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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.


  • Creation: 1931 - 1937


Conditions Governing Access

From the Series:

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