Title ID 2429Collection ID228
TitleCoronation celebrations; Old Rectory Fete; Horsted Fair
Date2 June 1953; 4 July 1953; 25 May 1957
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionCommunity
ThemeCommemoration Rural Life
KeywordsChildren Commemorative Events Communities Dance Fairgrounds Fetes Food Games Parades Sport Villages
LocalHorsted Keynes
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionDavid Mitchell-Gogay
CameraDavid Mitchell-Gogay
ParticipantsLady Irene Astor
FormatStandard 8mm Colour Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This amateur film features three separate events which took place in Horsted Keynes during the 1950s. The beginning of the film features coronation celebrations, the middle shows the Old Rectory fete and the final and longest section features the Horsted Fair, which includes footage of Lady Irene Astor.


The film opens with shots of Keynes Place, the sign swings in the breeze. Two men fix a flag pole to a chimney and raise the Union Flag. The village is decorated with flags and large crowds are assembled on the village green. A pub sign reads: "Tamplins Crown". Shots of people at the fair, include children wearing fancy dress costumes. A group of men in hats and coats stand around a very small fir tree that has been planted. A close-up of a plaque shows that it reads: "To Commemorate The Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II June 2nd 1953 Kindly Presented by John R.S.C. Clarke ESQ". A still portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is shown.

A poster advertises: "Old Rectory Fete" Saturday 4th July 1953. A shot of Horsted Keynes church is followed by a shot of a model of the church and women setting up a cake stall, with close-ups of the cakes. Shots of the other stalls, including jam, clothing, groceries and fruit and vegetables. A boy in a Scout uniform tries to lead a reluctant donkey with a child sitting on it. People play at side stalls and sit at tables in the garden to have tea. A couple dance on the lawn whilst people look on; shots of the Old Rectory and gardens.

Intertitle: "Horsted Fair" Now in 1957, the film shows a shop window with displays of Kia-Ora, Lucozade and Rice Crispies beneath a poster in the window that reads: "Saturday May 25th, Horsted Fair and Barbecue at the Recreation Ground, Horsted Keynes".

A goose is seen running through a petrol station forecourt. A close-up of the Fair poster shows that the fair includes a Grand Procession, the crowning of May Queen by Lady Irene Astor; Maypole dancing, Punch and Judy, Pony Rides, side shows, raffles, a merry-go-round, swing boats, coconut shies, fortune tellers, Haywards Heath Town Band, teas, hotdogs, and a football contest.

Intertitle: "Preparation" People are seen talking, fixing signs, putting up bunting, raising the May Pole and securing tents. Donkeys are seen arriving and a horse stands attached to a cart decorated with Union flags.

Intertitle: "The May Queen's Procession" The Haywards Heath marching band are followed by floats from the procession moving through the village. A float advdertises the Goose Fayre coming in September. Others are dressed as circus performers, including a person dressed as an elephant. The May Queen arrives holding a parasol and takes a seat at the fair. Title: "The Crowning"; the May Queen, flanked by her attendants, is crowned with flowers by Lady Irene Astor who also makes a speech from a podium. Shots of the crowd include children lined up in their fancy dress costumes holding numbers on cards. Lady Astor judges the competition.

Intertitle: "Fair Fun" There are scenes of the fair, children maypole dancing and shots of the crowd, followed by a Punch and Judy show, with children watching, laughing and pointing. Children are then seen stroking donkeys and a girl rides a horse. A sign reads: "Help re-roof the Parish Room", and people place stickers resembling roof tiles on the sign. People play at side stalls and children are seen riding on a carousel and swingboats. A sign reads: "Civil Defence is cooking all the food for the barbecue" and women in uniform are shown preparing food. There is a sign for a: "Dustbin Oven", with shots of a metal dustbin laying on its side and encased in concrete, a tray of food sits inside. Other food is cooked on a large range. Title: "Horsted Fare"; People are seen being served and eating the food.

Intertitle: "Chanctonbury Men"; morris men are seen dancing, followed by shots of the crowd and children maypole dancing. General shots of the fair, include people playing games and running races. Men stand next to the sign for the: "Committee Tent"; people inflate balloons and boys play a game of football. Children take part in races. The final scenes are in black and white and include scenes of the barbeque and tea stand, showing sausages in the dustbin oven, people cooking and serving food. A policeman talks to a child; people stand around eating food. The film ends with shots of the swingboats in the evening light. Title: "The End".


A colour still image taken from TID2429, showing a grand procession where a young girl dressed as a May Queen in a white dress and ribbon sash, is sat in the back of a shetland cart being drawn by a Shetland pony, flanked by two other girls and a man leading the way. The two girls are dressed in pale yellow dresses with head garlands. The man is dressed in a blazer and trousers and is smoking a cigarette.

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