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 Posted:   Apr 7, 2021 - 5:18 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

...and is relentlessly bullied by other kids, teachers, an older half-brother and just about everybody else in his dead-end world who are determined to keep him there.

If anyone here has ever taught in one capacity or another, you'd agree there is nothing like being on the ground floor with a kid who ends up hitting a high note and maybe even goes on to make it big. And for every “obnoxious bullying sports master“ on the pitch there is often a prospective mentor on all sorts of pitches just waiting on the sidelines, ready to go the extra mile and take a willing pupil under his wing and do whatever he can to help his charge reach his potential.

Mr. Farthing, beautifully played by Colin Welland, could be that mentor. He allows the kid to run with his passion and Billy, in turn, opens up and expresses to the entire class what it means to “train, not tame“ a kestrel. He owns his classmates in the pivotal scene, not only demonstrating that he can read, comprehend and write—a talent heretofore hidden from all—but also revealing the potential within himself to rise above the aforementioned predestined dead-end mining town existence.

The follow-up scene galvanizes the teacher's amazement and respect as Mr. Farthing witnesses the kid in action in the field with the hawk. There is more to Billy than anyone, including he, thought! And now Billy's frustration is unleashed in a tirade about the school and everyone connected that must have shaken the teacher.

The fact Billy felt free to express himself so openly with Mr. Farthing is a sign that there may be hope for him through this budding relationship. If so, it's a good start.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2021 - 7:43 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I still live in Hoyland where Kes was filmed, and will be passing writer Barry Hines' blue plaqued house in Hoyland Common on my way to the shopping this afternoon.

My secondary school was exactly the same as the one in Kes (Kirk Balk, Hoyland), with the football pitch and the showers.. and the kids were the same too. In fact I was like them at the time! An awful lot of families seemed to have a 'Jud' in them. Or our Jud. That's pronounced aaahhhh Jud..

Great film. We read the play in english lessons, the kids loving it because one of them got to say "bastard"!

Definitely a classic, and I have to say I never actually thought I'd see the day when any Americans would know what it was, because it always seemed SO local to me. As the comments about dialect testify... Even now I talk like this with local folks. Some people will say we're the only area that speaks like Shakespeare wrote. We still use 'thee' and 'thou' (mostly pronounced "thaah") when addressing each other

Also have a fondness for The Price of Coal, The Gamekeeper and Threads (perhaps fondness isn't the right term for that nuclear war aftermath drama). All these are filmed in areas very local to me where I walk, and some even count people I knew in the casts.


 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2021 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I still live in Hoyland where Kes was filmed, and will be passing writer Barry Hines' blue plaqued house in Hoyland Common on my way to the shopping this afternoon.

What about that—a fellow Tyke! (Although I don't live in Barnsley now.)

I don't know if you saw my earlier comment Paul, but I went to St. Helen's School where the film was filmed and it featured some of my teachers. It was on Carlton Road, but alas was demolished a few years ago.

I wonder how many other frequenters of this board come from Barnsley?

Cheers

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2021 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I still live in Hoyland where Kes was filmed, and will be passing writer Barry Hines' blue plaqued house in Hoyland Common on my way to the shopping this afternoon.

What about that—a fellow Tyke! (Although I don't live in Barnsley now.)

I don't know if you saw my earlier comment Paul, but I went to St. Helen's School where the film was filmed and it featured some of my teachers. It was on Carlton Road, but alas was demolished a few years ago.

I wonder how many other frequenters of this board come from Barnsley?

Cheers


I did actually and was ... gobsmacked, lol. What a very small world it is eh? Got to get off now, to the Birdwell Aldi! Yes there's an Aldi at Birdwell. How well off are we?

Having got back since the earlier part of my post I forgot to mention that the fish and chip shop seen in Kes, is down a side street (Princess Street where I once looked at a house for possible purchase) opposite Barry Hines old house. Not surprisingly it has been named in recent years... Casper's. On top of that there is in Hoyland town centre a micro pub called The Knave and Kestrel after the novel. Both these premises are adorned with photos from the film.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 9, 2021 - 4:55 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Definitely a classic, and I have to say I never actually thought I'd see the day when any Americans would know what it was, because it always seemed SO local to me. As the comments about dialect testify... Even now I talk like this with local folks. Some people will say we're the only area that speaks like Shakespeare wrote. We still use 'thee' and 'thou' (mostly pronounced "thaah") when addressing each other

I've seen the same thing with black friends who speak the King's English but then Ebonics break out on the phone with their black friends. Always get a kick out of that, and probably have done the same thing myself. Folks here in Florida have been astonished when I tell them where I'm from. They'd think differently if they brought out the New Jizey in me. Which happens when I lose patience. smile

"SO local." That's quite a moving thing you've expressed. For that matter, so is everything else and it adds a distinctive flavor to this celebration. Thank you. Makes me want to commission you and Stephen to play tour guides if ever I make my way over the pond again. It's been almost 30 years.

Speaking of flavor I think, too, that my being quite close to the age of Billy at film's creation added symmetry to this unexpected cinematic discovery. We were worlds apart in terms of educational experience and all but I've ended up a perennial working class slob, for want of a better expression.

Mr. Welland certainly understood both worlds as his Oscar winning screenplay for Chariots attests. Not to mention his work on Yanks which I've recently re-watched. Interesting how that film's story included a lad who was desperate to get away from the boarding school where he was subjected constantly to hazing. Ha, interesting too that one of the visiting title characters, an army officer, helped persuade the boy's Mum to let him come home.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 9, 2021 - 9:13 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Another little detail I forgot to mention, until I spoke to someone at work yesterday. Friends of mine, both at work and from my youngest days were taught by Barry Hines at Kirk Balk School, Hoyland, where I spent my secondary education. Not taught by Hines though. He'd left before I started there, possibly only by two or three years.

P.E. (physical education) teacher.

 
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