Title ID 1373Collection ID288
TitleThe Tale of Tilford
CollectionPeter Cooke
KeywordsCamping Children Rivers Rural Areas Scouting Youth Youth Organizations
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionPeter Cooke
CameraPeter Cooke; Assistants: P Colson; D Kohler
Format16mm Black & White Silent
Duration12min. 6sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This amateur film with intertitles captures the 4th Woking Scout Troop camp at Tilford, Surrey in the summer of 1951. The film shows the boys setting up camp and preparing and eating a meal. Organised activities such as bridge building, raft making and a treasure hunt also feature; a special visitor - a member of the Scouts in Uganda - joins the camp.


Opening titles: "Cooke Films Presents", "The Tale of Tilford", "4th Woking Scout Troop and introducing Kesi Nganwa of Uganda", "It was late in the summer of 1951 that the 4th Woking went to camp...". The film opens with a shot of a tent; ferns and a Union Jack flag blow in the wind. Title: "Each patrol had its own site... The Owls"; shot of a tent through some trees; a boy emerges from the undergrowth. Title: "The Peewits"; shot of boys cooking over a fire; they eat in a canvas shelter. Title: "The "Swift" - Pigeons"; boys are gathered in a canvas shelter. Title: "And the seniors who also had Kesi Nganwa = a Scouter from Uganda = and saw..."; older boys cook and eat in a canvas shelter; shots of Kesi Nganwa sawing some wooden poles which have been lashed together.

A title reads: "The seniors built an alter fire to save bending their aged backs"; shots of the alter fire. Title: "Birds eye view of the seniors camp kitchen"; shot of the camp from a vantage point. Title: "One day they took the gear down the hill to a river"; boys carry equipment down a path into a valley. Title: "And they built a monkey bridge"; shots of boys carrying rope across the river and crossing a rope bridge. Title: "Someone always falls off!!"; as boys crossing the bridge hold on tight, other boys on the river bank shake the ropes. Title: "Or gets thrown in!!"; a boy wearing swimming trunks falls into the river. Another group begin to cross, whilst some boys remain on the river bank. Title: "On Sunday Jimmie Jackson was invested as a Scout"; shot of boys gathered around a flag pole and saluting. Title: "And parents and friends paid us a visit... it rained!!"; shot of women and a small boy sitting inside a tent. Title: "Parents can be useful in camp"; a man lights a fire; a group of parents walk through a wood. Title: "Goodbye Mum, shan't see you again for six whole days - don't forget to write"; shots of parents boarding a coach. Title: "The parents departed"; boys wave the coach off. Title: "The campers went back to their camp"; shot of a group of boys. Title: "And their camp bank opened to receive some more pocket money - "; shots of boys handing over coins to man sitting at a table.

Titles read: "We went for a hike at night" & "So what? It was very dark!!". Title: "They made a raft of groundsheets stuffed with bracken... it floated - "; shots of boys building rafts, the raft is lowered into the river and a boy jumps onto it. Title: "and a Corade"; boys wrap sticks up in a groundsheet to form a round raft and lower it into the river. The boys sit inside the raft, which eventually begins to sink. Title: "Twists of all shapes and sizes were made and (more or less) cooked - "; boys gather around camp fires and cook food in skewers. Title: "Kesi, at least, had a few spare minutes to read a newspaper - could it be "Jane"?"; shot of Kesi reading a newspaper. Titles: "Treasure Hunt" & "Swifts and Peewits at work on the clues"; young boys gathered in a huddle on the ground looking at a map and reading and writing. Title: "The Peewits find one of the clues buried under their fireplace"; shots of boys digging out a fire. Title: "And then locate the treasure - Jam Biscuits!"; boys lift out a tin from the hole and open it. Title: "Parachutists over Frencham Common". Shots of a barrage balloon and two parachutes descending in the distance. Title: "Patent flag-breaker - stirrup pump fills billy attached to hoist - weight of water in due course breaks flag - no deception!"; shots of a boy using a stirrup pump attached to a bucket on top of a flag pole. The bucket falls and the flag unfurls. Title: "They built an aerial runway across the river"; shots of the runway; boys slide across the river on it. Title: "Two-seater"; two small boys slide across together; a bucket of weed is thrown at a boy on the slide. Title: "... and Dan fell in... or was he pushed? Ask Elk!"; a boy struggles to hold onto the slide and eventually falls into the river. Title: "The old man of the sea?"; a man wades through the river with a boy on his shoulders. Title: "Dick Barton [alias Bob White] doesn't quite make it - where were Snowey and Jock?"; shots of a boy hanging off a rope suspended over the river; he falls in. Closing title: "The End".