BA', the

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Places:

  • Orkney Islands

Subjects:

  • Celebrations, traditions and customs
  • Celts and celtic culture
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Landscapes and seascapes
  • Sporting activities

Genres:

  • Documentary
  • Experimental
  • Women film makers

People/organisations:

  • TAIT, Margaret

Decade:

  • 1970s

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Related biographies

Please read Understanding catalogue records for help interpreting this information and Using footage for more information about accessing this film.

Overall rating:

Title: BA', the

Reference number: 6225

Date: 1954 - 1975

Director: filmed by Margaret Tait

Production company: [ Ancona Films]

Sound: sound

Original format: 16mm

Colour: bwcol

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 62.42 mins

Description: Part 4 in Margaret Tait's series 'Aspects of Kirkwall'. The streets of Kirwall, Orkney come to a standstill as the "Down the Gates" and the "Up the Gates" battle it out in this traditional Norse ball game. Margaret Tait records the sights and sounds of this game 1954 - 1975, the commentary featuring interview with Ba' winners, music and poetry.

See also refs 3704, 3705, 6212 and 6238 for other titles in the series. See also ref. 0704.

See also Additional Information file at 11/1/455. Paper Archives 4/5/119, 4/11/651, 4/5/92.

The Tait papers are deposited in Orkney Archives. Currently being catalogued. For any enquiries please contact Principal Archivist.

The British Artist's Film and Video Study Collection at http://www.bftv.ac.uk/avantgarde based at Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design holds an artist's file on Margaret Tait.

The British Film Institute National Library http://www.bfi.org.uk holds many of the published articles on her and her work.

In 1979 Margaret Tait was the subject of a BBC Scotland 'Spectrum' arts programme.

Credits: [opening credits]
m. Hugh Inkster, Jim Robertson, Alex Pirie and Ba Players
some comments by John D. M. Robertson and Ba Players
Ba sounds of New Year 1965 recorded by Ernest W. Marwick
"The Ba'" by David Horne spoken by Sandra Tait, Billy Jolly, John Tait
stills by Margaret Tait, Charles Tait

[ecs]
The On-Going Ba', A Film by Margaret Tait
m. Jim Robertson, Hugh Inkster, Ingirid Jolly and Ba Players

Shotlist: Reel 1

[sound starts 0.03 secs prior to picture] (0.00) opening credits and title (1.14) OVER THE YEARS starting with New Year 1954 (1.19) [col] crowds of spectators gather, one man prepares to 'throw up' the ball (1.28) game commences, there is a mad rush of the two teams from 'Uppies' and 'Doonies', and spectators look on [some slow motion] (3.45) crowds gather, shot of small boys viewing the scene from up a tree, further c/u game, crowds and children (6.43) [bw] still photographs in an album of the Ba' - includes pictures of the game in the Peedie Sea (7.22) ORKNEY MAGAZINE TWO JANUARY 1965 NEW YEAR DAY (7.30) [bw] men and boys gather before game (7.34) Boys went up in ten minutes gvs Boys Ba' game, shots of boys running down street (9.13) c/u newspaper featuring photograph of winner Raymond Youngson (9.18) Men's Ba' went doon after four hours [bw] gvs Men's Ba' game, gvs onlookers including a particularly enthusiastic woman who is almost joining in the game! Includes a shot of boy falling over in the crush (14.16) policemen stand towards edge of the throng, gvs game including a man being pulled away from the crush (15.55) street scene at night (16.02) c/u newspaper featuring Jackie Scott, winner of Men's Ba' (16.07) THE ONGOING BA' 1971, BOY'S CHRISTMAS DAY 1971 shop fronts, doorways and windows boarded up and barred to protect them from the violent game, gvs crowds of onlookers, gvs Boys Ba' (17.44) the winner of the Ba', the ball stuffed under his jumper, is pushed into car and driven off - amongst much noise and fighting (18.06) gvs people walking down street after game, street scenes (18.14) MEN'S BA' CHRISTMAS DAY 1971 gvs Men's Ba', gvs crowds of onlookers, including some boys watching from roof (20.25) shot of car driving along Kirkwall street, various exts shops and streets, shop fronts, doorways and windows boarded up and barred to protect them from the violent game (21.12) HOGMANAY 71/72 nightime scenes at Hogmany, Kirkwall main street, includes pipe band marching down street and the ringing of the bells (22.18) brief shot boarded up shop fronts in preparation for next day's game; MEN 1//1/72 gvs Men's Ba' (23.26) CHRISTMAS DAY 1972, BOYS gvs same (23.44) MEN 25/12/72 the Ba' is 'thrown up', gvs as game commences, gvs onlookers, the game passes by New Scapa Road area (27.30) HOGMANAY 72/73 nightime scenes at Hogmany, Kirkwall main street, includes pipe band marching down street and the ringing of the bells (28.48) MEN'S BA' NEW YEAR DAY 1973 gvs crowds, some drinking cans of beer [N.B. no footage of game here] (29.23) nightime gvs harbour, c/u boat hulls in water, gvs as players in Ba' game jump into water, desparate to win the ball and claim victory, brief shot elderly man dancing in front of camera (31.19) [col] BOYS' BA CHRISTMAS 1973 exts St. Magnus Cathedral, the ball is 'thrown up' and the game commences [lots of c/u] (33.39) BOYS' BA 1/1/74 gvs boys running along chasing ball (33.52) [bw] fishing boats in harbour, followed by gvs game (34.07) [bw] MEN NEW YEAR 1974 gvs crowds (34.51) [col] NEW YEAR DAY 1975 gvs Boys Ba' and them jumping in Peedie Sea (36.11) MEN'S NEW YEAR 1975 [oof st start] the ball is 'thrown up' and gvs game (36.40) 1320ft


Reel 2

BOYS' BA CHRISTMAS DAY 1976 the ball is 'thrown up' and game commences [the lady throwing the ball is Mrs Violet Grieve, winner of women's Ba' in 1946] gvs game starting in front of St. Magnus Cathedral and passing near New Scapa Road (2.54) shot of police walking along near harbour [the winner is announced on commentary as being Edgar Gibson, from the 'Uppies'] (2.57) N'YEAR DAY 1977, MEN 1.1.77 gvs game, there is a terrible crush, gvs crowds of spectators (5.01) DECEMBER 26 1977 [bw] still photographs from the game, still of winner Colin Kilpatrick (5.17) MEN 26.12.77 the ball is 'thrown up' and game commences, gvs onlookers (8.46) [bw] still photos of winner holding ball (8.57) JANUARY 1978, JANUARY 2 1978, still photographs on 2 Jan 78 by Charles Tait, BOYS' BA [bw] gvs still photography from that game, followed by film footage of it [voiceover is interview with boy competitors interviewed by Margaret Tait], still photograph of winner (10.27) c/u trophy cabinet with ball and card on display, reading "New Years Day Men's Ba presented and thrown up by Mr Vinyl Linklater. Throw up 1pm" (10.35) N'YEAR '78 MEN'S BA 2nd January [bw] stills of match followed by film footage game, spectatirs and gvs people crowded into lanes of Kirkwall as they follow the action (13.23) [col] XMAS 1978, BOYS winner of Boys Ba' poses with the ball he won outside his house [commentary sound i/v Margaret Tait and the boy about his experience of winning and the celebrations afterwards] (15.12) MEN XMAS 78 [bw] still photo of the 'throw up' of ball [col] footage of game [moving film, but with stop 'still' at the end of each shot] gvs Man's Ba' (16.11) [bw] stills of winner, the ball stuffed up his jersey (16.34) [col] winner of Men's Ba' poses with the ball he won outside his house [commentary sound i/v Margaret Tait and the man about his experience of winning and the celebrations afterwards] 1979 NEW YEAR WINNERS [bw] stills of Boys' Ba action in snow (17.50) [col] winner of the Boys Ba' shows his trophy cabinet with ball [commentary sound i/v Margaret Tait and the boy about his experience of winning and the celebrations afterwards] (18.51) [bw, col] stills of Men's Ba' game, gvs man outside his home [commentary sound i/v Margaret Tait and the man about his experience of winning and the celebrations afterwards] (20.28) 78/79 WINNERS DAVID MOFFAT, MICHAEL DREVER, NEIL NEWLANDS, BILLY JOLLY (20.46) [bw] winner holding up the ball (this being the last man interviewed) (20.52) NEXT BAS - NEXT CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR [bw] POSTSCRIPT 79/80 shpot of women and her two young children (21.12) CHRISTMAS DAY 1979 BOYS c/u Ronnie Drever [the man who 'threw up' the ball, a former Ba' winner and Secretary of the Ba' Committee] gvs game underway, the boys running down street (22.47) NEW YEAR DAY 1980 MEN'S BA' [flash frame clapperboard] [bw] gvs Men's Ba' thrown up by Jock Robertson, a former winner, gvs game and crowds of onlookers (24.11) empty street, the people appear and run down it, gvs crowds, some spectators high on building and walls, there are cameramen in view, shot of swans in basin (25.29) ecs (26.02) 937ft