Title ID 10823Collection ID1265
TitleChildren, The Passing of Queen Mary, A Sports Day and a Coronation
CollectionJohn William Bell
Genre/TypeAmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeFamily Life Early Film In The South East Commemoration
KeywordsWater Transport Animals Celebrations Commemorative Events Coronations Children Everyday Life Funerals Pageants Bridges Rivers
LocalLondon Westminster Ashtead
RegionalCity of London Surrey
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionJohn William Bell
CameraJohn William Bell
Format9.5mm Black & White Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details.


An amateur titled film in 1953 documenting David and his brother, the passing of Queen Mary, a sports day and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.


The film opens titled 'we are both growing up, I am now 12' David is filmed in his back garden. David's brother is now twelve he is also filmed in his garden.

On March 28th, 1953, team Oxford and team Cambridge are filmed at the boat race from near Barnes Bridge an intertitle reads "Cambridge win by eight lengths". Following this, is the death of Queen Mary where the procession is filmed passing along Whitehall towards the Cenotaph, on route to Windsor Castle for the funeral. A photograph of Queen Mary closes the scene.

David and his brother are filmed returning to the family home, eating meringues, playing in the garden and playing by the pond with tadpoles. Sports day takes place on the 16th May, 1935 where we see a flag, the school grounds and David doing the long jump.

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II takes place and the streets of London are dressed in decorations labelled 'long live the queen' and flags. We also see people of colour at a garden party. At night Regent Street and Pall Mall are lit up. The TV is filmed where we see Winston Churchill, The Duke of Edinburgh, and Queen Elizabeth II being crowned followed by scenes of the procession leaving Westminster Abbey, scenes from in the balcony at Buckingham palace and the Royals' passing near County Hall in South East London.

The next scene is titled 'glimpses of River Pageant' where we see boats on the Thames in Deptford and shots of boats on the Thames from Waterloo Bridge.

Tim the Tortoise is introduced to David's brother. We see a tortoise with 'Tim' written across his shell and David's brother playing a pipe.