|Title ID||3377||Collection ID||433|
|Title||[Glimpses of Pre-war Worthing and Everyday Folk]|
|Date||1938 - 1939|
|Theme||Urban Life Transport Fashion|
|Keywords||Building Construction Buildings Everyday Life Fire Services Houses Labour Mothers Motor Vehicles Roads Trains Urban Areas Weather Winter Workers Clothing Fashion Coats Hats Trousers Uniforms|
|Format||Standard 8mm Black & White Silent|
|Duration||23 min. 43 sec.|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
This silent amateur film captures numerous street scenes in Worthing, in particular those which took place during the harsh winter of 1938. It also records 'Sparks and Son Builders and Contractors' working on various local buildings.
The camera films Worthing street scenes from a rooftop - a double decker bus passes along South Farm Road whilst motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians wait at the gated railway crossing for a Southern Railway train leaves Worthing Central Station. Workers from Sparks and Son Builders and Contractors continue work on the wooden frame of the new grandstand at Castle Road rugby pitch, laying flextile shingles on its roof. Heavy snow has settled on the streets of Worthing - residents and workers attempt to clear the roads and pavements, and to continue their daily lives. The detached houses and gardens of Parkfield Road, and Tarring Recreation Ground look picturesque in the snow, but the weather's hazardous character is also captured on film - a car has to be freed from a road's icy grip. The snow disperses and builders from Sparks and Son get to work on various buildings - they knock down an entire shopfront, utilizing a supporting steel girder to advertise the business. A poster promotes the killing of rats during National Rat Week. A fire-engine travels through the streets and firemen accompanying the Mayor in procession to the Public Library (the building which now houses Worthing Museum and Art Gallery). Roadworks on South Farm Road divert a bus along the narrow back streets before it reaches the railway crossing.
[Glimpses of Pre-war Worthing and Everyday Folk] (1938 - 1939) was filmed by Eric Sparks, a keen amateur film-maker who made fairly sophisticated films showing Worthing and the local area, the work of his builder's firm and his interest in the West Sussex railway.
In this film Eric Sparks recorded transport, everyday life and the work of family firm 'Sparks and Son' in his hometown of Worthing during the final few months of peace before the Second World War. Worthing was targeted by German bombers during the War and its character changed greatly in the post-war years when rapid land development altered the landscape and demographic. Sparks' film therefore captures images of buildings and everyday life which no longer exist today. It also captures what was arguably the whitest winter experienced by Britain in the 20th century - heavy snow fell daily for over a week at Christmas.
Worthing developed as a popular winter and summer resort during the 20th century - Screen Archive South East films such as [Worthing Seaside] (ca. 1934) and Sussex Coast (1979 - 1980) provide images of the tourist attractions. Consequently they offer a different perspective on the town than those captured by Eric Sparks as a local resident.
Fashion Notes: This film shows work clothing including that of a roof tiler, bus conductor, firemen and builders. It also illustrates traditional mayoral robes and legal dress. There are also some examples of everyday winter outerwear.
Fashion keywords: aprons, belts, boots, braces, caps, ceremonial costume, coats, fire hats, flat caps, helmets, hoods, jackets, overalls, shirts, stockings, sweaters, trousers, tunics, uniforms, wigs
For further information see Screen Search Fashion online resource.