This film is part of Free

British Deaf Association Summer School, Exeter (1957)

A trip up Lynton & Lynmouth’s stunning water-powered railway is one of the highlights the British Deaf Association’s trip to Exeter in the 1950s.

Non-Governmental Organisations sponsored film 1957 25 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


The British Deaf Association (then the British Deaf And Dumb Association) recorded several films of their annual summer schools in the 1950s, including this one to Exeter in 1957 which was attended by about 140 members. As somebody signs at the end of this home movie, the summer events were seen as a way for “young people to have fun and adults to learn from lectures”. The footage backs this up, with members of all ages appearing relaxed and enthusiastic.

The Exeter film shows members attending talks and mass, but also having a swim and going on day trips. They visit Buckfast Abbey, get a guided tour of Exeter Cathedral from the Dean, spent the day at Minehead and take a trip on the water powered funicular railway at Lynton and Lynmouth. The film is largely shot in colour and is silent, but features plenty of British Sign Language, including footage of a mass performed by Rev Tom Sutcliffe. British Deaf Association