The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
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Albert's Last Skep
For the very last time Albert, at 73, makes the work of weaving the large willow bobbin baskets, skeps, look easy, having devoted his entire working life to perfecting his art.
Documentary 1978 28 mins
From the collection of:
This is a film made by one veteran Yorkshireman of another veteran Yorkshireman, both displaying a craft that in the 1970s is on the point of disappearing. Shipley amateur cine filmmaker Eric Hall captures Albert Gaff, also of Shipley, demonstrating his remarkable skills of weaving willow skeps, honed from the age of 12, for the West Yorkshire textile industry. Anyone wishing to take up again this ancient craft will find everything they need to know here.
Eric Hall, just a year younger than Albert, made a point of lovingly documenting craft skills, and cultural pastimes, which were dying out. Eric’s own films were themselves well crafted, having been making films since 1929, and being at one time Chairman of the North East Region of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers and President of Bradford Cine Circle. All that is known of Albert Gaff is given in the film. Skeps were used in a number of ways in Yorkshire woollen mills, and could hold up to 500 bobbins. Although not used in this way now, framed wicker baskets are still in use in other industries, especially in Scotland. The Bradford firm of Fred Ambler featured in the film is still producing worsted cloth.
Making and Doing
Cinemagazine 1970 3 mins
A snazzy intro to the ancient textile-dyeing technique taking the 70s fashion world by storm.
Sponsored film 1969 33 mins Location: Darlington
Everything you always wanted to know about North East homing pigeons (but were afraid to ask).
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1945 1 mins
A wartime family look on in amazement as their old clothes offer useful advice on how to make their clothing coupons go further.
Promotional 1974 34 mins Location: River Aln
Quiet reflection on angling and the craft of elegant cane rods from the famous Hardy Brothers of Alnwick.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1965 3 mins Location: Wakefield
A once common object in many households becomes transformed into a quirky dancing troupe in this simple homespun animation.
Current affairs 1965 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Former shipwright turns his talents to model-making.
Advert 2 mins Silent Location: Bradford
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Advert 4 mins Silent Location: Bradford
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Advert 1 mins Silent Location: Bradford
Without trying to be too clever, these advertisements demonstrate the virtue of the uncomplicated: short, sweet and memorable.
Promotional 1970 16 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Tuning into the biggest consumer market for television advertising in Britain with Trident TV.
Advert 1925 3 mins Silent Location: Bradford
Juno-Junipah, for girls, who “want to be bright, vivacious, attractive and slim”, and Carters Little Liver Pills to rejuvenate the elderly.
Factual TV 1986 28 mins Location: Bradford
Numerous victims of the horrendous 1985 fire at Valley Parade manage to find positive outcomes to their suffering in this poignant film.
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