Title ID 10775Collection ID1473
TitleMovies and Memories: Filmed Oral Histories
Date11 June 2013
CollectionMovies and Memories West Sussex - Project films
Genre/TypeProfessionalScreen Archive South EastNon-fictionOral History
ThemeWartime And Military
KeywordsBeaches Boats Children Family Food Handicrafts Mothers Oral History Second World War (1939-1945) Ships Wars
LocalLittlehampton Worthing Shoreham-by-Sea
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionScreen Archive South East
Funding bodyHeritage Lottery Fund
ParticipantsNorman Reynolds; Rosemary Milton-Thompson; John Gowlland; Rosy Cole
FormatMixed Colour and Black & White Sound
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A compilation of oral history video recordings of residents of the West Sussex seaside towns, remembering their childhood and war-time experiences. These filmed recordings were made by Screen Archive South East during an oral history and reminiscence project in 2013 and are accompanied by some of the interviewee's own family photographs and archive footage.


Norman Reynolds talks about the start of the Second World War in Littlehampton and the installation of seafront defences, including 'Ack Ack' guns; saying it was an 'exciting time for youngsters'. Norman remembers waving to a German fighter plane as he flew low over the town and the pilot waving back to him. At Christmas, Norman's family had chicken as a treat and cooked it at the local bakery. Norman also picked up flotsam from the beach containing tea and powdered milk. Thinking it might be poisoned, he gave it to a local cat to test.

Rosemary Milton-Thompson remembers the knitted suits that she wore as a child, made by her mother. Archive film footage of Rosemary herself as a toddler shows her wearing the hand knitted outfits. Her brother, John Gowlland, remembers trips to Worthing beach during the Second World War, though petrol rations and beach defences restricted their visits. Archive footage shows the Gowlland family at the beach at Worthing, playing near the beach defences and climbing on an unexploded mine.

Rosy Cole shares her memories of living in one of many the converted naval warships moored in Shoreham harbour. She later moved to her current home; a former NATO vessel from the 1960s.