A Celebration of Midsummer

1964 , East Anglia (Other)

Celebrations of Midsummer in East Anglia and Warwickshire.

The film begins with a burning cartwheel rolling down a hill to light a bonfire at the bottom. The titles and credits are shown over this scene at beginning and end. The opening scenes of the film are pastoral scenes; a village Church, reflected in water, wheat stooked in the fields and cows grazing. These lead into a sequence showing a group of school children on a nature ramble near Whatfield, near Hadleigh, Suffolk. The commentary is provided by their teacher, Gwen Dunn, and by some of the children who describe their catch of fish. A modern midsummer ritual featured is the village cricket match. According to the scoreboard this was filmed at Ashorne and Morton Cricket Club. There are shots of the play shown to a quotation from Neville Cardus. There are also shots of the spectators lazing on the grass. The scene moves out of East Anglia to the Rollright Stones at Shipton-under-Wychwood in Warwickshire and to the Malvern Hills. In these locations, not all scenes in which were shot in midsummer, F.R. Buckley explains about some of the pagan midsummer rituals. These include demonstrating the use of the Sacrificial Stone in the Malvern Hills, with the help of a young maiden. Back in East Anglia there are scenes of horses grazing in the sun before a sequence filmed at the Ship Inn at Blaxhall, Suffolk. This shows step dancing before the Chairman, Alf Wickets Richardson, invites Sam Friend to sing. He offers a rendition of `Jim The Carter's Lad'. The film is intercut with stills of farming scenes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These illustrate the words of the song. Modern farming scenes follow. These begin with cutting hay for silage making. There are scenes of sugar beet being hoed by hand, of women picking potatoes and of harvesting peas by night. A lengthy sequence showing sheep shearing, shot near Bury St. Edmunds is narrated by the shearer, Richard Seabrook. Scenes from the 127th Hadleigh Show include young people's marching bands. There are scenes from the ring of the animal being shown. These include heavy horses, cattle and goats. Horse events include driving ponies and traps as well as a less usual donkey and trap. There are the little girls of the Pony Clubs, one of whom falls from her horse, a dressage event and a show from a local hunt. There are sheep dog trials, rare breeds of chickens and fairground rides. In one sequence two boys chase a runaway Saddleback pig. The film ends where Hugh Barrett and the Earl of Cranbrook go bat hunting at Great Glenham, near Saxmundham. They are trying to catch a water bat but succeed in catching a common pipit bat. Other scenes to conclude the film include shots of a barn owl.

Featured Buildings

The Ship Inn, Blaxhall

Keywords

Agriculture; Countryside; Village life

Other Places

Blaxhall; Bury St. Edmunds; Great Glenham; Hadleigh; Whatfield; Shipton-under-Wychwood; The Malvern Hills

Manifestations

A Celebration of Midsummer

  • Barcode
    INV321742
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:24:39
    Modification Date
    25/11/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    734495
  • Barcode
    INV346120
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:24:39
    Modification Date
    31/08/2011
    Parts
    Reference
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  • Barcode
    INV393080
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:24:39
    Modification Date
    31/08/2011
    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV330425
    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
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    Dimension
    Duration
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    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV270260
    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
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    Colour Type
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    Dimension
    Duration
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    Has Sound
    Y
    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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    Sound
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  • Barcode
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    Canonical Identifier
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    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
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    Dimension
    Identifier
    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV162119
    Canonical Identifier
    TB 685
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    Umatic tape
    Dimension
    Identifier
    Modification Date
    23/07/2008
    Parts
    Reference
    673749
  • Barcode
    INV??1415
    Canonical Identifier
    B-206
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
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    Colour Type
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    Has Sound
    N
    Identification Notes
    Picture: mute (data migration 25/06/2021)
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
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    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
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    Sound
    silent
  • Barcode
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    Canonical Identifier
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    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
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    Colour Type
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    Has Sound
    N
    Identification Notes
    Picture: mute (data migration 25/06/2021)
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
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    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
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    Sound
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  • Activities
    Barcode
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    Canonical Identifier
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    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
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    Has Image
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    Identifier
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    Modification Date
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    Parts
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    Sound
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    Sound System
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  • Activities
    Barcode
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    Canonical Identifier
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    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
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    Colour Type
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    Has Image
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    Has Sound
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    Identifier
    Image Polarity
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    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
    560826
    Sound
    silent
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV??0565
    Canonical Identifier
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    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Has Sound
    Y
    Identification Notes
    Picture: magnetic (data migration 25/06/2021)
    Identifier
    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
    560825
    Sound
    sound

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