Title ID 4369Collection ID410
Title[Jubilee Celebrations; Franklin Street Brighton]
Date7 June 1977
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
KeywordsCelebrations Children Commemorative Events Communities Cultural Events Dance Entertainment Games Leisure Time Activities Roads Royalty Urban Areas
RegionalBrighton and Hove East Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionJanette Grabham
CameraJanette Grabham
EditorJanette Grabham
ParticipantsSimon Ready (Bass guitar); Bruce Seatle (Lead guitar); Bill Smith (Rhythm guitar); Nick Stevens (Guitar)
FormatBlack & White Sound
Duration49mins 30sec
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


An amateur film, which was shot and edited on B/W video (Portapak), records one of the thousands of street parties which took place across Britain in 1977 to celebrate HM The Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. This party occurs on Franklin Street in Hanover, a residential district of Brighton.


A hand-drawn sign proclaiming "Silver Jubilee 1952-1977 Franklin Street" stretches out above the residential road, hung aloft between opposite rooftops, alongside rows of bunting. After final preparations are made, the street party begins in earnest with a parade of children in fancy dress - a toddler dressed as a Red Indian; a young boy wearing an oversized OXO cube; a pair of boys imitating Tweddledum and Tweddledee. The winning entrants are walked down the cul-de-sac in front of a small crowd - a man interviews them over a amplification system - the first-placed child is dressed as a souvenir Jubilee mug. The crowds begin to grow as the day progresses - elderly women participate in a dancing competition; a children's marching band performs along the street; children compete for sweets in running races. Two rows of tables and chairs are set up on the road - the partygoers enjoy an outdoor lunch of finger food. After eating, the children are entertained by two magicians (one just a boy himself) and by a band of young men who play accompanying music for a game of musical chairs, a sing-along and finally a multigenerational Hokey-Cokey dance.


A still from [Jubilee Celebrations. Franklin Street Brighton] (1977) - children in the fancy dress parade

Contextual information

[Jubilee Celebrations. Franklin Street Brighton] (7 June 1977) is the earliest video recording held at Screen Archive South East. It was filmed and edited by Janette Grabham, a resident of Franklin Street and a recent graduate of a college film and video course who was interested in documentary video. She utilized the equipment at Brighton Polytechnic, borrowing a Portaback - the first of the portable B&W video cameras manufactured - and editing it at the institution. The edited video was subsequently screened to the local residents and at the Polytechnic.

The 1977 Silver Jubilee followed the pattern of Britain's other 20th century Coronation and Jubilee years, namely initial public apathy and concerns about expense being replaced by gradual participation and finally by mass extravaganza and involvement. The 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne in 1977 was marked by events which spanned the year. A Royal procession to St. Paul's Cathedral on the 7th June marked the culmination of the official celebrations and was supported across the country by thousands of street parties. Individual streets and neighbourhoods came together, as they had done for the 1937 and 1953 Coronations and for VE Day, to celebrate the anniversary with dancing, singing, competitions and food. The street parties however represented much more than a Royal anniversary, for they generated a sense of community and unity largely absent in everyday life in Britain - as one participant recalled, "for a ten-day period we forgot inflation, local problems, personal problems and all joined in some harmless fun - all ages, all classes, both the sexes were all at one." (Crown and People 191)

Screen Archive South East houses numerous other amateur films which record the community events that took place across the South East during the Silver Jubilee year. These include 1952-1977, Adisham, The Queen's Silver Jubilee (1952 - 1977), Godalming Jubilee Celebrations (1977), [Jubilee Fete Singleton 1977] (1977) and Jubilee Wye (1977).

Screen Archive South East also holds films which captured events that marked other 20th century Jubilees. For example, in Silver Jubilee Celebrations (1935) a local cine club filmed the celebrations taking place in Chichester to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and in [Ightham Coxcombe Fair Jubilee Celebration 2002] (2002) an amateur film-maker captures the events taking place in the Kent village of Ightham for Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.

In addition Screen Archive South East houses films which recorded the celebrations that occurred during the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. Amongst these is The Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1953), a professionally made colour film of the Coronation procession and ceremony. The amateur films [Coronation Celebrations in Burgess Hill] (1953) and Coronation Day in Godalming (1953) record two of the local, community celebrations which occurred across Britain - events included parades, fairs and sporting competitions.

Related titles

Related resources


Ward, Patrick. Flags Flying. London: Gordon Fraser Gallery, 1977

This book contains a series of colour photographs showing people, buildings and streets bedecked in Union Jack flags during the 1977 Silver Jubilee celebrations. Copies of the book are available at the University of Brighton and the British Library.

Ziegler, Philip. Crown and People. London: Collins, 1978

This book analyses public opinion of the Monarchy - chapter nine is based on findings which are housed in the Silver Jubilee Collection at the Mass-Observation Archive.


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.

Mass-Observation Archive

“The Mass-Observation Archive specialises in material about everyday life in Britain. It contains papers generated by the original Mass-Observation social research organisation (1937 to early 1950s), and newer material collected continuously since 1981.” The Archive also houses a collection pertaining to the 1977 Silver Jubilee which contains people's reactions to the event. A search facility is available online.


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

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.

The Official Website of The British Monarchy

"This web site provides information on the work of The Queen in modern society, biographies of the Royal Family, a history of kings and queens through the ages, background on Royal residences and art collections, and coverage of recent Royal events." It also contains a section entitled 'History of Jubilees'.