Title ID 1201Collection ID140
Title[Birthday; Winter Scenes]
CollectionJohn Brocklehurst
Genre/TypeAmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeFamily life Rural Life
KeywordsBirthdays Children Everyday Life Family Lakes Landscape Mothers Rural Areas Winter
LocalWillesborough Hastings Westwell
RegionalKent East Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionJohn Brocklehurst
CameraJohn Brocklehurst
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration19min. 15sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A home movie from 1941 featuring the Brocklehurst family. They are seen at home celebrating their eldest daughters birthday and out and about in the countryside with friends. The film hints at the impact of the war, with a soldier at home on leave and the family car being prepared for storage.


The film opens with the eldest son of John Brocklehurst sitting on a potty at the family home in Willesborough, his sister is seen attempting to fix a doll's cot with a hammer in the garden. The film cuts to dark and grainy shots of the the two children sitting at the dining table, their father, films the pair through a balcony window. The youngest of the two children is seen serving up some food onto plates from a dish in the middle of the table; his sister laughs as she sees the camera watching them.

On the Wye Downs the family is seen walking along a country lane, they stop to look at the cows in the adjacent field. The mother and father take it in turns to run along the road with the children. Back at the family home, the children are seen sitting around the dining table eating party food, celebrating the birthday of the Broklehurst's eldest daughter. Her mother lights the candles on the birthday cake and the birthday girl is seen blowing them out. [Kodak Safety Film logo]

In some woods the children, their mother and an elderly couple are seen looking for chestnuts in the undergrowth. The old man looks up and stares at the camera for some time; the children attempt to help in the search. The film cuts to scenes of the family with another couple and a baby sitting on a bench outside a house in Hastings; they show off the baby to the camera. There is a brief shot of the family sitting in the back of a car.

Back in Willesborough, a young couple who were friends of the family are seen having a snowball fight on Hinxhill Road. (The man who is wearing an army uniform was on leave). The children and adults continue to enjoy the snow by riding on sledges down a hill behind Willesborough windmill. The final section of the film shows the family out walking with a local camera club (the men can be seen carrying cameras); they stand on a hill looking out at the view. At Westwell lake they stand above a waterfall. The film ends with a very brief shot of the family's car being prepared for storage (due to petrol rationing?).