Cat no. 467

The Ratepayers' Money

Black & White Sound 1949 Norwich, Norfolk

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Norwich City Council's expenditure



The film opens and closes with aerial shots over Norwich taken from Mousehold Heath. They show the major city landmarks; the Cathedral, the Castle, City Hall, St. Peter Mancroft and the Roman Catholic Cathedral. The commentary explains that Norwich is a County Borough.

The first part of the film illustrates expenditure. A citizen studies his house his rate demand standing outside his house. There is a close up shot of the rate demand showing the breakdown of services for which the council is responsible. These services are illustrated by the film as follows. This shows where the council meets. There are interior and exterior views of the building. Girls enter the Blyth Secondary School. There are shots of the castle and of the interior showing school children visiting the museum. A policeman shows a group of schoolgirls across the road outside the Blyth Secondary School. There are exterior views of the Free Library at Charing Cross. There are interior views of the reading room. Two hospitals feature. One for the elderly shows a nurse tending to patients as they sit in the garden. At a maternity hospital mothers are in the grounds with their babies.There are shots of a new estate of council houses under construction. Film of a completed estate illustrates road maintenance. Dustmen and sewerage workers are filmed at work.

The next sequence explains how the rates are assessed using the Parks Committee as an example. The Parks Superintendent, Captain A.E. Sandys-Winsch, is filmed at his desk. In the parks gardeners point out what is needed to keep the parks well tended. A series of diagrams explain how the council's total expenditure needs are calculated and how individual rate demands are calculated according to the rateable value of one's home. The ratepayer signs a cheque and his daughter runs to post it.


Captain A.E. Sandys-Winsch was born in 1888 and trained as a horticulturist. From 1919 to 1956 he was parks and allotments superintendent for Norwich City Council. In the late 1920s and 1930s he designed and supervised an extensive programme of works undertaken as unemployment relief, including allotments, recreation grounds and parks. They included Heigham Park, Wensum Park, Sloughbottom Park, Mile Cross Gardens, Pilling Park and Waterloo Park and represented England's last phase of urban public park construction. Captain Sandys-Winsch died at Hethersett in 1964, aged 76. The Blyth Secondary School for Girls is now a part of Blyth Jex High School

Featured People:

Captain A.E. Sandys-Winsch, Parks Superintendent

Featured Organisations:

The Norwich City Council; Parks Committee

Featured Buildings:

(All Norwich.); The Cathedral; The RC Cathedral of St. John The Baptist; The Castle; St. Peter Mancroft; The City Hall; The Free Library; The Blyth Secondary School for Girls

Gaumont British Instructional

George Sturt

Jack Porter

W. Howard Lewis

Pat Evans

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