Film: 1216

Social History | 1930 | Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

Amateur home movie of Bassett-Lowke family from Northampton. Includes good indoor scenes of family Christmases and Birthdays. 1930's

Sign for the Northampton Repertory Theatre advertising the play 'The Adding Machine', "a fantastic play by Elmer Rice" followed by bizarre surreal scene from the play with a manic looking man and a woman counting. They sit opposite each other with a counting board between them and use long strips of paper with numbers on.
Intertitle - "Christmas Day in the Workhouse 1931". A large modernist house designed by Peter Behrens, close-up on the gate which reads "New Ways". Inside a woman holds a cat and a placard with 25th December 1931 written on it. Shot of the Christmas tree and the beautifully laid out table with flowers and candles. A maid puts a large turkey in the oven in the kitchen, a clock reads twenty five to eleven. Christmas cards on the mantelpiece. A man opens letters at a table. Husband and wife leave the house for a walk; she wears a lavish fur coat and he wears plus-fours, they both carry walking sticks. The maid takes out a beautifully browned bird from the oven. Guests arrive; his mother and two women. They sit at the table and smile at the camera. An open fire blazes in the fireplace. Short firework scene and the guests leave. A woman runs up towards the gate waving.
Intertitle - "My 55th Birthday". Bassett Lowkes's 55th birthday. Three older gentlemen raise their glasses to the camera, all in suits and ties and one smokes a pipe. Another toasting scene with his wife.
Bassett-Lowke holds placard which reads 27th December 1931. He sits with his wife drinking tea in tea cups with a cake tray next to them.
Intertitle - "My mother's 80th Birthday". Birthday celebrations, lots of guests are gathered in the living room smiling for the camera. Close-up of his mother smiling.
A small blackboard rests on a bedside table next to a clock. It reads "Christmas 1937". Husband comes down for breakfast with his wife and the maid brings them presents. A table covered with gifts. The couple sit at a table going opening a pile of post. Later, guests are gathered and they have a toast. Cards on the mantelpiece. Wife and mother sit playing cards, she leans in and gives her a kiss. Close-up of the open fire and the mother blowing kisses.
Husband and wife sit drinking tea, he passes her the blackboard which reads "December 27th 1937". He turns it over and it reads "60 today, many happy returns". A gentleman joins them and she pours tea from the pot. The maid sits at a table finishing something from a plate. The dining table beautifully laid out with crackers. Guests sit around drinking wearing party hats. Fairy lights around the door.
Wife and her sister stand in the garden on a summer day looking at a ship ornament. Husband and wife pose for the camera in the garden and kiss. Husband and friend offer each other cigarettes. Wife fills several baskets with apples in the garden, a cat lounges in the background. The maid sets up tea on a table in the garden. The family sit on garden furniture. Close-up of the ship ornament.

Watford Spa pageant. Group of people sit around on chairs outside watching a dancing display. It is a grass area near tennis courts. People dance about in elaborate costumes including men with very tall top hats, women in floaty dresses and a man with a sun on his head. The crowd applaud.

End


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