School trip to Whitby c1947

This BFI film shows boys from Holy Trinity School setting out on a day trip to Whitby in 1947, my eye was caught by the ‘Maison De Danse’ sign on the wall. I think it was spelled with an ‘S’ not a ‘C’. I know many people have fond memories of the Maison and it is often mentioned on the Picture Stockton site. Just behind the coach is an Uptons delivery van and in the background is the Empire Theatre and Castlegate, the street not the shopping centre.
The film can be viewed here:- Trinity School Trip to Whitby.

Overview include with the film, ‘Here’s a rare example of a woman behind the camera in the late 1940s. A teacher at the Holy Trinity Church of England Boys School in Stockton on Tees creates an affectionate portrait of the teachers and pupils – juniors enjoying a spot of rigorous landscape gardening, a toddler’s first steps, and young lads on a day trip to Whitby. The boys are pictured as a sea of scarlet school caps in the cliff-top Abbey graveyard as they sightsee around the historic Yorkshire fishing town.Norton-born Agnes Dorothea (‘Dodie’) Allan (1905 – 1996) qualified as a teacher at Neville’s Cross Training College, Durham, in 1926 and subsequently taught at Stockton’s Bailey Street School and Holy Trinity School (located in Yarm Lane when this film was made). Her surviving films consist mainly of silent 16mm home movies of holidays, friends’ weddings, and a few fictions, which drew on her experience working with school children in amateur theatre. Women’s role in inter-war cine club and independent amateur film-making was rarely credited, and was overlooked in the amateur film magazines of the day, despite being increasingly active in collaborative and individual productions’.

Information courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

5 thoughts on “School trip to Whitby c1947

  1. It was the Maison de Danse and Jack Marwood was the only band leader I ever knew there. I preferred the Palais de Danse with Jack O Boyle though the Maison and Jubilee were open on nights the Palais closed, you could dance seven nights a week in the area as I did, Sunday night being the Ace Club a private venue. I met my late wife at the Maison after walking out of the Palais in a huff, a long story.
    The film shows a Gentleman handling a baby with a cigarette in his hand that would be a no no these days.
    The Gardening was probably a necessity in 1947 as there were still severe food shortages at the time, digging for victory went on well into the 1950’s. Allotments and gardens still had a major place in feeding the family at that time. Some schools had a cultivated area as most Pupils had school meals as we did at the Richard Hind during the war years.
    Watching the film rang bells for me though most people today have no idea what it was like without a takeaway on every street corner and gardens being just another outside room.
    Our school holidays were Hay making Potato picking and tending the animals many families kept, they were not Spain or some Asian resort not really viable during a world war. To some it will seem quaint but some of us actually lived it.


    • I take your point Frank about the gentleman handling the baby with a cigarette in his mouth!

      Interesting how little Whitby has changed over the years, which is good. I’ve been trying to place the v brief moorland road scene at the end of the film, with what looks like a steam engine down in the valley. Presumably it was somewhere on the return journey on the road across the moors from Whitby to Guisborough.


    • Delightful scene showing the then headmaster of Trinity school, Mr Nesbitt, greeting his wife and young son. The little boy was called Tommy. At that time they lived at 4 Roker Terrace and we were neighbours for several years. Tommy was a playmate for my brother Allan.


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