Wheelwright

1970 , March (Cambridgeshire)

A portrait of a wheelwright working in the fens.

The film opens with shots of Tom James at work in his workshop dismantling a wheel. The commentary explains that Tom was apprenticed to his father in 1919. At the time there were up to 60 wheels per week to repair. This varied according to the agricultural season. World War II changed the wheelwright's job.Tom James works on the hub of the wheel, and then on the six ash fillers that make the rim. He is filmed shaping and fitting oak spokes. These are measured with callipers. Tom is also an undertaker and there is film of a company employee, not him personally, making a coffin. The sound track is of the Fenland Singers of which Tom is a member, singing baritone. He measures the iron tyre. This should be 1 inch smaller than the rim. It is expanded in a fire, fitted to the rim and then cooled with water. Children watch from the street.

Keywords

Fenland; heritage crafts; rural life

Other Places

March

Background Information

In Kelly's directory for Cambridgeshire in 1929, George James is listed as a carpenter and joiner working from premises on The Causeway.

Manifestations

Wheelwright

  • Barcode
    INV314813
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:04:58
    Modification Date
    27/09/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    730027
  • Barcode
    INV336271
    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
    725004
  • Barcode
    INV333023
    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
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    Modification Date
    31/08/2011
    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
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    INV352308
    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
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    Dimension
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    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
    Barcode
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    Canonical Title
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    Carrier Type
    master digital
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    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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  • Barcode
    INV250547
    Canonical Identifier
    VP-59
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Duration
    0:05:00
    Identifier
    Modification Date
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    Parts
    Reference
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  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV437691
    Canonical Identifier
    B-440
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Details
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour Type
    bw
    Dimension
    Has Image
    Y
    Has Sound
    Y
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    positive
    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
    562510
    Sound
    sound
    Sound System
    variable area

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