Every Saturday morning, when most of us are wondering what is to become of the day, two hundred or more children come running over bomb sites and out of working class houses that line the streets of the poorest part of Bow in London, and assemble in 'children's order' in a queue outside three houses in Farn Street.
C.U. Frogman with members of public.
L.V. Frogman jump from low flying helicopter into harbour.
S.V. Two frogmen in water.
S.V.Pan Helicopter drops rescue net to frogmen and hauls them up into helicopter.
S.V. Helicopter and landing craft approach shore.
G.V. Landing craft towards shore.
S.V. Landing craft beaches - marines run up beach.
L.V. Marines along beach.
S.V. Members of the public going aboard the "Zeven Provincien" (cruiser)
L.V. The cruiser "De Ruyter"
C.U. Heavy guns of cruiser.
G.V. Part of the fleet moored in harbour.
G.V.Pan From gas works at end of Fern Street, to children lined up, awaiting to receive their presents.
S.V. A sign reading "Fern Street Settlement"
S.V. Children lined up.
C.U.Pan Boy taking his farthing from pocket.
C.U. The boy's card and farthing.
S.C.U. Children placing their farthings into box, woman holding box.
S.C.U. Archway with inscription "Enter all ye children small" "None can come who are too tall" .....
S.C.U. Mrs. Violet Way handing toys to children as they pass through the archway.
T.V. Young child carrying his presents away.
Top V. Baby walks through arch to collect present.
C.U.Pan From picture in window of Jesus with little children, to a portrait of Miss Clara Grant-the founder.
S.V. Mrs. Way surrounded by young children..S.O.F....."Mrs. Way, you are the warden of the Fern Street Settlement, I wonder whether you can tell me when it all began"
Front V. S.O.F.....Mrs. Way answers.."Over fifty years ago," S.O.F. Ends.... "Parcels of toys, clothes, books, all sorts of things that would help"
S.V. S.O.F....Children opening their presents and making comments.
C.U.Pan Along children examining toys.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Every Saturday morning, when most of us are wondering what is to become of the day, two hundred or more children come running over bomb sites and out of working class houses that line the streets of the poorest part of Bow in London, and assemble in 'children's order' in a queue outside three houses in Farn Street.
There is nothing imposing about these three houses - but for the name board above them - Fern Street Settlement - you would take them to be the house of working class folk. But inside them work four ladies who carry a torch of service lighted more than fifty years ago.
Mrs. Clara Grant was a school-teacher in Bow, and was appelled by the poverty she found in the homes of her pupils. This was the year 1900 before the birth of the idea of the Welfare State. Mrs. Grant began to work for the poor, the sick, and the needy and that work has gone on ever since.
The unique feature of Mrs Grant's work was her realisation of the immense pleasure given to children by simple things. She was obliged, at first, to work without funds, and therefore she wrapped any little simple toy she could procure in a bundle. These bundles she sold to the children for a farthing - the smallest coin in the currency. This tradition of a 'bundle for a farthing' has gone on ever since - latterly, since Mrs. Grant's death, under the wardenship of Mrs. Violet Way.
The whole of this story is contained in the looks on the faces of these children who week after week pass through a height board - the only eliminating factor. Mrs. Way lets them start with a farthing bundle when they are two, and many of them go every week until they are ten or more and no longer can pass beneath the gate to the 'farthing bundle'