This film is part of Free

Beck Collection 2

Even at the height of the Second World War, children – not evacuated from bomb hit Sheffield – still enjoy a ride on a carousel and lend a helping hand on the wartime allotment.

Home movie 1942 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is one of several films made by Sheffield hotel proprietor Cyril Beck during the war years. In this film Beck focuses on his two young boys, who, along with many other Sheffield children, were not evacuated. Here they enjoy a wartime fair and ‘help out’ on the allotment, with their very own wheelbarrows, as part of the ‘Dig for Victory' campaign.

Cyril Beck, from a family of hoteliers, ran the Howard Hotel opposite Sheffield Railway Station. Presumably the Beck family decided that it was better to keep their sons – Tony and Jerry (aged respectively 9 and 4 at the time) – at home during the war despite the risks from aerial bombing. On the night of 12th December 1940 the nearby Marples Hotel (on Fitzalan Square), received a direct hit killing an estimated 70 people (nearly ten times that number died in two nights of bombing). Yet many other Sheffield parents also kept their children at home, judging this the best for the whole family.