Title ID 1675Collection ID105
Title[Horse Show; Holiday at Eastbourne]
CollectionGowlland Family
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsAnimals Beaches Birthdays Children Family Farming Holidays Landscape Outings Religious Buildings Rural Areas Seaside Resorts Second World War (1939-1945) Sport Villages
LocalCroydon Alfriston Cuckmere Eastbourne. Lullington WIlmington Cuckmere Valley East Dean Battle
RegionalSurrey East Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionGeoffrey Price Gowlland
CameraGeoffrey Price Gowlland; Amy Gowlland (Peggy)
ParticipantsGeoffrey Price Gowlland (father); Amy Gowlland (known as Peggy) (mother); Rosemary Gowlland; John Gowlland; George Mark Gowlland (known as Mark) (siblings)
FormatMixed Colour and Black & White Silent
Duration11min. 17sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Film of the Gowlland family in the first year of Peace after the Second World War. In this film, the family go to a Gymkhana, and go on Holiday to Eastbourne, where they play on the beachat Eastbourne, and visit Alfrison and the surrounding Sussex Downs.


The film begins in black and white, with a Horse Show and Gymkhana at Elstead, the family on a beach at Eastbourne, a picnic in the countryside, and John's birthday cake.

Now in faded colour film, a title reads, "Holiday at Eastbourne September 1946". At Eastbourne the family play on the beach and paddle in the sea, the Bandstand, Pier and Wishtower visible in the background. The youngest child, Mark, eats an ice-cream. The family then visit the nearby village of Alfriston and look at the historic buildings, the tiny church at Lullington, the Long Man of Wilmington, and the surrounding countryside of the Cuckmere valley featuring the River Cuckmere. Back on the beach at Eastbourne, the children paddle in the water as family members relax on deck chairs with panoramic shots of the Pier, Bandstand and Wishtower. A remnant of war-time safety is noticed, as the children point to a sign reading 'police notice, unexploded bomb'. The family visit the village of East Dean [title reads: West Dean] and Mrs Gowlland's brother's farm nearby. At the farm, the harvest is taking place and the children play in the hay field. The family go camping in the Cuckmere Valley visiting the Seven Sisters. The family return to a high tide on the seafront, with the water crashing onto the beach and sea defences, before moving on to visit Battle Abbey and Battlefield. The film closes with shots from on top of the South Downs overlooking Eastbourne Golf course and Town.


A still from [Horse show; Holiday at Eastbourne] (1946) - John Gowlland aged 7 with birthday cake

Contextual information

Family correspondence (detailed on the Gowlland website indicate that the family often liked to visit Eastbourne and Mrs Gowlland's brother's farm in the surrounding countryside before the war. War-time seems to have restricted their visits, but with the advent of more peaceful times, the Gowllands returned to Eastbourne and the farm more freely.

Related resources


Gowlland Family

A website put together by members of the Gowlland Family, detailing aspects of their family history.