• Short Summary

    A quirky item about a puppet maker and his displays of moving gnomes.

  • Description

    Croydon, Surrey.

    M/S of an orchestra of jolly gnome puppets playing in front of a woodland glade set. C/U of the conductor gnome swaying in time to the music. M/S of two gnomes playing a fiddle and a banjo. C/U of a gnome playing the drums. C/U of the maze of wooden cogs operating the puppets.

    M/S of gnome model maker, 78 year old John Insull, modelling a clay head - he is the "uncrowned king of probably only 4 super-craftsmen of this type in the world". M/S of John taking the body of a puppet out of its mould, behind him on the wall hang several completed puppets. John then joins the body to a pair of legs and a painted head - "that clay head we saw was merely the first stage. From that a mould was created and the gnome's head made again from paper mache". C/U of John putting a long white beard and pointy yellow hat on the head. John's workshop is "tucked away in a leading Croydon store" (Kennards of Croydon) but his reputations is international. While his is fiddling with the puppet, John presses a button on his work bench which operates a mechanical 'golliwog' jack-in-the-box, tilt down to the cogs turning beneath. John made his name as Hinsle the comedy conjuror but the advent of the talkies set him in a different career direction at the age of 45. He made his own props as a conjuror and so was well prepared for his new vocation. C/U of the jack-in-the-box wiggling his arms and knocking the puppet hand out of John's hands.

    M/S of gnome puppets in a workshop set operating saw mill. C/U of a happy gnome and a sad gnome working on the saw mill. C/U of a gnome turning a wheel on the mill. M/S of lots of gnomes mucking about in their workshop. M/S of two gnomes, one keeps falling asleep and the other nudges him - the puppets have very realistic facial expressions. M/S of some gnomes - one gnome is waving a stick with a butterfly on the end. C/U of a gnome drilling. C/U of a miserable gnome stirring a pot. C/U of a gnome sweeping the floor, tilt down to show a mouse popping up. C/U of the cheeky mouse waving at the gnome. John has also produced some "individual masterpieces" - he made the original Archie Andrews ventriloquist's dummy.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Colour pictorials
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:26:21:00 / 01:28:37:00
    CP 357

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