British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

ROYAL CHAMPIONS

Series

Series Name
Mining Review 5th Year

Issue

Issue No.
1
Date Released
Sep 1951
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1THE KEY TO POWER
  2. 2ROYAL CHAMPIONS
  3. 3THE LAMBTON WORm

Story

Story No. within this Issue
2 / 3
Summary
BFI synopsis: pit ponies at the Royal Agricultural Show, Cambridge.
NCB Commentary - every year the famous "Royal" brings together farmers and breeders from all over the world - and people who only keep a hen in the backyard - for Britain leads the world in pedigree stock, and to this show come the very best animals in the country.
This year, at Cambridge, 59 breeds of livestock were on show, and all the machinery that makes British agriculture the most highly mechanised in the world. Even the 30-year old mechanical cow was there, to show the right way to take a dose.
In the Grand Ring were four-in-hands - to give a Dickensian touch to this Festival year show - and, as always, the jumping contests filled the stands. Judges were certainly kept busy during the four days of the show.
And a new interest for the 100 thousand visitors: at the NCB stand 22 pit ponies were on show. From all over the coalfields they came, and learned how to bow to distinguished visitors. Here’s 75-year old Harry Mehew with Bill, aged 7. Harry’s seen 53 years’ service in the pits. And the champion - Captain - is shown off by Charlie Booth. 3 cups and 42 prizes adorn Captain’s 14 years.
Nobody was more interested in the ponies than the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, who got their information right from the horse’s mouth.
Each evening, after they’d given rides to the younger visitors, the ponies paraded in the Grand Ring, and a fine show they made. By the way, that old story about pit ponies being blind is just an old story.
Researcher Comments
BFI sources suggest that this story was filmed from the 4th to the 5th of July 1951. Commentary recorded 7 August 1951.
Keywords
Royalty; Children; Competitions; Horses; Mining; Animal husbandry; Exhibitions and shows
Locations
Cambridge; England
Written sources
British Film Institute Databases   Used for synopsis
The National Archives COAL 32   /3 Scripts for Mining Review, 1949-1956
Credits:
Camera
Charles Wilford Smith
Production Co.
Documentary Technicians Alliance
Director
Grahame Tharp
Sponsor
National Coal Board
Camera
Wolfgang Suschitzky

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