Collection Giles Family


A rich collection of colour 16mm films captured by the Giles Family of their home-life and activities spanning the 1930s to the late 1970s. Films in the collection include portraits of daily life in the run-up to the Second World War and the activities of the Auxiliary Fire Service along with domestic scenes and caravan holidays across the decades.

Collection ID1112Reference codeS 091007
TitleGiles Family
Dates1930s - 1970s
ProductionEric Leese Giles
MaterialsFILM 16mm Documentation
Access statusContact Screen Archive South East for details


Eric Leese Giles (1901-1987) worked as an apprentice at his grandfather's company Morgan's the Coachbuilders and trained in the modelling and designing of car bodies.

In 1923 Giles qualified as an interior designer, becoming an associate of the Incorporated Institute of British Decorators, later to become the British Institute of Interior Designers. During this time he worked on the Penthouse Suite at the Dorchester Hotel in 1956 and the new Spillers Headquarters Directors suite completed in 1961.

Eric Giles became a member, and then president, of the Bugatti Owners Club (BOC); having designed a chassis for Bugatti as well as the front cover of the club's magazine. Eric Giles also owned a 1930 type 46 Bugatti, which he used as a tow engine for an Auxiliary Fire Service pump during the Second World War. The vehicle was purchased to support his service to the Auxiliary Fire Service, later named the National Fire Service at the outbreak of War. Giles served at the action station at Kettlewell in Woking, Surrey, taking part in several local AFS competitions and demonstrations in addition to his local duties. Several displays were filmed and are included in this collection. Eric Giles reached the rank of Senior Company Officer and was responsible for a large area of Surrey and Sussex, later retiring from the National Fire Service in 1946.

Eric Giles lived in Ottershaw and then at the family house 'Sunnymede' in Chobham, Surrey for many years with his family and pet dogs who feature strongly in the films. Several films show the gardens and grounds of their house throughout the seasons across a twenty year period from the 1950s to the late 1970s. Upon retirement, Giles' spent much of his time on caravanning holidays with his wife and several of these holidays are featured in films in the collection. Giles also maintained his interest with motorcycles, riding in the Pioneer London to Brighton run well into his 80s.

Films in this collection:

Showing 16 to 25 of 25 results.

Showing 16 to 25 of 25 results.