Film: 928

Places + Locations | 1920 | Silent | B/W


Grimsby, Lincolnshire is seen from a car and a tram - there are many shots of the town centre from the time (streets, trams, traffic and so on) quite a lot seen through the car's windscreen. An attempt at some fictional narrative is also clear, with a female central character, perhaps shot by members of some kind of amateur film club in the late twenties or early thirties - there are no titles or effects of any kind on the print.

We see a large English country house in front of a wide road, surrounded by some other houses and trees, looking like part of an out-of-town village; a car passes between us and the house. A steam train billowing smoke slowly approaches elsewhere in the village, with a line of telegraph poles alongside the track behind. From the front seat of a car, looking through the windscreen, we stop at a level crossing, a large white building and several trees behind it. Next to the track the train passes quite quickly. Through the windscreen again, the train zooms past, the gates swing open and the car crosses, past a couple of motorbikes and another car moving in the opposite direction.

In a bigger, busier part of town a tram passes in front of a tall hotel-like stone building with bare trees and railings around it as a few pedestrians walk by. We see a main road in town with traffic (a tram, an ambulance and so on), cyclists and pedestrians. Close-up of the word "AMBULANCE" painted on its side. We watch the rear doors (each adorned with a cross) but they do not open. A man pushes a long cart across the road in front of a tram. A car emerges from a side road. It pulls out into a line of other cars. The ambulance's rear door is now open and an injured man is wheeled away on a stretcher by three men in black.

A policeman stands in a road further out of town (perhaps in the country) with many trees beside it directing traffic and he makes one open-top car stop before approaching the driver. He checks the driver's wallet then gives it back and walks around the front of the vehicle, which starts to leave but he calls it back and talks to the driver again. With a couple of old ladies now watching from the pavement he signals the car to leave, which it does. He signals another large motor car to stop and approaches the cab as before. Again he questions the driver. We now see she is a young woman, maybe 24 years old, who looks a little uncomfortable as the police officer takes and inspects her documents - she has quite a lot to say. We see the two still talking from the front. Now seen from the side, the cop checks the front of the vehicle as before then returns to the driver's door and opens it again. The policeman writes the woman's details down in his notebook. The car drives off. The policeman watches it leave then turns back to the oncoming traffic and makes another 'stop' signal. A car drives quickly past us. Another one moves along more slowly. It drives into the distance.

On another wide country road, perhaps on the town of Grimsby outskirts, a long bus passes a slow moving empty grocery truck. We follow another car - the same one the policeman just stopped - as it drives along and stops at the roadside. The driver gets out - it is the same woman again. She looks around thinking. A tram, a couple of cyclists and a few pedestrians are on the avenue ahead of her. We follow the woman as she anxiously runs past us, wearing a neat matching jacket and skirt, towards the tram. She boards it and heads straight upstairs. She sits down inside near the front of the upper deck.

In a hospital ward, two patients lie with bandaged heads in their beds while a nurse tends to one of them. Back on the tram the woman sits anxiously. She gets up and leans out of the window. In the street below another policeman is directing traffic as we pass by, now clearly getting nearer the town centre. The tram moves on through town as we look out, seeing a tall church spire not far away. The woman stands and looks out again. We look out too as the tram passes under a bridge.

In the ward a doctor is now with the nurse checking the unconscious patient. The woman fidgets in the tram. We keep moving along an avenue with a distinctive building with a dome and spire in the background. The doctor carefully lifts and rests the prostrate patient's bandaged and plastered arm back into bed and tucks it up under the blanket while the nurse stands by and helps. Cars, trams and people pass on a very busy road in the town centre. The woman steps off the tram, looks around wondering where to go then heads off. She quickly trots across the road and down a quieter side street. She hurries into a big stone building (evidently meant to be the hospital). The doctor is talking to the nurse, apparently giving instructions. The woman enters but is stopped by the doctor while the nurse stands by the bed; after talking briefly the doctor motions the woman towards the bed, next to which she kneels down. By the bed the doctor finishes what he is saying then leaves her crouching concerned by the man in bed, who looks more or less unconscious. The nurse comes up behind her and looks over. The woman now looks upset and the nurse pats her shoulders from behind to try to comfort her.

Back in a car (whose hood ornament on the bonnet we can clearly see) we watch through the windscreen as it drives along a main road in town. What seems like a train passes through in front of a very large square building with big chimney pots. The car moves further along in town as we look through the windscreen some more. It moves from behind to alongside a tram. It continues driving along this long straight road passing trams, pedestrians, bicycles, trees, houses and shops - these last few minutes look like raw rushes (including a few flash frames). The hood ornament is constantly in the foreground at the bottom of the picture. Eventually the film runs out.

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