Title ID 4022Collection ID121
TitleLooking at Sussex
Date[ca. 1960]; 1961; 1962
CollectionJohn Mitchell
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeCine Club Film-making Urban Life
KeywordsBuildings Castles Children Central Government Cultural Heritage Entertainment Everyday Life Lakes Parks Piers Rivers Rural Areas Seaside Resorts Seasons Spring Social Movements Urban Areas
LocalAmberley Arundel Brighton
RegionalBrighton and Hove East Sussex West Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionJohn P. Mitchell
CameraJohn P. Mitchell
FormatStandard 8mm Colour Silent
Duration15 mins. 45 secs.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A technically proficient, colour amateur film of Amberley and Arundel in West Sussex, and Brighton, East Sussex in the spring; featuring an acted sequence, and footage of the 80th Annual Conservative party conference in Brighton, held between 11th and 14th October 1961.


Roughly divided into 4 parts, the film begins in Amberley and shows an African woman of colour in traditional dress being shown around the church yard and village streets by another woman. We see 'the Old Bake House' and various other residential buildings the scene closes with her getting into a car [SLR 193]. The next sequence takes place in Arundel, the high street and river Arun feature, as does Arundel castle and Swanbourne boating lake. A loose narrative follows, depicting a young man learning to handle a stills camera. The sequence ends with a shot of a calendar with the date Wednesday 21st March 1962 highlighted.

The next section, set in Brighton, begins with the title 'Spring' followed by various shots of tulips and daffodils on the Old Steine and Grand Parade Victoria gardens, shots of people talking, sitting on park benches, pigeons mating, children playing games on the low fence in Pavilion Gardens and people reading 'Evening Argus" newspaper and "Women's Own" magazine. Still in Brighton, a staged narrative shows a young man buying a Super 8mm cine camera and heading to the beach near Maderia Drive to load it in the shade of his jacket. Strolling along the beach promenade he watches and films 'Punchinello' a Punch and Judy show (worked by Michael Byron, stagename Uncle Basil), awkwardly handling his camera, filming the West Pier and the children's paddling pool in the process, before discovering a tripod leaning against the railings. Footage is cut between the two cameras to show point of view and narrative.

The last section of the film is of the Sports Stadium (SS Brighton) on West Street, for the 80th Annual Conservative party conference. A delegate arrives in a car and various organisations demonstrate on the streets, one group's banner reads 'Keep Britain out of the European Common Market' followed by a group of women marching up the street holding a banner.


A still from 'Looking at Sussex' (1960-1962) - a young black womanA still from 'Looking at Sussex' (1960-1962) - man reading a newspaperA still from 'Looking at Sussex' (1960-1962) - young man with a cine cameraA still taken from the third film in ’Looking at Sussex’ (ca. 1960s)