Title ID 120Collection ID359
TitleBrighton in Coronation Year
Date1953 - 1954
Collection[Leal] Ellis
KeywordsBeaches Celebrations Ceremonies Commemorative Events Coronations Film Making Horticulture Monuments Parades Parks Piers [Palace Pier, Brighton] Piers [West Pier, Brighton] Seaside Resorts Seasons Ships Spring
RegionalBrighton and Hove
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionAn Ellis Production
CameraF. H. Ellis (Phil)
Other creditsInstitute of Amateur Cinematographers - A Members Film
Format9.5mm Colour Sound
Duration24min. 42sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A film made by a member of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers which features various aspects of Brighton during the centenary year of 1953, including parks and gardens, festivities and other events. The film is accompanied by an occasional commentary which gives key facts about the history of Brighton, together with an upbeat soundtrack throughout.


The film opens with shots of Victoria Gardens during the coronation year with flowers in full bloom and the statue of Queen Victoria. The narrator introduces Brighton's parks and gardens and the public decorations for the coronation. There is a close-up shot of the Brighton Student's Association Coronation Rag and brief shots of a parade with floats and people in various costumes.

"Civic Sunday at St Peter's Church"

Clergy, the choir, Mayor and Mayoress and other dignitaries are seen in procession leaving St Peter's Church Hall. Sailors in uniform line up outside the church. The narrator highlights a leaflet called Story of the Years about Brighton, which he will use to highlight dates throughout the film.

"The Last of the Rustler"

On Brighton beach the remains of a large wooden boat is laying on the beach, the West Pier is in the background.

"The Helicopter follows us to H.M.S. Eagle"

A helicopter flies overhead and there are various shots of boats and small ships at sea - one of which is called Anzio. The narrator explains the influence of Dr Richard Russell on the town. There is a shot of the Grand Hotel and the Palace Pier, as well as Volks Electric Railway, where the train is arriving in the station. Bathers are seen at Black Rock Bathing Pool whilst the narrator gives a brief history of the Royal Pavilion.

"The Decorations Go Up"

A crest bearing the initials 'ER' is mounted on the front of the Old Ship Hotel, there are other shots of buildings decorated for the Coronation, including the Queens Hotel and terraced housing decorated with Union Jack flags and bunting.

"The Garden in the Summer"

Scenes of the Victoria Gardens, William IV Gate, the Royal Pavilion and Victoria Fountain on the Old Steine, along with more buildings around the town which have been decorated for the Coronation.

"The Mayors Garden Party"

People are gathered in the grounds of the Royal Pavilion, some are sitting at tables where tea is being served. The Mayor and Mayoress greet those who are gathered. The narrator gives a brief history of Brighton's Chain Pier.

"Preston Park, Church and Manor"

Various shots of Preston Park including the Clock Tower, Coronation Garden and Preston Manor and St Peter's Church. The narrator talks about royal visits to Brighton whilst there are close-up shots of people playing tennis in the park.

"The Rockery"

Shots of The Rockery on Preston Road, followed by The Lanes with snow on the ground, and summer scenes of the Pepper Pot and Queen's Park where children are playing. Brief shots of The Aquarium, promenade, beach, Palace Pier and Regency Square.

"We slide into 1954"

Shots of snowy rooftops and the Downs School viewed from Upper Hollingdean Road, there is snow on the road. Snow is also laying on the beach, from where the West Pier can be seen. A close-up of a magazine with the title - O.K. It's Spring. A lady poses for the camera with posies' of spring flowers.

"Centenary Celebrations"

Crowds are gathered in the Royal Pavilion Gardens as a marching band and soldiers in regimental dress take part in a parade. The Mayor and Mayoress arrive through the William IV Gate in a horse-drawn carriage. The narrator gives more key dates in the history of Brighton.

"Norman Wisdom Makes a Film", "One Good Turn"

Film crews are gathered in the Royal Pavilion Gardens and the narrator gives more key historical dates.

"We End As We Started", "Another Blaze of Colour"

The final scene opens with shots of flowers in full bloom in the Victoria Gardens. The narrator concludes by listing Brighton's attractions. The film concludes with night time shots of the Palace Pier (?) and the sea front with its illuminations. "The End"