Leeds nostalgia: film clip shows home parties

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Made by Betty and Cyril Ramsden, this film captures the festivities of New Year’s Eve house parties. The couple were semi-professional filmmakers filming both for pleasure and taking on commissions from companies such as the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Five New Year’s Eve parties are filmed both at the Ramsden’s home as well as Betty’s sister’s Freda. Party guests include Betty’s parents, (Mr and Mrs Howarth) her two sisters and their husbands; Freda and “Bunny” Heywood, Eunice and Leslie Fear, and old friends Mary Day and Joan Valentine. During the parties they play many games together with both Betty and Cyril filming the events.

Entitled, ‘A Ramsden Film: Christmas Crackers’, the clip, courtesy of Yorkshire Film Archive (tinyurl.com/pa2zboc), opens with one of the women eating a stick of celery and pretending to be surprised by the camera.

Four of the women and one of the men stand at a microphone and sing. There is a brief shot of Freda and some of the others singing on their own. Betty’s parents sit in armchairs and smile at the camera. Freda holds a stick of celery and dances around the microphone while she is singing.

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DROUGHT 1976

Julie Greensmith
Fir Tree Green, Moortown, Leeds

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