Title ID 1591Collection ID1079
TitleSurbiton Swimming Gala in Modern School Cricket Week
KeywordsChildren Education Schools Sport Swimming Uniforms
RegionalSurrey Greater London
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionNot known
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration5 min. 30 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Pupils at the co-educational Modern School in Surbiton in 1947 play football and cricket on local playing fields. The boys also participate in diving practice and swimming races, cheered on by schoolmates. The school was founded in 1924 before closing in 1955.


Nine girls in school uniform stand in a playing field. Boys in sports clothes stride up to the girls, leaning on one another to pose for the camera. The camera pans across the boys, who stand in a line with arms crossed or round each others shoulders. They wear cotton shorts and shirts, football boots and thick woolen socks pushed down around their ankles. The boys play football with a leather ball on the pitch. Modern housing is seen behind and busses and motorcars pass by along the road.

A cricket match is in play. Wider shots precede closer footage of a boys bowling balls overarm by the wicket and others hitting the balls with their bats, leaving the wicket to make runs. They wear white trousers and shirts, and school caps. Fielders are shown catching the balls, anticipating their fall. Panning footage across the pitch at the cricket game follows, as the camera tracks the movement of running boys and thrown balls. Spectators on bicycles are seen behind, standing by a tree. The wicket is seen in close up. The bails spring from the stumps when a ball is thrown. Boys are seen by a bench on the playing field. Others gather their bicycles and belongings, wearing their school blazers to leave the pitch once the match is over.

Swimming scenes follow. A boy retrieves a weight from the bottom of an outdoor pool, handing it back to a female instructor. A group of boys dive into the pool one by one, lined up by the edge, trying to avoid the boys already in the water. A line of boys dive in together. The boys climb up from the water using a bar attached to the side of the pool. Boys dive from a springboard. A group of four school girls are seen wearing summer uniform, check dresses and blazers. School boys and girls sit the stand by the pool. A sign reads Cafe above a building at the end of the pool. Boys participate in swimming races across the width of the pool. Supervisors and instructors stand at the pool, encouraging the participants. Boys in school uniform, blazers and caps cheer for their schoolmates. A group of women are seen in attendance. Boys dive off the poolside one after another. A banner reading 'Excelsior' closes the film.