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Pauline Annakin travels to Bradford from Los Angeles to make presentation
9:11am Thursday 30th June 2011 in News
A film about family life in the region during the Second World War has returned to Bradford following its premiere in the city more than 60 years ago.
We of the West Riding was directed by Yorkshire-born Ken Annakin, who went on to make such films as Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines and Battle of the Bulge.
His widow Pauline has travelled from Los Angeles to Bradford to donate a print of We of the West Riding to the National Media Museum, where the film was screened last night.
Mrs Annakin was joined by Pat Hillam, of Wyke, the grandaughter of the Coldwell family featured in the film. Now 70, she has memories of the movie being made when she was four-year-old. The rest of the family have since died.
The Coldwells – Albert, Ethel and their children Ivy, Eva and Kenneth – were selected to portray a typical Yorkshire household working in the textile industry as the Second World War came to an end. They were filmed at home in Boothtown, Halifax.
The movie, written by Halifax novelist Phyllis Bentley, had its premiere at Bradford’s New Victoria Cinema in 1946. It includes footage of Queensbury’s Black Dyke Mills Band, and the Huddersfield Choral Society and Holme Valley Male Choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus.
Shot in and around Halifax and Huddersfield in 1945, the film is a portrait of Yorkshire folk in the immediate post-war period and is described as a fascinating historical document of work and play during a lost era.
We of the West Riding was one of Ken Annakin’s earliest films. His career included British seaside comedies, period romps and epic war dramas.
Mr Annakin, who died in 2009, moved from his birthplace, Beverley, to Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.
Senior film programmer at the National Media Museum, Tony Earnshaw, said: “We are delighted to accept and screen this donated print of We of the West Riding which captures the stoicism and significance of the region’s working classes in the immediate post war period.
- Read the full story Thursday’s T&A