Film: 6718

Education | 1970 | Sound | Colour


A look at village life in Britain in the 1970's

Panoramic shot of an English village: 'a group of houses with fields all around': brick buildings, chimneys, a simple church and tower, hills and trees. Bicycles travelling down a small road. An empty winding road surrounded by thatched houses, gardens: a village is usually quieter than a town or city, with fewer vehicles. The school bell (manual) being rung in the distance can be heard. Three children run down a garden path, across a plank bridge over a stream, up a grassy verge. The school bell rings in its notch on the school wall; the children run round the corner and in through the gate into the small brown brick compound. Close-up of the school bell ringing. Two boys, one holding an exercise book, clamber over a stile en route to school. A group of four girls cross a low bridge over a stream, surrounded by trees.

Schoolchildren sit at wooden tables; a wheel (spinning wheel?) and several pictures and drawings on the wall behind them. They are learning about the village and drawing pictures of it. A boy draws the village pump. Two boys and three girls walk along a stream; the boys get water from the village pump, as everyone in the village did years ago.

Three children, learning about the village church, walk towards it, stop and look before crossing the road, walk up the path alongside the churchyard.

A lady and two toddlers leaving the village post office - a room in one of the small cottages. Close-up of the post office's rectangular sundial, which was once used to tell the time.

The manor house, a grand 19th? century building, sitting at the end of a tree-lined path: the 'one big house' that many villages have. Two schoolgirls making a lino print of the manor house. Close-up of the picture which fades into the real house.

Children walk down a road lined by thatched roof houses. Shots of different types of thatched roof and cuts of straw. A thatcher sits bare-torsoed on top of a roof thatching/repairing it, the way his father and grandfather did. Close-up of him patting and pegging the straw into place.

A woodcarver in his studio. Close-up of the fox's head he's carving at the end of a walking stick. The finished products on a stand: fox, duck and owl head walking sticks. The blacksmith and his partner in his workshop - dark, grimy and full of horse-shoes. More shots of them fanning the bellows, cutting, heating and hammering the metal into a horse-shoe shape, chiselling holes into the horse-shoe.
The saddler sitting on his porch making a leather bridle; a leather saddle sits on the railing in the foreground. Close-up of him stitching the bridle: his is a dying trade. The blacksmith finishing up the horse-shoe: 'Listen to the different noises in the blacksmith's forge' (the fire, the hammering, the filing, etc). Close-up of a horse's hoof being shoed with a hammer and nails.

A handwritten wooden sign on a brick wall: 'SLOW DOWN. DUCKS CROSSING.' A duck/goose waddles across the road by a pond; a collie looks on; quacks are heard. The duck/goose reaches the pond, takes to the water. Credits.


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