Detail

Title ID 2260Collection ID193
Title[Local Scenes and Family Pictures]
Date1927; 1929
CollectionNightingale Family
Genre/TypeAmateurNon-fiction
ThemeCommemoration Rural Life
KeywordsBeaches Cultural Heritage Family Farming Leisure Time Activities Local History Pageants Play Railways Trains
Location
LocalDymchurch Lancing Chichester Kettering Ashdown Forest
RegionalWest Sussex East Sussex Kent Northamptonshire
NationalEngland United Kingdom
Credits
ProductionPercy Nightingale
CameraAlbert Jones; Percy Nightingale
ParticipantsAlbert Jones; Betty Jones (née Nightingale); Christopher Robin Milne; Moses Nightingale; Percy Nightingale; Ruth Nightingale
Format9.5mm Black & White Silent
Duration10 min. 20 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details

Summary

A compilation of films by an amateur film-maker. The films include family outings, scenes at a livestock market and a historical pageant. The pageant also includes a brief scene showing Christopher Robin Milne (son of author A.A.Milne) leading a group of children dressed as characters from his father's books: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and Kanga.

Description

The first of the films is a family outing to the beach at Dymchurch. There are shots of the children playing, an elderly man and a group of three women walking along the beach. The children go on a donkey ride. More shots show the family playing on the beach. Betty and Albert Jones, wearing swimming costumes, hats and towelling robes, make their way down to the sea. Further scenes on the beach show the younger children playing in the sea while the older family members sit, fully clothed, on deckchairs. An intertitle introduces: “The Hythe and New Romney Light Railway” and there is a shot of the train passing by. In a sequence entitled “Lancing 1927”, a man runs from behind camera and walks back towards it with a young girl and a woman. There are further scenes of two dogs play-fighting on the beach, a shot of a man and girl in a car and a brief shot of two little girls on the beach.

A general view of the Market Cross in Chichester is followed by scenes at a livestock market. Farmers inspect sheep and cattle in pens and an auction takes place for a bull. There are various shots of merchants and farmers standing around, chatting and smoking. Views of Wicksteed Park, Kettering: cars in the car park, children on donkey rides. In the playground a man swings from ring to ring, children (and adults) play on different sorts of roundabouts, swings, ropes tied to a pole, and on a slide. The final film in the compilation shows the “Pageant of Ashdown Forest 1929”. People dressed in medieval costumes act out historical scenes. A procession of horses goes past, and people perform dances. A small boy (Christopher Robin Milne) leads a group of children dressed as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and Kanga across the grass. The pageant over, the TID 2260camera pans across the ‘cast members’, showing the hundreds of people involved in the event. The film concludes with a brief shot of two men standing next to a car then walking towards the camera, followed by a shot of a waterfall or weir, this is in turn followed by a shot of a much larger, manmade, waterfall passing under a bridge with many arches.

Stills

A still from [Local Scenes and Family Pictures] (1927-1929) - Horse riders in a pageantA still from [Local Scenes and Family Pictures] (1927-1929)A still from [Local Scenes and Family Pictures] (1927-1929) - featuring Christopher Robin Milne and children dressed as characters from A.A.Milne's stories.

Contextual information

Amateur film-maker Percy Nightingale made films of his family throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The films depict family celebrations, holidays, the family at home and on outings. The films could be considered fairly typical, ordinary home movies. This particular compilation, however, has a somewhat extraordinary final scene. Probably without knowing it, Mr Nightingale recorded a small piece of literary history: the first public appearance of AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh characters. Led by Milne’s son Christopher Robin, children dressed as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and Kanga parade in the Ashdown Forest pageant. It may only be a brief scene but it is undeniably one of great interest to Milne and Pooh fans worldwide.

A large proportion of Screen Archive South East’s collection depicts family life with similar scenes to those seen in this film. The Staley family’s Bathing Beauties (1929) shows the family playing on the beach, and the Emberton Family’s [Jocelyn and Gillian at Home] (1936 - 1938) has scenes of children playing on swings and slides, as well as scenes of the family on the beach. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway can also be seen in Engines in Steam (1961?) and Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway (ca. 1953; ca. 1963; ca. 19977). Sevenoaks Cattle Market (1995 - 1999) focuses on a livestock market.

Several other films in Screen Archive South East’s collection feature pageants. Bexhill Pageant (1927) depicts a large-scale pageant dramatising events from the town’s history, and A Molesey Pageant (1913) features an Elizabethan-themed pageant on Tagg’s Island on the River Thames.

Related titles

Related resources

Books

Kelly, Mary. How to Make a Pageant. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1941

Ryan, Deborah S. “The Man who Staged the Empire: Remembering Frank Lascelles in Sibford Gower, 1875-2000.” Material Memories. Design and Evocation. Oxford: Berg, 1999

Collections

East Sussex Record Office collections at The Keep

The East Sussex Record Office holds photocopies of newspaper articles, programmes and photographs of the Ashdown Forest Pageant. Also at the Record Office is correspondence, books and papers of Iva Hill concerning her friendship with Christopher Milne. The collections are now held at The Keep, Falmer and can be searched online
http://www.thekeep.info/

West Sussex Record Office

The West Sussex Record Office (WSRO) houses a collection of photograph albums, loose photographs and documents from the Nightingale family. In addition, the collection includes a CD-Rom which has been created by a relative, detailing the extensive family tree - it includes archive photographs and moving images of the Nightingale family. A copy of the CD-Rom is also available via the Screen Archive South East office, although advance notice would be needed prior to viewing it.
https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/history-and-heritage/west-sussex-record-office/

Further Information On File at Screen Archive South East

Screen Archive South East holds video tapes of television programmes and news reports about the Ashdown Forest pageant featuring Christopher Robin Milne.

Websites

The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

A website for the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway as featured in this film.
http://www.rhdr.org.uk/