London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
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British Deaf Association 'Mountain Venture', Lake District (1960)
Dramatic scenes of deaf students climbing mountains in rain, mist and occasional sun on a summer trip to the Lake District in 1960.
From the collection of:
This colour silent film from 1960 shows members of the British Deaf Association on a summer trip to the Lake District, where they enjoy rock climbing, fell walking and canoeing in the typically inconsistent sun, rain and mist of a British summer. Some of the scenes of members climbing the tricky rock of ‘Little Chamonix” are particularly impressive given the obvious difficulties of communication when you normally use sign language but are now holding on to a rope.
While earlier films in the BDA archive were shot by Joseph Foster and James Hudson, this slightly more professional offering was made by Charlie Wilson, who uses a great variety of shots – to some effect, given the dramatic landscape – and also more captions to help explain what is taking place. The result is an enjoyable record of the association’s summer camp, which subtly highlights the challenges members were happy to face when rock climbing. There are several nice touches – such as the one right at the start of the trip, where an instructor warns, ‘Some of you will be scared’, at which a grinning member of the party immediately points to his friend. British Deaf Association