Cat no. 995

Spring Offensive

Running time19:09 Black & White Sound 1940 Clopton, Suffolk

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The role of the War Agricultural Committees filmed at Moat Farm, Clopton.

Genre:

AgricultureDocumentaryPublic Information FilmWartime

Filmed on Moat Farm, Clopton, belonging to Fred Martin, this film opens with introductory shots of farming and farm workers during harvest. A poster shows the call up of the army reserve. The first sequence shows the arrival of Ken, an evacuee from Holloway, London. Mr. Martin listens to the news on the BBC Home Service. This tells of the creation of the War Agricultural Committees and their role. Mr. Martin joins one of these committees. The committee is seen in discussion during a meeting. Various representatives, all Suffolk farmers, visit neighbouring farms to persuade farmers to plough up more pasture. They are not always well received. There is a sequence showing mole drainage with steam traction engines. Tractors and horse teams are seen ploughing, some of them with members of the Women's land Army. Mr. Martin has a meeting with the Chairman of the War Agricultural Committee. They discuss a derelict farm and of how they will obtain permission to take the farm over. There are shots of the derelict farm, including land turned to scrub and machinery.

Back at Martin's farm, the evacuee is playing with a meccano model of a gyrotiller made for him by the driver. The land is shown frozen in January 1940. The farmers use this time to thrash wheat and mend machinery. There is a shot of Ken, the evacuee, visiting a blacksmith with Mr. Martin. Drains are dug in the derelict farm and then the gyrotiller sets to work reclaiming the land for farming. The film is completed by general harvest scenes.

Background Information:

Frederick J. Martin was a farmer and poultry breeder. He farmed at Moat Hall, Clopton.

Featured People:

Frederick J. Martin; Mrs. Martin; Mary Martin

Featured Organisations:

War Agricultural Committees

Featured Buildings:

Moat Hall

Ministry of Information

Humphrey Jennings; Lee Allward

Cavalcanti

Eric Cross; H. Fowle; Jonah Jones

Hugh Gray

Geoff Foot

Ken Cameron

Muir Mathieson

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