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  • Short Summary

    A day at Cuckoo Weir, a pretty tough boys' camp, includes swimming, cooking and sports.

  • Description

    Boys' Camp - Cuckoo Weir, exact location of events unknown.

    Opens w/ morning ritual: camp leaders in pyjamas stride past row of wigwam tents; burst into the tents; wake boys; drag them out on their blankets. Men pick up briefly-clad / naked boys - swing them by their hands & feet; toss them into the river. (Probably meant to be funny at the time, it looks pretty disturbing viewed in 2002.) Leaders wake up the rest of the camp; boys emerge from tents; come running; dive; jump or climb into the water; start swimming.

    L/S of food being prepared at cooking tent. Next; boys (now clothed) eat breakfast at long table. Tent inspection: boys finish tidying tent; they exit as inspectors enter. MS several boys peeling potatoes. 2 boy cooks put puddings in pot over fire. 3 lines of boys play leapfrog. Midday swimming: boys dive off diving board; then from wall. Swim race: boys dive in; pan on swimmers all the way to finish line. Boys carry food to be cooked. Leaders carving the meat. CU man blowing small horn to announce dinner. Campers running to tables. Cook dishes up potatoes in white basins. Boys and men eating at long table. Boys carry puddings to table (looks like suet sausages). Puds being chopped up and tent captains queuing for their quota. Boys hang over river bank to wash dishes in the water. One poor boys is 'tossed in the blanket' to "help the pudding down". Looks like some kind of sadistic game with the boys curled up in foetal position being tossed incredibly high!

    Swim race: teams dive from wall; swim across the drink & back; then partners help each other to climb back up the wall. Back at the long outdoor tables; various shots of campers & a visiting team of Old Boy cricketers having tea. CU young couple at table; laughing (Title preceding shot says Mr. & Mrs. Old Boy on their honeymoon.) Shot of a bunch of boys in front of the canteen; a small shed w/ open window; beside it boys hold fill cups from a barrel; and a guy minding the barrel kicks or pretends to kick each one out of the way as if to make them hurry up.

    Next; shots of various pairs of boys boxing w/ gloves; while the others sit on ground in a circle around them. Boys at table writing letters; titles say 'Writing Home - To Mother' - boys writing; w/ serious expressions; then 'And the Bird!' (girlfriend) - boys look up from letters; laughing. Brief shot of boys going for evening swim. Title: 'The Smiling Face - the most important thing in camp'. Shot panning across the whole camp posing for camera. Title: 'Three Cheers for Cuckoo Weir!'. Shot of the group waving hats and hands, giving 3 cheers.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Old negatives
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1920 - 1929
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:40:34:00 / 01:54:59:00
    ON 365 D

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