Yorkshire nostalgia: Film from 40 years ago captured tensions over ‘multiculturalism’ in Dewsbury

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This week’s featured film clip, available to view on the Yorkshire Film Archive website, deals with a topic which is as controversial today as it was 40 years ago: multiculturalism.

This film captures a demonstration by the National Front in Dewsbury, 1975. The films purpose was to record the West Yorkshire Police’s enforcing of the event, which for the most part involved avoiding clashes between NF supporters and Anti-NF protestors. This film is a tremendous account of the demonstration, as the filmmaker fluidly moves between all concerned parties, deftly conveying the social polarisation caused by multiculturalism in 1970s Britain.

The film opens in a police station where senior officers sitting in arm chairs address a group of constables. Constables in full uniform then line up, receiving orders before driving out.

Policemen file down a street in Dewsbury and patrol the area as Anti-National front supporters begin to gather. Many supporters are from diverse cultural backgrounds and hold plaques. A protestor then stands on a raised platform and makes a speech.

By a bridge, a man is dragged across the road by a police officer. Potestors move on and some shows show the police clearing the route for the National Front demonstration, which eventually reaches the protestors. Police try to hold back the protestors and some violence breaks out.


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The aftermath of a Zeppelin bombing strike on Edwin Davis & Co, general drapers and milliners, Market Place, Hull during the First World War _ one of the images already in the City Archives' collection. Hull City Council has joined forces with the University of Oxford to take part in a major project to bring together material related to WW1.

Leeds nostalgia: Britain shelled from the sea... and the barmaid fined 10 shillings for serving her mate a glass of beer