Cat no. 1249

Men of the Land

Running time16:17 Black & White Silent 1937 Morley St Peter, Norfolk

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Farm workers at Morley St Peter, Norfolk.


AgricultureArchive AliveDocumentary

The opening titles are shown over shots of a horse-drawn plough. All of the machinery in this film is horse drawn. A lot of work is still done by hand. There are shots of the fields and shots of the electric or telephone wires stretching overhead. There is a shot of a chimney and then of a water butt. A man leaves a cottage and fills a bucket from the water butt. He uses this to wash his hands and face. He feeds milk to two tabby cats and then prepares his own lunch of milk with bread and cheese. The milk is poured into what was a bottle of stout. Lunch is placed into a basket which in turn is fastened onto the back of his bicycle. He cycles to work.The next shot shows several bicycles being parked, suggesting many farm workers arrived at work on bicycles. The tasks of the day begin. The first job is to feed the pigs. The shed is unlocked and the piglets run out. Their food is mixed in a bucket and fed to them. The farm worker saddles and harnesses a team of three horses. They are filmed harrowing. The farm worker walks behind and rides on the harrow. There are shots showing his feet walking through mud. He hoes strawberries, digs potatoes and tops sugar beet. He sharpens his tools and mows grass for hay with a horse-drawn mower. This is loaded onto a cart.

Men are filmed thatching a straw stack. Crops are scythed with a bill hook and a horse dawn reaper/binder harvests oats. There are close- up shots of the machine at work. Bundles are gathered and stooked before being loaded onto a cart. This is taken to the ricks. The film shows a shot of a newspaper headline reading; Wheat Prices Rise. Home Quotations Affected By Prospect Of World Shortage. There is a shot of a sack of wheat and then of coins and notes. These are placed into a hand and then given to another hand. Shots of children and items in a shop precede scenes outside the 'King George V' public house. The sign shows this Inn to be owned by Morgans' Ales and to be 3 miles from Wymondham and 12 miles from Norwich. There is a shot of cigarettes, matches and a tankard of ale being placed on the table. Two men play dominoes.

Background Information:

Morley St. Peter rarely appears on modern maps. In Kelly's Directory for 1931 Morley St. Peter is described as a parish of 1,067 acres. It was, A parish with a scattered population, 2 miles north west from Spooner Row Station on the Thetford and Norwich section of the London and North Eastern Railway, 3 1/2 south west from Wymondham and 3 north of Attleborough. The population in 1921 was 164

John Ganderson

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