Famous Personality, General Sir Oliver Leese shows us his extensive collection of cacti and succulents.
Salop, Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
M/S of General Sir Oliver Leese in his study dictating a letter to his secretary, Rosemary Jennet. On the walls and surrounding the desk are military paintings and ornaments. The narrator explains that although the General's face may not be instantly recognisable, his name is famous for his wartime achievements. The secretary gets up and leaves. C/U of Sir Oliver writing at his desk. He stops and looks into the distance in deep thought.
C/U on various military ornaments including a drum, an officer's cap and a bugle. C/U of wood panelled walls and military flags. M/S of Sir Oliver admiring his miniature model of the changing of the guard. C/U of the model. C/U of Sir Oliver. C/U of Sir Oliver's medals for his "outstanding" military service. Panning shot to Sir Oliver's more recent medals awarded for his growing of cacti - an interest of Sir Oliver's since his retirement in 1946.
M/S of Sir Oliver walking past a long row of assorted cacti growing in a large green house, part of his cacti farm. Sir Oliver pauses to admire his cacti. According to the narrator Sir Oliver is "one of the country's foremost authorities" on cacti and succulents. C/U of Sir Oliver admiring a small cactus in a plant pot, a trichocereus, before replacing it amongst the other plants. Sir Oliver's nurseries produce thirty thousand plants in a year, besides fifty thousand others in the form of miniature gardens. M/S of Lady Leese and a gardener, Alfred Randall, taking cuttings from opuntias/ opuntis cacti in another part of the green house.
The narrator reveals that Sir Oliver's interest in cacti started during the desert campaign of the last war. C/U of the opuntias/ opuntis cacti being cut and placed in a wire mesh tray. C/U of Lady Leese and the gardener - Sir Oliver's enthusiasm has "obviously become infectious". M/S of an "electrically heated beds of compost" in a smaller green house. Lady Leese and Gardner arrive with the cuttings and begin to plant them. C/U of tiny cuttings being planted. M/S of greenhouse two female and two male gardeners at work in the large greenhouse. C/U of a miniature cacti garden being prepared by one of the female gardeners. The narrator explains that there are fifteen hundred different types of cacti in Sir Oliver's collection. C/U of a female gardener's, Mrs Brent's, face as she works. M/S of another young female gardener, Jennifer Bent, at work on a cacti garden. M/S of Sir Oliver photographing a harrisia using a camera mounted on a tripod. C/U of Sir Oliver looking through the camera lens. C/U of the harrisia which "flowers beautifully at night". M/S of two older female gardeners re-potting cacti. C/U of a small cactus being re-potted. The narrator suggests that the recent popularity of cacti is due to the General - "perhaps not all that surprising" considering this is the man who took over command of the eighth army from Montgomery and later became 'C in C' South East Asia. Panning shot to re-potted cacti in a tray. C/U of a red cactus flower. M/S of a large cacti in the greenhouse. A group of gardeners walk past carrying pots and cacti. Panning shot to C/U of large cactus.
Please note that both Bridgnorth and Salop are named as the location. Also please note the variation in the spelling of opuntias/ opuntis.