|Title ID||3359||Collection ID||12|
|Title||[Elsted Manor Farms]|
|Date||1932 - 1948|
|Keywords||Animals Celebrations Commemorative Events Communities Farming Food Labour Landscape Rural Areas Workers|
|Format||16mm Black & White Silent|
|Duration||33 min. 35 sec.|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
This amateur film records work and play on Elsted Manor Farms over two decades. It offers a portrait of a multigenerational farming community which was gradually adopting new technologies.
A combination of manpower, horsepower and modern machinery work the land of Elsted Manor Farms Ltd. A wide range of farming activities are filmed - sowing, harrowing, potato riddling, fertilizer ploughing with nitro chalk, haymaking, threshing, rick-builiding, erecting haystacks around metal tripods, sheep-dipping and milking. The daily task of feeding and herding the animals is also captured - pigs, hens, sheep, horses and long-horn and Ayrshire cattle occupy the land. The division of labour on the farms produces general farmworkers and specialized labourers - a cowman, poultryman, pigman, carter, horseman and thatcher carry out their tasks. They are aided in their work by traditional horse-powered equipment and by modern machines, including a gyrotiller hired from Arundel and an Allis Chalmer 'B' tractor imported from America. Some of the senior members are joined on the land by their families. The farming community comes together for a hay gymkhana - one of the stalls at the ground encourages the consumption of milk. The film closes with a panoramic shot of Elsted from Beacon Hill, illustrating the extent of the land under the auspices of Elsted Manor Farms Ltd.
Elsted Manor Farms (1932 - 1948) was filmed by Eric Shaxson, brother-in-law of W. Lory Hosking and Everard Hosking. All three men worked the land of Elsted Manor Farms (EMF) during the 1930s and 1940s - Everard Hosking was one of the three partners in EMF. EMF included Engine Farm, Colebrook (East Harting) Farm and Bays Farm - it was dissolved in the 1940s.
This film covers an interesting period in British farming - it was a transitional period in which traditional horse-powered farming activities were replaced by machinery and technology. The transition was a gradual one - until the Second World War, an event which necessitated government support, it was only the more progressive farmers who adopted machinery. The Second World War also had a secondary effect on the farming landscape - male farmworkers joined the Armed Forces and were replaced on the farms by Land Girls. Other amateur films held at Screen Archive South East which illustrate farming during this period including In England's Garden (1930s), The Wheat Harvest (ca. 1935) and In The Garden of England (1938?).
Governmental intervention in agriculture during the 1930s included schemes aimed at stabilizing the milk market and ensuring the safety of consuming the beverage. Dairy farming soared during the 1920s and 1930s, producing a milk surplus which compounded the general depression being experienced in farming. Consequently, in 1933 the Milk Marketing Board was established in an attempt to stabilize the market. The marketing of milk itself was an important activity - people (especially schoolchildren) were actively encouraged to consume the drink, as evidenced by the posters on display in the film at the gymkhana's 'Milk Bar'. The success of this marketing was largely dependent however upon the message that milk was safe to drink. Bovine TB was a significant problem during the 1930s - 4,000 of the 50,000 cases of human TB in Britain were caused by the Bovine TB bacterium, resulting in 2,000 deaths. Contaminated milk was the primary culprit - it not only carried Bovine TB but also Typhoid Fever, Diphtheria and Brucellosis. The scale of the problem led to the introduction of pasteurization and animal testing during the 1930s, as illustrated in the film by the signage on the EMF milk delivery van. The issues surrounding milk can be seen in two films housed at Screen Archive South East, namely Do You Take Enough Milk (1944), an official film which publicizes the importance of drinking milk and A Bottle of Milk (1947) which follows the story of milk from the cow to the consumer's doorstep.