Sheriff Hutton Agricultural and Rural Scenes

Archive: Yorkshire Film Archive
ID No.: 2060
Title: Sheriff Hutton Agricultural and Rural Scenes
Date: 1940s
Film-maker: Unknown
Colour: Colour
Sound: Silent
Duration of complete item: 9 min.
Themes: Displaced People; Industry in War-time


An amateur film showing rural and agricultural scenes in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire during the Second World War that includes German Prisoners of War working on the land.


The film opens at a farmyard in the winter where cats are being fed. In a nearby field cows are being herded at the bottom of an old ruin, a young calf slides in the snow. The season moves to spring and a tractor is sowing seed in a field, a farmhand follows behind adjusting the machine as it goes. Later another man goes along some of the ploughed rows and sows seed by hand.

The film moves on to show a large field that has been recently flooded. Straw bales are randomly scattered in some remaining large pools of water. A woman drives an open topped Land Rover through the water before a man starts to pull some of the bales clear of the pools. Later in the year a tractor is shown ploughing another field. Sheriff Hutton castle can be seen in the background before there are brief shots of mangles being pulled along. A group of men are then seen work picking crops by hand.

A family, possibly the owners of the farm are shown playing tennis in a garden. Back on one of the fields some early models of combined harvesters are used in the agricultural process. We then see German Prisoners of War work on the land on a sunny day. They often look at the camera as they drive a tractor along. They then stop for lunch, sitting on a truck they pose for the filmmaker, smiling at the camera. The film closes at a gymkhana by Sheriff Hutton castle where children are shown in fancy dress before the eventing starts.


Prisoner of War (POW) camps were established at locations throughout Britain during the Second World War. The POWs in this film were almost certainly based at one of the many camps around the Sheriff Hutton area of North Yorkshire, The nearest one, Eden Camp opened in 1942. The first prisoners to be detained there were Italian servicemen, German forces began to arrive from 1944. Prisoners of war in Britain were often used as agricultural labourers and put to work on local farms. This helped to bolster much needed food production in Britain at a time when many British farm labourers were away fighting in the war.

Sheriff Hutton Agricultural and Rural Scenes (1940s)

Sheriff Hutton Agricultural and Rural Scenes (1940s)

Play Clip


Windows Media Format
Low / Medium / High

Get Windows Media Player

MPEG4 format
Medium / High

Get Quicktime