Film: 8560

Social History | 1950 | Sound | B/W


An online film clip is not available yet, please contact us for a viewing


A film about working with the physically handicapped at Warlies Handicap Home, Waltham Abbey,Essex. Here, spastic and muscular dystrophy children live and are educated 1950's

Three boys riding horses in a tree-lined field. They stop and stand in a line, still on horseback. Voiceover explains that they are all pupils of Warlies School near Waltham Abbey, Essex. Three children slowly steer their horses towards a brick building. Gerald brushes his horse. Close up on sign, "Warlies". Longshot of view - pleasant trees and fields. Warlies is one of five residential schools run by Barnardos for spastics and sufferers of muscular dystrophy. Pan around to show stately building - white columns and large windows. Pan around the modern, single storey buildings, added later and linked by a pathway.

Cut to inside a classroom. Some children at the back sit on armchairs, the others sit in wheelchairs. Nurses stand at the back by the doorway. All bow their heads in prayer. Cut to a classroom. Close up on the posters on the wall. Pan down to show a girl sitting at desk. Walking stick rests beside her. Boy sits at a desk, with a large pillow supporting him on his chair. Other children write studiously. Teacher bends over one desk. Two boys measure rainwater in a graded cylander. Headmaster plays a spelling game with his class using word cards. Speech therapist helps a boy back into his seat and then takes another child out of the room for treatment. Speech therapist teaches Alan how to breathe properly. Alan blows small paper ships around a bowlful of water.

Headmaster coaches his class in archery. Close up of the arrow hitting the target. Women (nurses or teachers?) push wheelchair bound children around the grounds. Other children play around them. Children playing golf - some in wheelchairs, some who walk awkwardly. Boy retrieves a ball from a flower bed. Lots of children help with the gardening. Three boys who can walk pick up a spade, hoe and broom. Girls tend to flower beds. Two teachers supervise. Close up on Pauline (blind girl) playing with a gardening fork and smiling. Girls in wheelchairs hoe the soil. Girl in leg braces pulls up carrotts.

Cut to physiotherapy session. Row of children lie on their backs. Teachers and therapists stretch their legs and the children are encouraged to pedal in the air. Physiotherapist bangs a tambourine and the children pedal in time, assisted by the theachers. Therapist helps a child straighten his fingers. Boys practice deep breathing excersises.

Children sit in a circle in a classroom. Teacher behind them puts a record on the player. Children play along on percussion instruments (tambourines, drums etc). Slow pan up from the wheels of a wheelchair, to a wicker seat frame, and a young girl playing a recorder. Different girl cuts paper at a desk. Other girl paints. Girl knits with large needles. Girl does embroidery. Cut to 'boys past-times'. They hammer nails. Two others make a picure frame. Boy paints a rocking horse. Gerald catches a fish from a dingy looking lake. Headmaster rushes over to him with a net and proudly shows his gathered friends. Different boy relaxes by the side of the water, with his fishing rod, and a handkerchief over his face. He jumps up as he thinks there is a bite on the line. He eats a sandwich.

Two boys paint a large draughts set. Headmaster oversees two boys playing chess. Boys in wheelchairs play draughts on the huge set - they use sticks to move the pieces on the board at their feet. Graham wheels himself outside to where a tricycle is parked. Graham hoists himself into the saddle and rides off. Madeline, wearing a girl guides uniform, irons a handkerchief to earn her laundry badge. Guides outside salute the flag. Barbera has her uniform inspected.

Outside the main door, a bus with a ramp is loaded up with the wheelchair bound children. Other children are carried up the ramp. They are being taken to either church or chapel. Barbara is assisted up the ramp. Van drives away. Children are carried into church through a tree-lined walkway. Those who can walk follow on behind. Vicar greets them at the doorway. Van returns the children to Warlies.

Slow pan down old building called Golding, the Barnardo School in Hertfordshire. David, an adult who walks with sticks, was brought up in Barnardos homes, walks towards the camera. He is training at Golding. He mixes with able bodied people. Cut to David sitting in a workroom, mending shoes. He is supervised by a man in a white coat. Able-bodied boys do the same in an adjacent room. Close up on David's hands. David and others in a workroom. Paddy, another ex-Harrowgate pupil, enters a room and demonstrates his trade as a clock maker. Close up on his hands polishing a clock facing. Pan around finished clocks.

Sign outside giving directions to Woodlands Camp and Workshop. Inside workshop (in Farnham, Surrey), Ivy learns a trade. She sits at a workbench and cuts wood using a small saw. Ivy gathers her cut-out toys into her lap and wheels them out to be glued and painted. She sells toys for her own profit. Ivy shows off her finished toys. Ivy wheels herself down a path, away from the camera. The End.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 8560.