Social History | 1940 | Silent | B/W + Colour
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Amateur home movie. Late 1940's (b/w) and late 1950's (colour) Wales, London, Surrey
1940s - Wales holiday on coast. A town centre. The beach busy with people, enjoying summer. View over Menai Strait. Ruined castle. Sign for A497 Porthmadoc. Panning view of a waterside town Porthmadog. Signpost on A498. Caernavon, waterfront, castle with tall ship in foreground. Sign for Menai Bridge. Menai Bridge. Traffic crossing the original bridge and view from opposite shore, on Anglesey. Railway station sign of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Angelsey, North Wales. A young girl wearing a swimsuit pegs a child’s or toddler’s clothes on the washing line in a rear garden.
Residential street with parked cars. High Street Crawley, West Sussex and the Ancient Priors black and white timbered building, as a butcher in his white coat walks along the pavement. Exterior views of the George Hotel Crawley, as a car drives past and turns the corner. Ornate overhead sign for the hotel’s car park.
Brighton. The beach with various panning views. Families and people enjoying the seaside. A dog runs towards the camera, which is filming at ground level. People walking along Madeira Drive. The Volks Railway passes in the background. There follows some extremely over-exposed footage on the beach and with views of the cliffs, a large hotel and what looks like new housing estates or developments. The waves crashing against a groyne and people swimming. Far less built up area compared to earlier footage of Brighton, so possibly another quieter, less developed South coast beach resort.
Thames cruise. Views from a pleasure boat as it cruises along the Thames. Waterfront houses, and businesses. Other passengers caught on camera. The boat goes under a bridge. View of Hampton Court Palace and another bridge in the distance. A boat called the Merry Thames rushes past. Lots of people sitting on the lawned river banks.
Children and dog paddling in a rocky stream. View of boats on the Thames River. Row of parked cars with two women sitting on fold up chairs beside a car, wearing hats. Very dark view of a shallow river and bridge. A woman holds a young boy in her arms and points at a passing car. A quiet village, as a car passes through, followed by a lad on a bicycle. People stand outside a large building with a sign that reads Scorton Ices. Various quick panning view of moorland scenery. Small streams and people enjoying the moors. Woman and boy cross a little bridge. Cars parked at a pretty spot and filmed driving along a dirt road and through fords. Cars splash through shallow water. A boy throws stones into a gentle river. View looking down onto cars along a scenic valley road, could be Yorkshire or Lake District. A little girl in her frock climbs a steep grassy slope and tries to slide down the grass on her bottom.
Very brief but over-exposed clip of Ann Hathaway’s cottage, with family arriving. Extremely over-exposed and unusable footage of a girl seemingly cutting a cake and trying to feed a doll. She feeds some to the dog. Garden scene of a young girl in a pedal car. She moves backwards and forwards without getting anywhere, before the dog walks past. Brief landscape view of a lake and car parked.
Speedway. Nice little clip of racers on a speedway circuit, as filmed from the front rows of the stands. Spectators cover their heads with their coats to protect themselves from the flying dirt and mud from the circuit. Spectators ducking as the motorbikes come around again.
Little girl walks along a village footpath with hands on her hips. Various views of the rural village and glimpses of a lake.
Inside a country house, a father plays with his little girl and the family dog. He dances with the dog. The women in the house prepare a meal at the stove.
Phantom drive in a car as it travels around Bowness. Lake Windermere with yachts. Quite jumpy. Over-exposed footage of a lake cruiser heading off on a cruise. A family in a row boat wave to the camera. Various pleasure boats on the lake. Street views in Bowness. A bus is filmed as it leaves the town. Lake District hills scenery.
Bekonscot Model or Miniature village in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Lots of black and white houses and bridges, an airfield and gardens. A young girl is filmed squatting beside the models. She kneels at the sign for Bekonscot Pier. Friary Ales model building. The whole family are filmed wandering around the attraction. Bekonscot Clarion sign and lots of other model signs in close up. The village’s admission sign is the final view from this section. Adults are 2/ on Sundays and bank holidays and 1/6 on weekdays.
Drive into London.
View filmed from a car as it drives through an industrial area, some damaged looking buildings. Car enters the Blackwall tunnel and exits the other side. View of Greenwich Royal Observatory from the park. Juddering view as a car drives along a tree lined avenue. Tower Bridge, view from bridge of Tower of London. The Thames and docks. World War Two bomb damage – some very brief glimpses.
Colour - Late fifties –
A couple get out of a parked car and walk along the street. Large sign advertising new homes to be built on Wellington Crescent, New Malden Surrey by A.J. Wait & Co. Couple of views of executive looking homes. Sign for Ewhurst Avenue and view of the street from a moving car. Building sites and new homes. Most likely South Croydon. Various houses shown, all smart two storey homes with garages.
Family come to inspect progress of building. Foundations visible on the building plot. Later footage, of the same house, where building has now progressed. Roof is going on. Two women (same ones from earlier) are now walking around the partially built home in their hats and coats. A man in a coat and hat larks around by pushing an empty wheelbarrow that has been left on site. Moving house with Pickfords. A removals van is parked in a street. Back to the newly finished house with scenes of cosy middle class family sitting on outdoor furniture on their patio and views of the now established garden.
Very dark views of a pond and rose bushes along the fence. Two women in clay make-up or beauty masks stare at the camera. One woman holds a white poodle dog. The same house filmed at another time. Three children sit on a patio swing seat eating ice lollies. Adults exit the house awkwardly in front of the camera. The women wear smart dresses. One woman holds a white poodle dog, which is dressed in a red jumpsuit or onesie. The dog now runs madly around the garden, leaping off the patio. The adults pose in a stilted fashion on the patio. One man comes out with a tray of teas for everyone. Excellent example of 1950s fashions and entertaining at home.
A pet tortoise walks across the patio. The dog playing in the garden again, but minus his red outfit this time!
Completely out of focus view of a man washing a Bentley car parked outside a house. Easter Saturday 1958 and view of the family home covered in snow. A man shovels some snow off the driveway. A Bentley pulls up at the kerb. Three women walk towards the camera. More views of extended family in the back garden posing awkwardly for the camera. One man swings a medal of some sort. Another group shot on another occasion, as people wearing difference clothes. Man mows lawn. People sit and chat outside. Repeated views of the flower beds. Short clip of a large family group gathered around a woman holding a baby – a christening.
Country living 1950s.
Interior of a house – mantle piece with a model ship. Exterior view of a Country house. A lawn covered in white petunias. View of a small riverside marina, little boats moored and the road as it curves around the village. More petunias growing in rows. Wider view of riverside village. Man rides a scooter past a park. Repeated shots of the same scooter now being ridden by a woman in a head scarf. She gets off and walks the scooter around in a circle for the camera. Woman sketching whilst sitting on a bench. A man approaches her and they smile to the camera. One man mows grass while his friend messes around, goose stepping beside him. Horse is led out of a horse box and into a field and positioned to pose for the camera. Horse gallops around the field. Horse is ridden by a man in suit and bow tie. View from the country house of the horse in the distance.
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