Cat no. 1403

Topical Budget: Women Hay Makers

Running time0:52 Black & White Silent 1916 Willingale, Essex

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Women haymakers in World War I at Warden's Hall, Wiilingale, Essex.


AgricultureArchive AliveNewsreelWartime

Newsreel showing women landworkers during haymaking at Warden's Hall, Willingale, Essex, during World War I. The women land workers are in a field of mown grass, tossing the grass with pitchforks. Haystacks can be seen in the background. They are dressed in long clothes with overalls covering their dresses. They all wear hats or bonnets. A woman drives a piece of horse-drawn agricultural machinery that tuns the grass. Others rake the grass into heaps. It is then lifted onto a waggon and taken away.

Background Information:

Issue number 255-1

This is the earliest Topical Budget newsreel in the East Anglian Film Archive. Topical Budget was founded in August 1911 as the Topical Film Company by William Jeaps who had formerly worked for the Warwick Trading Company. Prior to this he had founded Jeapes Animated Graphic in 1902. Jeapes was the Editor and filmed many items himself. Herbert Wrench was the managing director. The first news editor was George Woods-Taylor, previously a press photographer. He was also a cameraman. Harold Jeapes was the main cameraman. The first issue of Topical Budget was released on September 1st, 1911. In November 1911 it became bi-weekly. Bulletins were released on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the same as Pathe. The Topical Film Company produced newsreels only, there were no sidelines or parent companies. It gained a reputation for photographic quality and editing. The format was five items per issue, each a minute long. During World War I Topical Budget became the official newsreel company. Initially directed by the War Office Cinematic Committee, it was known as the British Topical Committee For War Films. The War Office took over Topical Budget in May 1917. It became the War Office Official Topical Budget. In November 1917, they were bought out. Following the war, the company was bought by Edward Hulton in February, 1919. In May 1919 it became known as Topical Budget. By the 1920s, Topical Budget was reaching an estimated audience of 3,500,000 a week, 20 - 25% of the market.


On October 23rd, 1924, a fire damaged the company's Wardour Street Premises, destroying some stock. Although of the 2000+ issues and 10,000+ items, 80% remain.The final Topical Budget bulletin, 1022-1, was produced on 26th March, 1931. The shots here were composed for the cameramen but this film records a feature of life in Britain during World War I. This film was recorded by a single cameraman, but his name is not recorded. He could have been a local freelance cameraman, possibly making a film to sell to whichever company was prepared to buy it.Topical Budget shot this film and the Archive film Serving Their Country at the same time. Serving Their Country was issued during following week. (See: Topical Budget. Luke McKernan. BFI Publishing, 1992.)

Topical Film Company

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