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John Bull

About the film

The breeding of famous strains of British cattle.


Release year
Michael Hankinson
Production company
Ivan Scott
W. Luff
C. Ridley
N. Wiggins
Sound recording
W. Bland
Running time (minutes)
9 mins 48 secs

Original Description

Britain’s Prize Herds
'British pedigree bulls have given new life to cattle in countries all over the world. Various prize herds are shown, including Ayrshire cattle, bred for milk production, Herefords, the famous beef herd of the West Midlands, and Shorthorns. Some champions are seen in the ring.’
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1946)


  • The unusual breed of cattle we first see are Chillingham Cattle, related to the White Park breed. There are around 100 cattle of this unusual and ancient breed in the UK, all of which are wild animals and not domesticated.
  • Around the five minute mark, a oast houses can be seen in the background on the farm. These buildings have distinctive conical roofs and were used to dry hops as part of the brewing process.
  • The Smithfield Show, mentioned in this film, was established in 1799 and ran for over 200 years until its cessation in 2006. The Royal Show, attended by the royal family in the film, also recently came to an end with its final show in 2009.