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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Stephen the Magician
A young magician impresses his sister by making a dog appear from under a bucket, and by demonstrating the magic of film itself.
Home movie 1962 3 mins Silent
From the collection of:
A playful film by Eric Bolderson of Castleford of his son Stephen performing magic tricks for his sister Janet. Although only an amateur, and with the limited equipment to be had in 1962, Eric here demonstrates his exceptional filmmaking skills and inventiveness as he uses several trick photographic techniques, including Stephen having a pillow fight with himself.
Eric Bolderson ran a bookies in Castleford, following in his father’s footsteps, and was well known locally, especially for his sense of humour. This shows in many of the films he made in the 1950s and ‘60s, which he would show in a makeshift cinema in his small attic, raising money for charity. The post-war period in Britain was a period when amateur magicians, and children’s magic box sets, were much more in vogue than they are today. This film may well have been inspired by the comedy genius of Tommy Cooper, who toured extensively during this time, and had been on television many times. That other television magician, David Nixon, also had his first programme, Comedy Bandbox, first broadcast in 1962.
Drama 1949 22 mins Silent
Prize-winning amateur film about the fleeting affair between a housewife and a young man on a summer day.
Amateur film 1954 4 mins Silent Location: High Wycombe
Silly silent film fun and thrills abound in this award-winning 1954 amateur short spoofing the world of Hollywood trailers.
Amateur film 1958 26 mins Location: South Kensington
A young angel scours London for her wings in this tender short by the young Ken Russell.
Amateur film 1965 19 mins Location: Harrow
Knitting comes in handy when making a film – a comical take on amateur filmmaking by the ladies of a local Pinner film club
Amateur film 1961 13 mins Silent
Tired little Jocelyn, in her National Health specs, falls asleep in the garden and wakes up in Wonderland in this amateur re-telling of Lewis Carroll's classic.
Documentary 1951 18 mins Silent Location: Exmouth
Filmmaking that is both educational and fun with this highly accomplished amateur film of the Devon coast, and its inhabitants, before it became overloaded with holidaymakers.
1941 1 mins Silent Location: Castleford
Never mind that the country is at war with a powerful and vicious foe, that’s no reason to stop going to greyhound racing, with a bet on the side.
1939 0 mins Silent Location: Castleford
Adverts not to get punters to buy anything, but just to enjoy sports and preserve memories of seaside holidays, in “real” photographs.
1939 0 mins Silent Location: Castleford
No attempt to sell an idyllic lifestyle here in these two cinema ads for local shops, just a simple warning on the irreplaceability of eyesight.
1941 0 mins Silent Location: Castleford
Advertisements for tripe, cow heels, trotters and milk – those were the days! It was a time of food rationing, but going to the cinema wasn’t.
Amateur film 1962 20 mins Location: Castleford
‘Carry On Castleford’ – crowds take to the streets in fancy dress for the Annual Pram Race.
Amateur film 1958 6 mins Location: Castleford
Rich man vs. Poor man - what goes around comes around in this unexpected gambling tale
Documentary 2020 11 mins
Searching for one of the last people to speak Gayle - a secret language the gay community were forced to invent during Apartheid.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2019 14 mins
An African Pentecostal Pastor questions everything she believes after a life-changing event.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
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