Cat no. 2312

The Story of Papworth

Running time17:44 Black & White Sound 1935 Papworth, Cambridgeshire

A public appeal for donations for Papworth Village Settlement, a community created for tuberculocis suffers and their families.


DocumentaryHealth and MedicineIndustrial / Sponsored Film

Papworth Village Settlement is relatively self-sufficient but requires public donations for its expansion. Its role in the treating of those who have contracted TB is presented by a drama focusing on a factory worker who has been diagnosed with the disease.

The introduction to the film is given by Madeleine Carroll. She speaks to the camera, dressed in an evening gown. She considers the effect of consumption for the working man and for his family. It almost certainly means a permanent loss of employment, an economic tragedy. Papworth is described as a haven of hope and security.The film tells the story of a working man, Hawkins, who contracts tuberculosis. The first scene shows the interior of a working man's hose. He is being examined by his doctor, who diagnoses tuberculosis. The doctor spells out what this will mean for Hawkins; he must give up his job, receive treatment and then find a light, open air job, enjoy a special diet and receive medical care. Hawkins puts the diagnosis in his own terms. No work, no money and fancy food. His wife sees it in terms of destitution for herself and her children. Hawkins asks the consequences of carrying on. He is told that he won't get well and will infect other people. The doctor leaves and Mr. Hawkins opts to adopt the ostrich approach.Two months later, Mrs. Hawkins is having tea with the Vicar. Hawkins enters, coughing and struggling for breath. The Vicar has been talking to the doctor. He tells Hawkins that a workmate has tuberculosis and Hawkins realises that it is all his fault. The Vicar suggests the Papworth Village Settlement. The film shows scenes of this whilst they are described by the Vicar. There are aerial and other external shots of the settlement and of Papworth Hall. The film shows the Sanatorium Chalets, the men's hostels and interior scenes from the various workshops and cottage industries that were conducted at Papworth. There are also shots of some of the houses built so that former patients had access to the lifestyle and treatment that they needed. There are also shots of the village stores and of the Village Hall.The next scene shows extracts from the treatment stages. Hawkins' wife visits him in one of the wards. He is shown his Sanatorium chalet by a nurse. There are interior scenes of this. The Chalet is called the 'John Jones' Chalet. Hawkins explains to his wife that it is named after the person who donated the chalet to the Settlement. Hawkins works in the factory and is called to see Matron, to be informed that he has a house available in three months time. Matron tells him to 'thank the generous person who gave it.' Mrs. Hawkins and the children arrive at the new house by car. Their conversation conveys the message of the film. A home of our own ... and a job for life. Thanks to Papworth ... and those who made Papworth what it is.The final scenes is an appeal to the camera for donations. This is made by C. Aubrey Smith. He receives a letter from Lord Nuffield and a static shot of this is shown. The letter reads; The Story Of Papworth.Dear Mr. Aubrey Smith, In response to your film appeal for Papworth Village Settlement, it gives me great pleasure to promise the sum of £25,000 (twenty five thousand pounds,) upon condition that a sum of £75,000 is first subscribed from other source - thus my gift will complete a grand total of £100,000. The sooner I am called upon to make good my promise, the better I shall be pleased. The film ends with captions explaining the amounts still required.


The original documents relating to the Papworth Village Settlement are held at Cambridgeshire Record Office.

Featured People:

Madeleine Carroll; C. Aubrey Smith

Featured Organisations:

Papworth Enterprises; Papworth Village Settlement

Featured Buildings:

Papworth Hall; Papworth Village Settlement

Papworth Village Settlement

Anthony Asquith

Major Lloyd

Francis Carver

Major Lloyd


Gordon Harker A Working Man
Mabel Constanduros His Wife
Owen Nares Doctor
Nicholas Hannen Vicar
Madeleine Carroll The Introducer
C Aubrey Smith Himself

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