Film: 8485

Social History | 1940 | Sound | B/W


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Children's Society children's homes. (Similar to Barnardos). A nice cosy family visit to see what they are like. A couple of references to wartime matters.
A little girl is put to bed by her mother. Mother kisses child on head. Mother puts cuddly toy panda in bed with daughter. Father stands in doorway. He happily walks into room and asks for a night night kiss for daddy. Girl kneels in bed and puts arms round father's neck and hugs him. Parents leave room. There is a splendid mural of a witch on her broomstick on the wall. Mother turns out girl's bedroom light. Parents enter living room. She sits in armchair and takes up her embroidery, he stands by fireplace and lights pipe. He throws match into fireplace. He sits on arm of armchair and looks at newspaper to see what is on the radio. Husband turns on radiogram and man's voice speaks. We see the radio announcer, Frank Philips, as he talks about poor children. The wife looks thoughtful. The couple look meaningfully at each other as they hear the invitation to spend a couple of hours at a Children's' Society home that weekend. She stitches, he has his pipe.
Outside on a suburban street, a postman with a limp walks away from a post box as a couple walk along behind him. Children in street in background. A car pulls into large driveway. Closer shot of stationary car as family of mother father and girl get out. Girl carries panda (what's the betting she'll give that panda away to a child in the home?). Three year old boy, followed by matron opens door of Children's' Home. Playroom with about eight children in it. Two girls are on a see-saw, plus there are bikes, a high chair and young children on the floor. Eight year old middle class visiting girl offers three year old boy a sweet from a paper bag. He eagerly takes one. Girl in front f rocking horse. Baby girl in high chair. She holds a Rusk. Girl sitting in chair. Girl attempting to mount rocking horse - it's a bit big for her. Two girls having a good time on a rolling seesaw. View along see saw of girl as she rocks. Boy sits on floor with building blocks in front of him. He is three or four. The family in shot with child in high chair, child on floor and girl who now sits on rocking horse. In a nursery where several children are penned in their high sided cots. Close in on one crying child. A baby. A boy with curly hair and a winning smile. Boy is picked up by matron. Baby asleep in cot. Matron and parents as little boy walks off with girl's panda. She smiles delightedly at what is called a bit of 'lend-lease arrangement'. Adults walk along line of cot ends. Voiceover lists varieties of ways children are either orphaned or placed in the home - including death of a mother and father failing to cope with ten children, or of a 'father who went down with his ship' Children playing outdoors with three nurses. Two girls with a large doll's house. A little black child walks past in the foreground. Girl makes a play cot up? Two boys at a sandpit on a stand. Baby is weighed. Baby being bathed in full sized bath. The society deals with 60,000 children.
The outside of a very pleasant looking home. An older boy asleep in bed. Other boy walks up to his dormitory bed and pulls bedclothes back to wake him. Boys' washroom. Boys wear baggy shorts with braces but no shirts. Other boy enters and takes shirt off as he moves towards washbasin. Hands take a whole succession of toothbrushes from rack or toothbrush holder. These eight to 12 year old boys rush downstairs. Breakfast 'with helpings as generous as rations will allow'. Eight boys walk to school along pavement of suburban street. Matron checks clipboard with a cook and a nurse. Close up of school bell going off.
An 'old boy' at the door to say hello to matron. He is shown in by a nurse in his uniform - probably from the merchant navy. He shakes hands warmly with matron. She checks out his insignia on his arm. Young man and matron sit and chat. Young man sits in refectory. Man walks into room and takes at shot on a miniature billiard table. Three boys with a large train set or model railway layout. Train is derailed and boy moves to put it back on track. Boys in garden rake leaves. Boys with slide. Boys play leapfrog and jump over each other's backs. Scouts from the 2nd Knebworth Troop. Boys play billiards. Boys sitting at tables playing cards or reading. Boxing. A master talks to boys around an open fire at night.
Girls' school. Girl making bed and dusting. Girls using skipping ropes on a tennis court. Netball court. Girl throws ball at net and misses. Close up of sewing hands. One girl practices hairdressing on another girl. One of girls waiting is knitting. Older girls may stay on and help with running of school. Both boys and girls have pocket money. Boys learning printing. A tractor being driven.
A girl training as a nursery nurse attempting to get a baby in a high chair to eat from a spoon. She is successful.
Voiceover says the homes first case was a cripple. We see child on bed exercising arms and legs with system of pulleys. Girl tries to raise her hands over her head. A crippled girl in a classroom gets up from her seat and walks off with difficulty. Children gathered round teacher at piano. Nurses bandaged and plastering leg of child on a bed. Outdoors eight year old boy runs to where five year old stands. Close up of lapel badge of the junior branch - The Children's' Union. Children walking in callipers. Child in a nursery cot. The outside of an imposing home with large columns.
Indoors two girls cook. Preparing pastry. Girl uses little rolling pin to roll pastry. Girls have massive bows in their hair. Little table with six girls around it, one is black. They enjoy a tea party. One girl has soft toy panda seated on table next to her. Girl holds mug to panda's mouth. Parents tell little girl it's time to leave. She kisses two of the girls goodbye. Matron escorts family to door. Handshakes. Little boy appears. Family are waved goodbye by matron and little boy. At car girl talks to her mother who gives her permission to return with her panda. She rushes to boy and kisses him as she gives him the panda. He hugs the panda as matron stands closely behind him.
The radio announcer talks of need for the public's support. Couple sit in living room and man goes to bureau where he writes a cheque to the society.

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