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Topical Budget 71-2: Horses' New Year's Feast (1913)


Main image of Topical Budget 71-2: Horses' New Year's Feast (1913)
35mm, black and white, 20 feet
Production CompanyTopical Film Co.

Horses at the Horses' Home of Rest at Cricklewood enjoy a special feed for New Year.

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Animals were always popular subjects for Topical Budget, and this newsreel is also valuable for preserving footage of the famous Cricklewood Home of Rest for Horses.

It had been founded in 1886 after fundraising by Miss Ann Lindo, who had the idea of a horses' rest home when she saw how many cab horses in London were being mistreated.

The Home was based at various locations in its early years, initially a farm in Sudbury, near Harrow, north-west London (1886-89), then Acton, west London (1889-1908), before taking over Westcroft Farm at Cricklewood, twenty acres of open pasture just four miles from Marble Arch, capable of housing up to 250 horses. It would remain there until 1933, when urban development and a compulsory purchase order forced a move to Boreham Wood, Hertfordshire (1933-1975) and finally Speen Farm in the Chilterns, Buckinghamshire, where it remains in operation to this day.

By the 1960s, its reputation was such that its income exceeded its running costs, and profits from the sale of the Boreham Wood facility has enabled a charitable foundation to be established, which has turned the Home of Rest into a leading financial supporter of equine welfare schemes: the Royal Veterinary College and the former Equine Health Centre (now the Animal Health Trust) are example of organisations that have benefited from its largesse.

Three years later, Topical Budget would return to Cricklewood to make the very similar, though somewhat more detailed, Horses' New Year's Dinner (Topical Budget 228-1, 1916).

Michael Brooke

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Video Clips
Complete film (0:28)
Topical Budget 228-1: Horses' New Years' Dinner (1916)
Topical Budget 238-1: Motor Ambulances for Horses (1916)
A Very Topical Year: 1913