Title ID 4377Collection ID232
TitleBirling Armada Fair
DateJuly 1988
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeRural Life
KeywordsFetes Villages
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionDenis Anstey
CameraDenis Anstey
EditorDenis Anstey
FormatColour Sound
Duration13 min. 20 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This video records scenes at the Birling ‘Armada’ village fair in July 1988 and the lighting of the Armada Beacon.


The village of Birling in Kent has one of a chain of beacon sites that exist across the country where, historically, beacon fires were lit to warn of the coming of the Spanish Armada. This fair was held in 1988, and the beacon was lit to commemorate the 400th anniversary that year of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. This recording of the village fair starts with the title ‘Denis Anstey, Amateur Video’. The fair is opened by the Deputy Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council. She states that Birling and Ightham are the only two ‘Armada Beacon’ villages so designated in the district of Tonbridge and Malling. She adds that proceeds of the fair will go towards improvements in Birling village. The video then shows various scenes around the fair, accompanied by music and some of the sounds of the event. Scenes include villagers dressed in Mediaeval costume, stalls selling cakes and other goods, dancing, games and a raffle, a man demonstrating traditional wood working skills, some brief shots of Morris dancing, and a stand for the ‘Sail Training Association’. The fair ends with announcements of the raffle prize winners and other announcements. The final scenes are night shots of the lighting of the Beacon and the surrounding crowd. Made on video, this item, was later reedited to include a new musical sound track.