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India, 1931 - 1937

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 20/3/17

Scope and Contents

An undated 16 mm, black-and-white cinefilm, without sound. A label on the film reel reads: 'India B&W copy. NW Frontier. Kashmir. Palampur. Simla'.

0 - 4sec. People in a field of tall cereal grass, pulling nets over the crop.
04sec - 09sec. Women, youths and children walking in the road, some carrying loads on their heads.
09sec - 14sec. Views of the Khyber Pass, near Landi Kotal - rocky mountainsides, with buildings/fortifications/outlook posts at points along the ridge.
14 sec - 19sec. Man with a gun slung across his shoulder wearing a backpack in the road, facing the camera. 19sec - 26sec. A view of a valley, with men walking along a road winding along the mountainside.
26sec - 28sec. Man standing on top of a hill and then walking down the opposite side. He has a gun slung over his shoulders.
28sec - 31sec. View of a road winding along the mountainside.
31sec - 37sec. Three people, including two Europeans (a man and a woman), looking down a valley. Both are pointing at something in the distance.
37sec - 41sec. View of a man facing the camera, with a valley behind him.
41sec - 50sec. Long donkey/mule and camel train, all carrying loads.
50sec - 53sec. Two youths at work turning the handles of a wooden apparatus made of two wheels mounted on a frame. The wheels are moving in opposing directions. (See also scenes at 1min - 1min 02sec and 1min 06sec - 1min 10sec).
53sec - 54sec. Showing a man, standing, using a wooden ‘pole’ in a pumping action.
54sec - 59sec. Three men in the street. The man in the middle has a bullet belt strapped across his chest.
59sec - 1min. Man with two children (boys?) in the street. One of the boys is holding a bowl.
1min - 1min 02sec. Two men at work. One is turning the handle of a wooden apparatus made of two wheels mounted on a frame. The wheels are moving in opposing directions. The second man is seated behind. (See also scenes at 50sec - 53sec and 1min 06sec - 1min 10sec).
1min 02sec - 1min 06sec. Group of people with two Europeans at the centre (a man and a woman). The man has his back to the camera but appears to hand a mounted camera to someone to hold, as someone else gives him a gun.
1min 06sec - 1min 10sec. Two men at work. One is turning the handle of a wooden apparatus made of two wheels mounted on a frame. The wheels are moving in opposing directions. The second man is seated behind him. (See also scenes at 50sec - 53sec and 1min - 1min 02sec).
1min 10sec - 1min 13sec. Showing men seated under an open shelter. Some appear to be working with or making wooden objects, others are inactive.
1min 13sec - 1min 15sec. Two Europeans (a man and a woman) outside at a table laid with various articles. There are four other men with them, one of whom passes the woman something for her scrutiny.
1min 15sec - 1min 20sec. Man watching two people working with a wooden implement.
1min 20sec - 1min 23sec. Group of youths and children beside the road.
1min 23sec - 1min 27sec. Man in the road with a gun on his back. He walks towards, and past, the camera. As he does so, he either takes something from a man just visible to the left, or shakes his hand.
1min 27sec - 1min 30sec. Bus parked in front of a guarded building.
1min 30sec - 1min 36sec. People and loaded donkeys/mules walking along the road, towards the camera.
1min 36sec - 1min 43sec. River scene including boats and buildings.
1min 43sec - 1min 52sec. A view taken from a passing vessel: people washing clothes from steps leading to the water. A boat with a huge load (of produce?) passes by.
1min 52sec - 2min 02sec. Lake views, probably Dal Lake in Kashmir, with reflections of trees growing through the still waters.
2min 02sec - 2min 12sec. Two women and one man walking through the trees, landscaped gardens and pedestrianised streets by Dal Lake; pleasure boats moored.
2min 12sec - 2min 18sec. A river scene, and a water mill.
2min 18sec - 2min 21sec. View of mountains over a large arch, perhaps at the bottom of a garden.
2min 21sec - 2min 24sec. View of trees in blossom.
2min 24sec - 2min 28sec. River scene.
2min 28sec - 2min 32sec. Parked car just before the opening of a tunnel cut into the snow-covered mountainside.
2min 32sec - 2min 39sec. View of a large valley, and river.
2min 39sec - 3min 02sec. View panning over a forest, then focussing on a man and woman (Sir Frederick Tymms and his wife) looking through a pair of binoculars into the forest.
3min 02sec - 3min 15sec. Man walking carefully along the raised banks of flooded paddy fields.
3min 15sec - 3min 21sec. Parked car just before the opening of a tunnel cut into the mountainside. The occupants are looking at the view down a valley. Two men standing on the slope of the mountain in which the tunnel is cut.
3min 21sec - 4min 05sec. River scene taken from a moving boat, and panning over the riverside buildings.
4min 05sec - 4min 09sec. A small bridge over the river in the distance (the Jhelum river in Srinagar).
4min 09sec - 4min 15sec. A view looking up-river, towards the bridge, taken from the prow of a boat.
4min 15sec - 4min 19sec. Two women standing on the prow of a boat, looking up-river.
4min 19sec - 4min 25sec. Showing a man on the prow of the cameraman’s boat, using a pole to navigate the river.
4min 25sec - 4min 49sec. A river scene, with many small boats. All use poles to navigate their boats along the river.
4min 49sec - 4min 55sec. Women washing clothes on the steps leading into the river.
4min 55sec - 5min 01sec. Boat on which the camera-man travels going towards and under a bridge.
5min 01sec - 5min 06sec. Men on the prow of the cameraman’s boat, using poles to navigate the river.
5min 06sec - 5min 20sec. Showing agricultural land. Three men pull a plough through a waterlogged field.
5min 20sec - 5min 30sec. Showing agricultural land. Two scenes of two oxen pulling a plough through a muddy field.

5min 30sec - 5min 31sec. A view of the curtained entrance of the interior of a moored boat.
5min 31sec - 5min 35sec. Man fishing from the riverbank.
5min 35sec - 5min 39sec. River, the water flowing over the rocky bed.
5min 39sec - 5min 51sec. Four Europeans (three women and a man), having a picnic on the ground beside the tree. This scene is quite faded.
5min 51sec - 6min 10sec. Fishing scenes, from the riverbank. A man smokes a pipe whilst casting his line. There is also a shot of the silhouette of a man, carrying what appears to be a gun.
6min 10sec - 6min 12sec. A man by the river, either rolling a cigarette or handling fishing bait.
6min 12sec - 6min 54sec. Man and woman fishing from the riverbank. A man uses a small net to scoop the hooked fish out of the river.
6min 54sec - 6min 57sec. A logging scene. Three men are using the river to transport a large number of cut logs. They are standing on the floating logs and using poles to navigate their way along the river.
6min 57sec - 7min. Two women picking flowers (irises) in a field or garden.
7min - 7min 09sec. River scene. Men waist deep in water pushing their boats.
7min 09sec - 7min 12sec. Two women seated on a simply made seesaw.
7min 12sec - 7min 15sec. A group of four Europeans (Two men and two women) stepping on to a boat, and turning to face the camera.
7min 15sec - 7min 36sec. Men loading donkeys/mules and leading them away from Dal Lake(?) (including a live goose perched on top of the luggage at 7 mins 28 secs).
7min 36sec - 7min 49sec. Showing people packing up their camp.
7min 49sec - 7min 55sec. A general scene showing a river, forest and snow capped mountains.
7min 55sec - 7min 58sec. Man and woman seated at a table beside the river having tea.
7min 58sec - 8min 04sec. Rushing rapids of a river.
8min 04sec - 8min 20sec. Woman being led on a donkey/mule through a rocky passage. A man is walking in front of them.
8min 20sec - 8min 27sec. View panning up from the forest floor to the snow capped mountains.
8min 27sec - 8min 30sec. Box on a post at the foot of the mountains. It is padlocked - possibly a post-box?
8min 30sec - 8min 37sec. Two women walk towards the camera. A padlocked box on a post is visible in the background, at the foot of the mountains.
8min 37sec - 8min 45sec. Man pulling a crop out of the water at the riverbank and putting in on his boat.
8min 45sec - 9min 12sec. Very shaky scenes, taken from a moving car on a mountain road, which then goes into a tunnel cut into the mountainside.
9min 12sec - 9min 25sec. Numerous bats hanging in trees, and flying to and from them.
9min 25sec - 9min 30sec. Men walking along the road carrying loads. An elderly man with a load on his back comes towards the camera and speaks to the person accompanying the cameraman, who, it appears, gives him something.
9min 30sec - 9min 41sec. View of a forest.
9min 41sec - 9min 48sec. Woman seated on some steps painting with watercolours in a pad on her lap
9min 48sec - 9min 53sec. View panning over a forest.
9min 53sec - 10min. Large white building. A man with a loaded donkey/mule walks along an adjacent path, coming towards the camera.
10min - 10 min 13sec. Woman barefoot and carrying her shoes walking on a raised bank along an irrigation channel through the trees. She is then pictured painting in a pad on her lap.
10 min 13sec - 10min 16sec. Two donkeys/mules passing by a big white building. Child seated on a piece of raised ground looks at the camera.
10 min 16sec - 10min 40sec. A group of men women and children, heavily laden, with many wearing heavily hooded long gowns, stood in groups. There is a close-up of a young girl wearing many necklaces.
10 min 40sec - 10min 45sec. Large group of people heavily laden, with goats, walking along the road.
10 min 45sec - 10min 58sec. Monkeys on public buildings and streets.
10 min 58sec - 11min 03sec. Three Europeans (one woman, two men) on horseback riding away from the camera.
11min 03sec - 11min 14sec. A view of the area filmed from a high angle, showing lots of houses built up the mountainside (perhaps the hill station of Palampur or Simla?). There is mist and low-level cloud obscuring the hills and valleys.
11min 14sec - 11min 39sec. Woman playing with a number of domesticated dogs.
11min 39sec - 11min 42sec. Men sitting beneath a shelter at work. One man is sawing a plank, which he is holding vertically.
11min 42sec - 11min 52sec. Market scenes. A man appears to be making a small wooden table by the roadside.
11min 52sec - 11min 55sec. Three Europeans walking up a hill.
11min 55sec - 12min 12sec. Monkeys sat on top of a hill, amongst the trees.
12min 12sec - 12min 24sec. Three people on horseback riding towards the camera.


  • 1931 - 1937

Conditions Governing Access

With the exception of RCMS 20/3/1, the cinefilms may be viewed online with the University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service at:

For copyright reasons, researchers wishing to view RCMS 20/3/1, (Colonial Cinemagazine 29, Colonial Film Unit, 1950) should make an appointment with the RCS Librarian to view the film in Cambridge University Library. Email:

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright Cambridge University Library.


1 item(s) (1 cinefilm)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition.

Existence and Location of Originals

A copy of this film is available for viewing at University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service:

Related Materials

See also Tymms photographic collections relating to India such as 'Arrival in India' (RCMS 20/2/10), 'Delhi-Simla-Burma' (RCMS 20/2/11), 'India, 1936-38' (RCMS 20/2/12), 'India (miscellaneous)' (RCMS 20/2/14), 'India, 1934-1947' (RCMS 20/2/15), 'Delhi' (RCMS 20/2/16), and 'The snow range from Simla' RCMS 20/2/18).



Finding aid date

2003-08-26 10:49:35+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.