At this time, in the 1930s, making films was a very expensive hobby that could only be afforded by the well-heeled, mill owners and the like. With a relatively small income as a teacher, Lucy may well have been helped with the costs of filming and travel by her businessman father. Of equal interest are the many films that Lucy made of the children at the school in which she taught, Linthwaite Council Infant’s School, through the 1930s and into the 1950s. These films capture perfectly the children doing exercises, dancing and playing in the playground. She also filmed local weddings, which may still be in the possession of the families filmed. Another kind of film that is prominent in the collection are travel films: of Yorkshire, as with this film and Beautiful Yorkshire (1936), other parts of Britain, and abroad. Lucy was a keen traveller, and took holidays with her friend, the headteacher at her school, Miss Mountain (who later married and moved out of the area), and who appears frequently in the films. In one of these, Munich to Innsbruck, Lucy filmed close up the newly elected Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, at the 1934 300 year anniversary of the Passion Play at Oberammergau. One of her former pupils, Ian Baxter, to whom she passed on her collection, recollects Lucy as a fairly stern teacher; but the obvious joy of those in all of her films indicate that Lucy was well liked. After retiring in the early 1950s, through to at least 1963, Lucy would put on regular film shows (29 in 1956) around the locality through the winter months, mainly in Churches, especially Methodists ones. Lucy was herself a member of Wellhouse Methodist Church, who were the beneficiaries of some of the money raised at the showings. Lucy would often note the attendance and money raised, as well as comment on how appreciative the audience were, and whether the children were well-behaved! Travelogue films of this kind were not uncommon at this time – indeed they have been one of the principle types of films that amateur filmmakers have made through the years. The YFA has many similar films from the 1920s onwards, where filmmakers show local places of interest, interspersed with inter-titles noting the places, and sometimes the dates. A similar film, for example, is The Dales, made by Ernest Taylor in 1945, which also shows Aysgarth Falls. However, many of these are content to just show the places visited, whilst others, like Lucy’s, are as much concerned to show the friends with whom she is travelling. This difference is noticeable when this film is compared with Lucy’s earlier Beautiful Yorkshire: here the emphasis is on the buildings, whereas in Out and about in Yorkshire the focus is on the people. It isn’t known who exactly the people, or friends, are in the film. There seem to be at least three different groups of people and we can only speculate as to who they might be. It is a fair guess that the ‘Carr Lane friends’ are members of Slaithwaite Methodist Church, which was (and still is), situated on Carr Lane, given that Lucy was a Methodist, and later gave several shows there. What is noticeable about this group is the woman having what looks like a cine camera, who could have been a member of Huddersfield Cine Club, and possibly one of the few other women at the time taking cine film. Nor is it known what ‘Slaithwaite Centenary’ refers to. Many of the places that are visited in the film are familiar to many in Yorkshire and beyond. Malham Cove, Brimham Rocks and Fountains Abbey turn up in a good number of the films held with the YFA. The picturesque view of Richmond Castle from across the River Swale and looking onto the Green Bridge, is a very familiar one. Lucy films from almost the exact same spot as a photo taken by the famous photographer Francis Frith in 1929; and another, earlier, film on YFA Online, West Riding of Yorkshire, shows the opposite view: from the Castle down onto the River where Lucy is filming from. There is much less film of the twelve century Nostell Priory. Unfortunately we do not get to see the inside with the famous interiors designed by Robert Adam in 1766, the Charles Winn Library and the Chippendale furniture. The need for good light made it very difficult to film indoors, irrespective of whether it would have been allowed. Much rarer still are visits to the village of Alne, north of York, just off the A19. Alne originated from an alder swamp, but it has a long history with the Church of St Mary the Virgin dating back to the 12th century. Apparently it is the local custom for newly married couples there to ‘buy’ their way out as they go through the Church gate, which is tied and decorated by the local children for the occasion (see The North Yorkshire Village Book). Clearly Lucy knew the woman living in ‘Holly House’, but we do not know whether this is a friend or a relative. Apart from children, Lucy also had a special fondness for dogs (and cats), and these often get special attention, as in this case. References North Yorkshire Federations of Women’s Institutes, The North Yorkshire Village Book, Countryside Books, Newbury, 1991. Roly Smith, Francis Frith’s Yorkshire Dales, Frith Book Company, 2002.