Film: 9834

Places + Locations | 1940 | Sound | B/W


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Opening shots over engravings of the university of Cambridge 1940's

Film of grass in front of one of colleges. Pedestrians on pavement. Parked cars. University ceremony. Men in robes approaching steps outside building. They mount steps. They carry maces. The Senate House. Undergraduates outside waiting to enter for degree ceremony. They wear graduation robes. Undergraduates walking along pavement. As they walk they pass a woman in uniform leaning against a wall with a railing on top.
After the ceremony, the graduates congregate outside Senate House. Their families on the steps. The things the undergraduates will miss:
The Railway Station. Train pulls in at platform. The platform is crowded. Bus on Cambridge Street. Man in army uniform (a soldier) cycles along. The narrow main street. People cycling. Woman waves as she cycles away from camera. Large numbers of bicycles. Traffic jam of bikes. Pan around surrounding countryside. The open market. Vegetable trader weighs onions and pours them into woman's shopping bag. People shop in the market. Different stalls, vegetables, antiques, bric-a-brac.
Old housing - different views. Roofs, Chimneys. Churches. Undergraduates emerge from the stone doorway. They carry books and wear gowns. External shots of libraries, museums, lecture rooms and laboratories of the University.
Iron gates of college. University porter(?) in top hat. Impressive door of college. Heraldic symbol carved in stone. Undergraduate in dressing gown and pyjamas has a towel slung over his shoulder as he takes the early morning walk across the court for his bath. The undergraduates proceeding to lectures. Science men do not wear gowns at work. Other students do. Crowded scenes on roads and pavements. Two RAF men walk on pavement. Placing bicycles in bicycle racks. Woman student cycles. Filling the seats of lecture theatre and laboratory. Union lecture rooms. Students in rows listen attentively. One in a scarf takes notes. The Cavendish Professor of Physics: Sir Lawrence Bragg speaks about optics. Line of female students listening. Professor at Trinity College lectures. Students take notes. Trevelyan talks for 50 seconds about evolution of the Cabinet in Politics.
Scientists wear white coats and do experiments. Studying movement of a snake. Millipede on grid and patterned glass. Close-up of millipedes legs. Research spectrophotometer. Weighing balance. Electron microscope, two men adjust gauge on it. Futuristic - looking high voltage installation in Cavendish Laboratory. This can generate 1 million volts. Man climbs ladder in this installation. Female student removes bike from bicycle rack. Students sit in café with coffee cups on table. Students smoking. Surveying in the fields by the River Cam at the back of the school of Engineering. Drawing class in the engineering laboratory. The School of Architecture. Student uses pair of compasses. Students work on models of architecture. Black male student draws starfish. Female undergraduate in laboratory uses microscope. Man does same. Man and woman (from either Newnham or Girton colleges) sit side by side and draw animal skeletons. Woman sits on chair and draws in pad on her knee. A skeleton. Undergraduates receiving help from lecturers in white coats. Experiments. Medical lecture theatre. All students wear white coats. Man uses skeleton of human for demonstration chemistry bench. Bunsen burners. Bubbling liquids. Racks of test-tubes. Geography lecture with map on wall. Lecture ends and students start to pack up. Dissolves to empty lecture theatre at lunch-time. Lecturing rooms, libraries, museums, interiors empty. Undergraduates cycle back to college. Empty college chorister. College court. Empty second court of St Johns. The immense great court of Trinity. Smaller courts of smaller colleges. Pepysian library at Magdalen. The timbered Presidents lodge at Queens' College. The library at Trinity. The great lawn of Kings. Quiet River Cam. Solitary port or river. Students rowing boats. Canoe. Two female students pore over books on banks of River Cam. Man sits at table reading. Students relaxing on banks of river. Students study by river. Swans on river. On lawns a group of students lie around with a large coffee pot. One student wears hat. Close up of laying feet on cobbled stones. Two men talk through an open window. The one indoors smokes, the one outside eats a mouthful of cake. Two men feed swans. Men turn over leaves of book. A skull sits in the middle of their group. Man walks in cloisters.
Freetime. Men swimming. Man runs and does very good swallow dive off springboard into open air pond. Cricket . Man bowling. Man batting. Rugby at Twickenham. The Oxford No 1 is tackled. Close-ups of focus of Cambridge boat race crew. Examples of dons and undergraduates meeting informally in the college courts. Reference to wartime - Sir Wills Spens the Master of Corpus Christi College chairing a meeting. At the outbreak of war he was appointed regional Commissioner for East Anglia. Students at Cambridge marching in different uniforms - navy, army, airforce. Training aircraft rising in air. College ARP service manual by undergraduates. Rolling out hose. Attaching a hose to another. Men on top of building hand hose up by rope. Playing hose and water over roof.
The Provost of King's showing overseas military men round college. The Provost man talks about his pep subject to the captive audience - Homeric poetry - He talks and tells us "It is the poetry of freedom and of friendship." On river a line up of empty parts. The sun behind a cloud. In her room a woman student smokes and a writes at her desk. Man sits at desk and leafs through pages of book. Two students in a tutor's room.
Chef prepares dinner. Waiters collect dishes. The empty refectory dissolves to the full refectory: Undergraduates stand up as tutors file in. Grace is said. Men sit. After dinner the fellows retire to the Combination Room for wine and coffee. St Johns Combination Room. Waiter serves from tray. Fellows chat. Men stand with backs to fire. Old folio book is opened. Manuscript pages inside reveal dates as 1815. Entry records presentation of wine to Combination in honour of Wellington's victory over Napoleon Bonaparte.
Gathering of undergraduates in tutor's room at night reading from book. The amateur Dramatics Society. Scene painting. Rehearsing a play. Funny piece this - the director watches as men and women sit on settee kissing. They are surprised by the entry of another woman. The director does not think the actor has shown enough surprise and demonstrates how to kiss the woman and show the appropriate amount of surprise.
Two male students relaxing in their room. One pours bottle of beer into glass. Other smokes from hookah pipe. In another room, men sit around. Man takes splint from fire to light his friend's pipe. Another scene where men wrestle. At Newnham and Girton Colleges: Women's college. Woman takes sugar from open shelves and puts it on large pile of boxes and food. Female students roast crumpets in front of open fire. Woman eats crumpet.
Students orchestra warming up. The strings section. The conductor bangs his baton and starts to conduct. Choir singing on balcony. Slow pan down to orchestra. The University musical society and the conductor, Dr Patrick Codley.
People entering hall for concert. There are civilians and soldiers in the crowds. Schoolboys in uniform walk along the street and take top hats off as they enter hall. They are the choir. The choirboys.
Scenes of University of Cambridge. The River. The colleges. Tracking shots of colleges from the river. People walk in woods. Camera passes under bridges on River Cam. Silhouetted college building with spires.

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