Social History | 1930 | Silent | B/W
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Amateur Home Movie of a wealthy family 1930's
(Quick précis in reverse) - Rolls Royce car on the road, children and ponies, pets and children, fox hounds at a hunting meet, car trip to Scotland, motor bike, car with skis on, horse cart, sledge, 16mm camera, winter small village, biplane, Shawbridge Province of Quebec, Canada Jan to Feb 1931. Prince of Wales and Stanley Baldwin opening the Niagara River Bridge Peace Bridge, Buffalo, New York. Meeting of Worcestershire Hounds at Kenswick Manor 1929. Cunard Anchor New York, 34 berth, Berengaria 1929, Elms Rottingdean, 58 Onslow Gardens in West End of London, Fox Warren Park, Cobham, Chequers, Herts Hunt and Point to Point Meet at Chilton Green.
Start of film - Amateur titles: April 1929 - Chequers; the Hertfordshire Hunt point-to-point at Friars Walsh; Meet of Hertfordshire at Chiltern Green:
Man lying on ground in front of his car cheerily raises his hat to the camera. Camera quickly moves into see him drinking a toast to us. In area where cars are parked at the horse race point-to-point meeting, a quintessentially British event. Group walks away from camera, woman turns and blows a raspberry. Boys squat and lean on rope looking at camera. Man sits on ground. People walking on course. Before a race, huntsmen riding past. A horse race with riders, most wearing red hunting coats jumping a fence. At a jump a horse falls and another is brought down. One horse immediately gets up, a rider in tweeds is injured and holds his leg. Boy and then man talking to huntsman on horse. Two horses and riders race past camera position, a third horse trailing. Woman huntswoman stands by car.
Huntsmen with pack of foxhounds. A boy in amongst dogs strokes one. At start f a hunt, people are gathered. One impressive lady shows us her bottle of pick-me-up before slipping it into her pocket. Man smoking pipe bows to camera. Checking saddle girths.
May 1929: The Elms, Rottingdean; 58, Onslow Gardens, London; Foxwarren Park, Cobham: Beret-wearing woman walks past camera. She takes hand of small girl by big tree in back garden and they walk past camera. Game where a tennis ball is tied to a rope suspended from a tree. Both woman and then man play game and try to hit ball with tennis rackets without much luck. London Zoo and sea lion diving into pool and then waddling to camera. Zoo keeper and boys throw fish to sea lions who swim about and leap out of water.
A couple standing outside in sun. He taps end of cigarette and lights it. He smokes cigarette. Woman with Shetland pony foal at Foxwarren Park? Foal with mother. Herd of llamas in background. Llama walks to camera. A bouncy ride in a car. Large birds. An Indian gentleman in a suit in park.
June - July 1929, the Cedars, Broadheath Common; New York and Hudson River from S.S. Berengaria; the Cedars, Broadheath Common: Panoramic sweep of the Downs? The house at Broadheath Common with a white picket fence. Driving away from house. Woman and boy play cricket in a back garden of a large house. Boy plays and misses ball twice. He stands and smiles at camera. Father and boy practice catch, the father throwing difficult balls to the son.
September - December 1929: the Cedars, Broadheath Common; Hanbury Rectory, Droitwich; Compton Wynyates; Isle of Thorns, Sussex; Meet of Worcestershire Hounds at Kenswick Manor: View of house with picket fence round it. Boy emerges from front door, dog accompanying him. Little girl and boy wearing hat stand and walk around a tent. Both smiling into the sun from the tent entrance. Girl with tennis racket walk on tennis court. Girl serves tennis ball twice. Women walk in a rose garden, Hanbury Rectory? In rose garden with tent prominent, elderly rector or vicar holds hands of boy and girl and walks to camera. Man lies on grass. Boy stands under fruit tree and jumps to catch hold of a branch. A ladder leans against the trunk of the tree. Very large and impressive country house Compton Wynyates with castellated walls and topiary in garden. Various people walk in sun. Women all wear cloche hats. A building site with possibly a swimming pool under construction. In a car park, boys who are probably scouts sit and eat food or drink drinks by craning their heads back. Family party of about nine people with two women and two men wearing hunting clothes. Riders accompany pack of foxhounds.
'Dedication of Peace Bridge, Buffalo, New York, August 7th, 1927. Completion of Bridge over Niagara River symbolises goodwill between the United States and Canada': Panning shot of bridge.
'A most unusual array of dignitaries from both countries are present. Vice-President and Mrs Dawes are conducted to the Speakers' stand': Party walk along.
'Mr and Mrs Frank B. Kellogg': they leave car and he escorts her.
'Secretary of War Dwight Davis and wife': they walk by. Man doffs hat to camera.
'Al Smith, Governor of New York, and wife': she is escorted by an official. Other men are wearing top hats.
'Mr and Mrs Charles M. Schwab': walk by camera. Worthies and dignitaries on dais which is covered by a canvas awning. A man wearing pinz nez spectacles.
'MacKenzie King, Premier of Canada': he speaks at a bank of microphones.
'Secretary Kellogg delivers a message from President Coolidge': he also speaks at the bank of microphones.
'Wales, as usual, is late. He meets Vice President Dawes half-way on the bridge': Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) and Vice President shake hands over a ribbon.
'The Prince of Wales with his brother Prince George': two princes stand and pose.
'Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and wife also appear for the formalities on the bridge': Baldwin and Prince of Wales stand in full formal wear - black tie, top hats.
'The Prince and party are conducted to the American side': Prince sits in open car and wipes his nose. Flags flying. A parade. Military marching band. Cavalry. Marching soldiers. Huge crowd. Pipe and drum band. Canadian Scottish regiment of bagpipers marches past. Union flag and Stars and stripes flying from flag poles. Baldwin speaking at rostrum and microphones. Good footage of Prince of Wales apparently nervously reading his notes and then leaning forward in his seat and biting his fingernails. The caption tells us 'the Prince is rather ill at ease and nervous over his task'. Prince speaking. Speech by Dawes. Prince gnawing on his rolled up programme. Steel manufacturer Schwab speaks. Al Smith at the microphone. Al Smith Jr. poses for camera. He holds a camera. A priest gives the benediction at the microphones. The party walk down steps. Al Smith Jnr.
'Shawbridge, Province of Quebec, Canada, January - February, 1931': Social informality - people in snow. People arrive and shake hands and hug in greeting. Woman and man throw snowballs at one another. In bright daylight two men and a woman roll around in snow in their swimming costumes. They run back to veranda of house. Man and woman trekking off and doing some cross country skiing. A young couple stand facing the camera in the snow. He puts his arm round her shoulders and toasts the camera with a drink. He escorts her indoors. Another couple come and perform for the camera, smilingly. Woman looks at camera upside down between her legs. She walks and stumbles about in the snow. Man with glass and white tennis sweater talks to camera. Fooling around. A man with a hand held 16mm movie camera walks right up to our camera position. He appears to fall over and slips out of sight. Elderly gent with stick, pipe, and glass stands for camera. He drinks from his pint glass. Biplane flies over. People crane necks to look up. Group of five youngish adults stand around. Man on skies picks up ski poles and skis off. He slides. Fun and games at a ski resort / house in skiing area of Quebec. A horse drawn sled passes behind three people looking at the camera. Woman waves at camera. A sign on classic North American house: 'Lords & Ladies. Peers & Skiers'. House is weather-boarded and has a veranda. Man with slightly crossed eyes looks at camera. Man walks on skis past camera. Various members of the party out of doors in the snow on another non-sunny day. It looks colder. Advancing towards a man who is filming us. Sitting in a horse-drawn sleigh. Reverse point of view from sleigh of two skiers being towed behind sleigh. From within sleigh a view forwards over the horse as we travel along. Man toed in seated position. Woman being towed falls over. Man loses ski and falls over. Close up shot of woman as she moves forward. Towing continues through countryside away from village. Back in village.
Big country house of Chequers in Britain. Man walks past camera with pipe in his mouth. Boy sits on step at front of house tying a shoelace (just out of shot). Girl runs to camera in grounds. Part of the house with father, mother and girl in shot. Woman poses for camera in coastal village. Moustachioed man walks to camera. Man stands with his back to camera taking a picture of snow-clad mountains. He turns to doff his hat to the camera. Scotland? Woman eases herself out of window of car and sits on door frame smiling at camera. Man drives car in Scottish countryside - a Rolls Royce? Motorcycle with two men on passes smiling woman on country track. Taking the car down an unmetalled mountain track. Point of view from passenger seat showing track with Rolls Royce crest on bonnet.
Preparation for a hunt. Horses and riders emerge into field. Hat wearing man with moustache watches. Woman riding horse side saddle. Foxhounds and riders set off on start of hunt. Man and boys in garden of stately home. Boy runs along arbour pushing a rough wooden cart. Woman walks by field gate in garden. Woman wearing white and white safety had rides in woods. She is escorted by daughter on Shetland pony. A couple follow on foot. View from behind of the two riding horses - big horse with woman and tiny Shetland with girl. The two trotting across a field, the mother holding lunge lines to the Shetland. In field man holds small dog, and older woman (his mother?) stands holding a parasol. Man shows the dog to the camera. Standing for camera, daughter on Shetland is flanked by her father and grandmother, who carries a sun parasol. In a back garden, mother teaches two young daughters physical jerks and arm stretches. Closer shot of the two girls practising this exercise. They have to kick their feet in the air. Touching toes (nearly) and stretching in the air. Swinging from side to side. Running and skipping across a large lawn to the camera. Younger girl walks with mother along an arbour away from the camera. They turn and wave at the camera. Woman wearing a bathing costume and bathing cap dives into a private outdoor swimming pool. Mother and daughter swimming side by side.
In countryside, two men stand away from car with an open door. One points to something in the distance. Older man doffs his hat to the camera. Two women sit side by side, one checking haversack and smoking. Teenage boy wears silly party hat and round spectacles. He raises hat. Close ups of family happily eating picnic lunch. Woman wearing beret eats chicken from a chicken drumstick. Woman tries to skip with a scarf that is far too short and fails.
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