Collection Emberton Family


Prominent British architect Joseph Emberton filmed his family and travels during the 1930s and early 1950s. The collection includes family life at their Surrey home and holidays abroad as well as glimpses of Emberton's modernist style architecture.

Collection ID43Reference codeS 951110
TitleEmberton Family
Dates1920s - 1950s
ProductionJoseph Emberton
Access statusContact Screen Archive South East for details


Prominent British architect Joseph Emberton filmed his family and their travels during the 1930s and early 1950s. His films focused on his two young daughters, Jocelyn and Gillian, as they grew up in their Surrey home. Emberton's daughters were filmed as toddlers, playing in their garden and being supervised by their mother and their nanny. Birthday parties and Christmas celebrations, picnics, outings and visits from relatives were all recorded. The filming stopped during the War years, but after the war, films continued - capturing moments from the girls' teenage years and into their early 20s.

Many of Emberton's films also record family holidays. The children paddle in the water on trips to the Cornish seaside, and their mother, Kathleen Emberton, practices body boarding using an early wooden surfboard. Joseph Emberton also filmed his travels further afield, traveling to European, American and African destinations. Notable journeys include business trips to pre-war Germany in 1937 to see the Düsseldorf Exhibition [Exhibitions] (1937-1938), and to New York in 1938 and a cruise with his wife to Morocco on board the Cap Arcona in [Christmas Cruise - Trip to Africa] (ca.1935).
Examples of Joseph Emberton's modernist designs include the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley (1925), the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Burnham-on-Crouch (1931), Simpsons of Piccadilly (1935) and buildings at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (1935-1939). Emberton's keen interest in architecture is apparent in many of his films, whereby the camera often focused on the modern architectural forms he observed on his foreign trips.

Films in this collection:

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