Clubland Original Films 1929-1959
DVD Colour;Black & White Unknown ? 42:04
Summary: Four short silent films (black and white and colour) about Clubland in Walworth, London known as ‘a home of friendship for boys and girls’ set up by the late Reverend James Butterworth, a Christian youth worker. The films are mainly set in and outside Clubland and contain footage of trips to Guernsey, activities at the club and rare footage of the American actor Bob Hope who raised money for Clubland and visits by Queen Mary.
Title number: 21046
LSA ID: LSA/27621
Description: Film 1 – Clubland Story Part One 1929-1939
Film is initially black and white but later becomes colour. No sound.
16” Title ‘The Clubland Story’. 21” Typed sign ‘Clubland was founded in 1922 by Rev J. Butterworth – It began with six boys in one room in a sordid London district.
31” Overhead shot of busy East Street market. Changes to shot of East Street market at end of trading day, filled with rubbish and a lorry filled with rubbish passing by. Views of shops behind; A.A. Fisher (Butchers), Goodworths (Grocers?), Robbie Todd’s Bookshop.
1’15” Intertitle ‘ Clubland is a Home of Friendship for girls and boys . Here are the houses next door to us and the surrounding streets’. Shots of damaged and demolished buildings and rubble. Children playing on such a site.
2’05” Intertitle ‘The slum court where we lived and worked was pulled down. On the same site there is now the Chapel, Gym, Theatre and Club Rooms.’ Exterior shot of a large arched window above an awning saying First Clubland Church. People enter. Interior shots of the church. 3’05” Shot of busy church with full pews and several men and women entering at the front including one entering the pulpit (James Butterworth?).
3’16” In an area called the Studio, various young men and women undertake artistic endeavours, play table tennis, play chess, do woodwork, and put on costumes. 4’08” ‘A scene from Everyman’ – shots of a stage production. 4’22” A dentistry scene. 4’32” A gymnasium with boys undertaking exercise, followed by an outdoor scene with girls undertaking exercise and young men playing football. 5’19” A scholarly setting with young men speaking at a lectern.
5’45” Intertitle ‘Her Majesty Queen Mary opens the completed premises. May 20 1939’. Boys sitting on a wall waving flags. Crowd of people. Queen Mary gets out of a car and walks to a building. She lowers the union flag to reveal a plaque commemorating her opening of the premises.
6’43” Intertitle ‘At midnight on May 10 1941 bombs destroyed much of our 20 years work in 20 seconds. Members clear the rubble and make a Garden of Remembrance.’ Colour footage of boys clearing the rubble. 7’47” Footage of a young boy and girl watering plants with watering cans.
7’59” Intertitle ‘May 18 1946. Her Majesty Queen Mary returns for a Restoration Service in the roofless chapel after members had removed the debris and made an altar.’
Crowds gather outside. Queen Mary exits a car and is greeted by three people in gowns. One is reverend James Butterworth. She walks with them to a stage. Later footage shows her meeting a young boy. 9’52” Queen Mary exits Clubland with the reverend and being driven away. Shot of a policeman in front of the crowd of spectators including young children.
10’29” Intertitle ‘Our Youth Services are now held in the Theatre, or in the ruins of the bombed Church’. Shots of the reverend, a choir (?) and a congregation with him books in the ruins of the church.
11’11” Intertitle ‘For games we have no playing fields and rely on away matches with schools and colleges’. Shots of boys riding bikes and playing cricket.
12’01” Intertitle ‘This reform school is the place where Clubland really began. Friendships with lads have inspired the vision of Clublands instead of Borstals’. Shot of a lorry with ‘Saltersford School’ on the side. The reverend and boys get out to be greeted by other boys. Various games of football take place.
13’12” Intertitle ‘For many years our summer camps were held on the Island of Guernsey’. Shots of excited boys and girls with packed bags and contents being checked. Shots of a doctor giving boys a medical examination. Boys and adults (including the reverend) get on a boat.
15’07” Intertitle ‘In 1939 we returned from Guernsey’s golden sunsets to London’s first blackouts; and to war years which scattered our membership’. Shots of sea and sunset.
Film 2 – Clubland Story Part Two 1946-1952 (15’46”)
15’52” Intertitle ‘After the liberation of the Channel Islands from German occupation, we resume our Guernsey camps with an entirely new membership’. Shot of a boat coming into dock with waving crowds waiting. Boys disembark.
16’27” Intertitle ‘ The camp begins in earnest for some of us’. Shots of children enjoying camp life and trips around Guernsey including diving off rocks and swimming in the sea, riding on a horse and cart, animals at the camp, rides on a horse, milking a cow,
20’36” Intertitle ‘Au Revoir to Nancy and Wendy’. Shots of two girls leaving on a boat. Children and adults walk down a steep staircase to the beach. Shots of acrobatics, play and exercise on the beach, including the reverend leap frogging.
22’38” Intertitle ‘Punch and Judy prove rivals to the charms of Petit Bot’. Shots of a crowd of children watching Punch and Judy on the beach.
23’06” Intertitle ‘Off to Herm on the “Viking”’. Shot of the reverend and another man on the back of a boat. Shots of boys in rowing boats, including fishing off the back. Shots on a larger boat.
24’12” Typed sign ‘The Last Chapel’. The reverend gives two young children candles in a darkened chapel.
24’32” Intertitle ‘Queue here for lunchbags’. Shots of children being given lunchbags.
24’56” Intertitle ‘This is the Beginning of the End!’ Boys playing drums lead the members of the trip carrying packed bags. Playing with the drums. Boarding the boat and waving goodbye.
25’56” Intertitle ‘After camp, a variety of efforts to restore the clubs included a stall in the street markets’. Shots of the reverend (in top hat and smoking a pipe) and another man giving out pamphlets and holding a sign about Clubland.
26’28” Chalk board ‘1951 Bob Hope visits Clubland’. Crowds line up to see Bob Hope arriving (accompanied by a woman, possibly his wife Delores). Shots of him inside Clubland, clowning around, meeting members, looking at what is going on, playing table tennis. Looks at ‘Bob Hope corner’ where there a pictures of him on the wall. He makes a speech and he and the woman accompanying him meet a young boy and girl. Shots of them leaving.
28’43” Chalk board ‘1952 Visit of Sir Laurence and Lady Olivier [Vivien Leigh]”. Shots of them unveiling a plaque.
29’11” People look on from a balcony outside Clubland on which there is a banner saying ‘Welcome Gracie Fields 4pm Sat. May 9th’. Gracie Fields meets an elderly lady and unveils a plaque. She sings at a microphone and is given flowers. She meets a young boy and girl.
30’8” ‘Mr. Bob Hope’s 3 visits and his theatre benefits restored the clubs and saved Clubland from becoming a junkyard; and a life’s work from closing down’. Shot of two American flags and the Union Flag outside Clubland. Banner saying ‘Welcome to Bob Hope 5pm Sat Oct 3rd’. Very large crowds and police have to help Bob Hope get through them. Shots of him wearing a large funny hat – he is lifted up by a group of young men. Shots of him inside on a stage and then outside unveiling a plaque stating ‘ To Mr Bob Hope whose visits and benefits restored these clubs and saved them from closing’. Shot of a framed picture stating ‘From grateful Clublanders. Bob Hope friend and benefactor’
32’14” Photo of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Reverend Butterworth saying ‘Bob brings Bing. Clubland benefit 1952’.
32’21” Intertitle ‘For 33 years the Head has lived and worked in Clubland; and hopes to restore the ruins before his work is done.
Film 3 – The Bob Hope Story – 1950s Visits and Benefits (32’51”)
32’56” Banner outside Clubland saying ‘Welcome to Bob Hope 5pm Sat Sept 13th’. Crowds gathered outside (Kentons shop, Routemaster buses and car in the background). Bob Hope makes his way through the crowds and up to the balcony. Shots of him with Reverend Butterworth inside the site. He drinks a cup of tea in an ‘English’ style with his little finger sticking out. He looks at a ‘Bob Hope restorations’ wall with pictures of himself on. He uses a punch bag. He speaks to the audience from the stage and fools about. He introduces a woman, possibly his wife Delores. He introduces a man (unclear who this is). He unveils a plaque on stage stating ‘From grateful Clublanders. Bob Hope friend and benefactor’ (as in the film above). He and his wife (?) leave after meeting a young boy and girl.
Film 4 – Clubland’s 30th Birthday and Restoration Service 1952 (38’42)
38’52” Chalkboard stating ‘1952 30th Birthday. Public Schools join in the service’. Above it is a plaque saying ‘In Memory of His Majesty King George the Sixth’. Crowds gather outside. Rev. Butterworth wears a top hat and sign round his neck saying ‘Pennies Clubland Boys and Girls Clubs’. Lots of footage of school children, the crowd and Rev. Butterworth. A band plays. Shots inside of the crowd and stage from above. A service takes place.
42’11” Chalkboard stating ‘1952 Restoration Stories’. A plaque lists the founders colleagues and there is a ‘Stone for Canada hewn from the Laurentian Mountains….’. A founders tribute plaque to the architect of Clubland Edward Maufe R.A. Ends 42’41”
Cast: Reverend James Butterworth
Delores Hope (?)
Keywords: Youth; wartime; Royalty; Methodism