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God’s Own County: Yorkshire on Screen

Welcoming the latest BFI Mediatheque at Bradford’s National Media Museum, this collection of 100 films and TV programmes from the BFI National Archive and Yorkshire Film Archive reflects life in Yorkshire and the Humber across more than a century.

Start your journey in Victorian Bradford; watch a Punch and Judy show in Halifax; marvel at the Edwardian egg harvesters of Flamborough Head; and meet Hull’s pioneering 1930s aviator Amy Johnson. Learn how to bake the perfect Yorkshire parkin, and enjoy irreverent Yorkshire humour with some teatime telly favourites. Feature films range from the classic Billy Liar (1963) to the politically-charged Brassed Off (1996). A selection of home movies and documentaries preserved by the Yorkshire Film Archive offer a more personal perspective on life in the region. Whether you’re new to Yorkshire or a devoted ‘Tyke’, this collection is full of surprises; here are just some of the highlights.

Ten to try

Magnificent Reproductions of the Great Yorkshire Show at Bradford (1901)
Classes mingle in Mitchell & Kenyon’s multi-reel record of the annual agricultural event.

Helen of Four Gates (1920)
A young woman suffers under an abusive guardian in Cecil Hepworth’s picturesque silent melodrama, filmed around Hebden Bridge.

Sheffield Spartan Swimmers (1933-34)
Sheffield grocer George Surgey filmed his friends braving all weathers at their outdoor pool – 365 days a year!

Down Cemetery Road (1964)
John Betjeman joins Philip Larkin for a tour of the poet’s adopted Hull in this edition of BBC arts series Monitor.

The Bradford Godfather (1976)
Meet Mohamed Fazal Hussain, pioneer of Bradford’s Pakistani community – and part-time action movie director.

All Creatures Great and Small (1978)
First episode of the much loved TV series about a North Yorkshire vet.

Yorkshire Disco Dancing Championships (1980)
Step inside Doncaster’s answer to Studio 54 for a glitter-strewn edition of the regional TV talent show.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1986)
Two teenagers from a Bradford housing estate have an affair with a married man: feature version of the play by Andrea Dunbar, whose troubled life is the subject of Clio Barnard’s The Arbor (2010).

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture (2009)
Vibrant documentary marking the artist’s return to his native Yorkshire and a new chapter in his creative life.

Wuthering Heights (2011)
Andrea Arnold’s bold re-imagining of the Emily Brontë classic.

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