Kent on Film Volume Two – Rural Life

Rural Life - Kent on Film DVD coverFeaturing rare moving images of Kent from the 1930s, Volume Two in our DVD series, ‘Kent on Film’, presents remarkable archive film sequences showing rural Kent from the collections held by Screen Archive South East.

The film extracts present many different aspects of rural Kentish communities at work and play during the 1930s.

Running time: 66 minutes

The DVD is available at all Kent libraries and archive centres or available to order online at For more information email Paula Manklow

More about the DVD

The DVD includes scenes from the 1930s showing the agricultural seasons and activities including ploughing, planting, the preparation of a traditional hop garden, harvesting and tree felling. Particular activities include fruit and h[Kent Hop Farming Part 1: Hop Picking] (1930s)op picking, the harvesting of wheat and the annual Egerton May Fair. The DVD concludes with an extract from the film Country Rhapsody, a cine-poem dedicated to the beauty of the rural world.

All of the films in this collection have been preserved, digitised and documented by Screen Archive South East for use both now and in the future.

There are five films on the Rural Life DVD:

  • In England’s Garden (1930s) – This film by Spot Botting is dedicated to, “the true spirit of rural Kent.” A sequence taken from the film, devoted to the beauty of the natural world, is followed by scenes of tree-felling, ploughing, harvesting and hop picking.
  • Egerton May Festivals (1935; 1936) – Spot Botting recorded many of the annual May festivals held in Egerton during the 1930s. Each festival featured the crowning of the May Queen, maypole dancing, fancy dress parades and Kentish ‘hooden horses’. In this clip, the 1935 festival marked the Silver Jubilee of King George V.
  • Our Daily Bread (Mid 1930s) – Ernest Botting known, as ‘Spot’, was a shopkeeper in the village Egerton near Ashford. Throughout the 1930s he made films on life in and around the village. His films are a unique record of inter-war rural life. This clip presents scenes of ploughing, planting and harvesting.
  • In the Hop Fields of Kent (ca.1937)In the Hop Fields of Kent (.1937) – F. P. Barnitt’s film is a portrait of a year in the life of a hop garden from its preparation through to the picking and drying of hops. This clip shows hop pickers at work.
  • Country Rhapsody (ca. late 1930s) – This film is F. P. Barnitt’s cine-poem to the countryside, inspired by the rural world of Kent. It reflects the changing seasons and offers a romantic view of work on the land. An extract from the film is presented on this DVD.

The DVD was produced by the Kent Archives Service and Screen Archive South East. We thank all of our donors and depositors for making the production of this DVD possible.

© Kent Archives Service, Screen Archive South East and the rights holders 2008

Music: Stephen Horne
Voice-Over Narration: Liz Finn (Kent Archives Service)