What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching a collection of fascinating vintage farming films spanning from the 1920s to the 60s. Sourced from the Britain on Film collection available via the BFI Player, we’ve picked our favourite 9 films to showcase, each of them offering a unique window into farming practices and communities around the UK.
1. Arran Farmers’ Society Annual Fair 1951
Take the steamer to the beautiful Isle of Arran, for a wonderful day out in the summer of 1951 for the Arran Farmers’ Society Annual Fair in Lamlash. Everyone is spruced up, as immaculate horses, cows and sheep are displayed for the camera and the happy crowds – even the children get to show off the calves. Share some ice cream from a popular ice cream van, or watch vintage bicycles, vans and buses go by, for a day out to remember in this lovely local topical film.
6. When it’s Hop time 1928
As this charming early news film of workers in the Kentish hop fields proves, “‘opping” was a family affair. Grubby-faced toddlers hang on to their younger siblings while the adults work busily close by. A popular feature of working-class life for London’s East End poor, the annual hop-picking season offered a modest income and a communal get-together in the fresh country air.