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Conquest of the Dark

After losing his sight in an accident at work, George Newman is reduced to despair. Little does he know that solace lies in the town of Torquay...

Documentary 1955 27 mins Not rated

Director: Douglas Clarke



The story of a 45-year-old engineering fitter, George Newman, who, having lost his sight as a result of an accident at work, is reduced to despair. After taking rehabilitation courses at Manor House, a National Institute for the Blind (now RNIB) rehabilitation centre in Torquay, Devon, he discovers skills he didn't know he had. This well-crafted film was a means of raising awareness, and funds, for the film's sponsor, the RNIB.

Before it was taken over by the RNIB, the imposing Manor House on Middle Lincombe Road was the largest privately owned house in Torquay. Two other rehabilitation centres also feature: America Lodge, funded by the people of the United States for the care of civilians blinded in WWII, and the Ministry of Labour training centre at Letchworth, where George is trained to return to a career in light engineering. The film was part of a wider campaign to publicise the sponsor's admirable work, including a series of newspaper articles describing similar case studies. The RNIB closed the Manor House facility in 2004.