This film is part of Free

Traction Engines and Cultivators

A vanished vision of farm life straight out of Thomas Hardy - in glorious colour - with smoking steam engines, bouncy lambs and a very frisky foal

Amateur film 1938 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


Kathleen Arrowsmith's remarkable colour film features images that have vanished from the modern rural scene. Numerous men work the land at Streatley, Berkshire, using steam traction engines to clear and till the land. A primitive looking tractor hauls a trailer with a characterful passenger at the rear. We next see a small child with a cat followed by some very new-born lambs with their mothers before ending with a chestnut mare and her frisky foal exploring its new world.

Mrs Kathleen Arrowsmith mainly filmed at Warren Farm near Streatley in Berkshire. Her films provide a vivid portrait of rural life on a working farm in 1930s Berkshire. Many of her films feature traditional hand and steam-powered mechanical farming techniques used to harvest wheat and other crops like vegetables. Her later films feature views of larger vehicles of the period, as well as views of rearing livestock and a variety of breeds of working horses on the family farm.