Title ID 4013Collection ID121
Title[Brighton Items]
Date[ca. 1960]
CollectionJohn Mitchell
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fiction
ThemeWartime and Military Commemoration
KeywordsCars Commemorative Events Memorials Monuments Parades Racing Railways Roads Trains
RegionalBrighton and Hove East Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionJohn P. Mitchell
CameraJohn P. Mitchell
ParticipantsRaymond Baxter (?)
FormatStandard 8mm Mixed Colour and Black & White Silent
Duration17 min.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A portrait of Brighton made by a local amateur cameraman, featuring several notable events such as the Veteran Car Rally and Armistice Day.


Passengers board the Volk’s Electric Railway at the Aquarium Station. The train travels up and down the seafront. Colourful crowd scenes at the Brighton Racecourse show punters placing bets with bookmakers and awaiting the start of the race. There is a brief shot of the horse race itself. The London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally is seen from a moving vehicle. There are many shots of the vintage cars on the road, and several being repaired on the roadside. In Brighton, the cars arrive on Grand Parade alongside more modern cars and on Madeira Drive crowds of onlookers line the roadside. The cars park up, and the crowds mill about and chat with the cars’ owners. Several wintry scenes follow; a view though bare winter trees of a factory, a misty country lane and autumn leaves on the ground. An Armistice Day service takes place at the war memorial on Old Steine. Servicemen and women, war veterans and civilians gather around the memorial, where small crosses have been placed in the ground. Military bands and veterans march past the Royal Pavilion. Back at the memorial more people plant small crosses in the ground, others look at the wreaths of poppies and floral tributes. There is a close-up of the Armistice Day Assembly Ground plaque before the film concludes with a general view of the war memorial.


A still from [Brighton Items] (ca.1960) - armistice day

Contextual information

John Mitchell, the film-maker, was a member of the Brighton & Hove Photographic Club. He made several film portraits of Brighton and Hove and Sussex, primarily focusing on visitor attractions. In this film, however, he includes the more sober subject of an Armistice Day service.

Screen Archive South East has many other films focusing on Brighton. Beautiful Brighton and Hove (ca. 1960), Brighton Pictures I, II & III (1960s) and Brighton (1957) are all portraits of the town made by amateur film-makers. In addition, it has several films which recorded Armistice Day events across the decades. These include Local News Film (1930s), Leatherhead Newsreel (1940 - 1945) and [Chichester Air Training Corps. Past and Present] (1964 - 1970s).

Related titles

Related resources


Brighton History Centre records at The Keep

“Brighton History Centre holds an extensive range of material for the study of Brighton's history and culture, both past and present.” The collection includes newspapers and periodicals for Brighton and the region; books and pamphlets on Brighton; an extensive collection of photographs, postcards and slides, maps; Brighton and Sussex ephemera, including theatre, cinema and sporting programmes, scrapbooks and posters; oral histories of local people. A catalogue listing further references and resources accompanies a selection of films about Brighton and Hove (from Screen Archive South East’s collection) is available online from The Keep.

Imperial War Museum

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the collections of the Imperial War Museum include Film and Video, Photographs, Sound, Art, Documents and Printed Books. Amateur film is well represented in the Film and Video Archive. The collections’ database is searchable online.

Journal Articles

Buchanan, Andrew. "If I Were to Make a Film about Brighton ..." Amateur Cine World

(December 1949) This article which outlines how best to film a portrait of a town is available at the British Film Institute National Library in London.

Other Resources

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion website provides information on Armistice Day services. “As de facto custodian of Remembrance in the UK, the Legion is charged - under the terms of its 'Royal Charter' - with organising 'Festivals of Remembrance, services and parades to perpetuate the memory of sacrifices made during service with Our Armed Forces in war and peace'.”


Brighton in Pictures

The Brighton History Centre image and photography collections are now held at The Keep. A selection of photographs from the collection is searchable on The Keep website and by request from, Brighton and Hove Museums.

Brighton and Hove Museums Collection

My Brighton and Hove

Described as “a living history of Brighton and Hove”, this web resource gathers memories, photographs, knowledge and opinions about the city.