Title ID 1246Collection ID148
KeywordsChildren Performing Arts
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionMrs Neal Mr Norman Waterman Mr Ron Acott
FormatStandard 8mm Colour Sound
Duration24min. 40sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This amateur fictional film is based on the events surrounding the Viking and Norman invasions of Britain in 1066. School children from three primary schools re-enact the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the Battle of Hastings as part of a combined school project to mark the anniversary of the event.


1066; re-enacted by the primary schools of Chevering, Crockham Hill, Marsh Green

Over shots of the Bayeux Tapestry, a child narrates the early part of the story before the Norman landing at Pevensey. Rolling titles also retell the story. Shots of collages made by the children visualising the story. Shots of schoolchildren dressed as Vikings walking across farmland; a child narrates the story. Another group of children, this time dressed as Saxons, confront the Vikings. The Battle of Stamford Bridge is re-enacted. The Saxons are seen celebrating their victory over the Vikings.

The Norman's gather in a field after landing at Pevensey; a child continues to narrate the story. They march through fields. The Battle of Hastings is re-enacted between the Norman's and the Saxons. The Norman's are seen retreating three times. With the third advance the Norman's defeat the Saxons; the child playing King Harold is seen with an arrow in his eye. Shots of Saxons lying on the ground. Titles: "1066" & "The End, or the beginning?".

[a dramatic music soundtrack plays throughout].

Contextual information

1066 (1966) was the result of a joint project initiated by the headteachers of primary schools at Chevering, Crockham Hill and Marsh Green. The teachers, Mrs Neal, Mr Norman Waterman and Mr Ron Acott had all previously worked together at Riverhead School in Kent. Each of them owned a cine camera and with the anniversary of the Battle of Hasting approaching, decided that the schools should work together on a reenactment. Chevering being the most northerly of the schools took the part of the Viking soldiers, Crockham Hill the Saxons and Marsh Green the Normans. The children's costumes and armour were made in arts and craft lessons at school.

The reenactment took place at Batchelors Farm, north of Edenbridge as the surrounding countryside was thought to most resemble the actual locations of the various battles. The Chevering children (the Vikings) were transported to the area, but the Saxons and Normans made their way from their respective schools across footpaths to the battlefields. Each child carried an C11 picnic, which they are seen eating in part of the film. The teachers filmed the parts played by their own pupils and the three films were edited together to produce the final film.

Pupils from Marsh Green primary school also appear in School Search (1964).

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