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BFI National Archive

Topical Budget: Horses New Year’s Feast, Cricklewood (1913)

0m 28s


This short film shows animals at the Home Of Rest For Horses during the
annual New Year feast at a charity event on Westcroft Farm in Cricklewood.

This short film shows animals at the Home Of Rest For Horses, a charity
based on Westcroft Farm in Cricklewood. One is led past the stables, another nibbles the back of a woman’s coat – much to her surprise – and a third is shown walking up a ramp
into a horse-drawn cart, possibly a horse ambulance. The Home Of Rest For Horses would open to the public every New Year’s Day, when visitors were encouraged to feed the animals treats.

Selected by London's Screen Archives on behalf of the BFI National Archive

Further information

The charity was founded in 1886 by Ann Lindo, who was inspired to help sick horses after
reading Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. Owners were encouraged to send their ill animals to
the charity. The charity would supply a healthy animal in return while the first horse
recovered. Horses were essential for many jobs and industries in London at this time. The
Cricklewood site was opened in 1908 and could accommodate more than 80 horses. The
charity moved to Borehamwood in 1934 and is now called The Horse Trust.

A year after the film was made, horses were being recruited for the war effort. Some of the healthy horses from Westcroft Farm may well have been taken, though we have no further information on this.

An annual New Year's dinner was held for the horses, the oldest horse ringing a bell to announce the start of the feast.

One of the generous sponsors to the farm was the Honourable Pauline Cranstoun, who funded the new stables. She ran her own Home of Rest for Horses on the Isle of Wight.

This film is part of the following gallery:
A Nation of Animal Lovers


We'd especially love to hear from you if you know something about this film
or the people or places in it.

On 30 September 2017, Jan Toms said:
I was hoping that there might be a glimpse of Pauline Cranstoun in the film. I am currently researching her life and would be very pleased to receive any information available. On her death she left her property and her assets to the farm for the cause of animal welfare. Any early images of the farm, and any pictures of Pauline would be welcome.

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United Kingdom;England;London;Cricklewood


Archive name Format LSA ID Archive's identifier Sound
BFI National Archive ProRes digital file LSA26268 Mute
Available from BFI National Archive on ProRes digital file
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