Title ID 5420Collection ID766
TitleAmong Our English Friends
CollectionJohn Wood Collection
Genre/TypeAmateurFamily Home MovieIndependent AmateurNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsChildren Domestic Gardens Family Gardening Houses Outings Rural Areas Plants Social Class Canals Villages
LocalWeybridge Speen Gerrard's Cross
RegionalSurrey Buckinghamshire
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionAustin Reed
CameraAustin Reed
FormatColour Silent
Duration14 min. 21 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This compilation of colour family film, shows footage of Austin Reed's house along with those of his friends in Surrey and Buckinghamshire in 1937. The film is edited together with subtitles, marking changes in location or introducing friends and family.


0:00:07:08 (0:03:37:17) Austin Reed's Home (IT). Panning footage of a timber frame house and well kept garden. Paths are lined with flower beds. 0:03:45:00 (0:00:16:11) Mr. Digweed, the Gardener (IT). Mr. Digweed, the gardener, stands awkwardly in the garden, wearing a flat cap, white shirt, waistcoat and tie, holding a bouquet of roses.

0:04:01:11 (0:00:09:19) Mrs. Reed (IT). Mrs. Reed stands at a ground floor window, waving to the camera on the garden side. 0:04:11:05 (0:00:41:01) Plough Inn Run by Ishbel McDonald (IT). Visitors to the Plough Inn sit on bulky wooden chairs at tables in the garden. A group turns to wave at the camera.

0:04:52:06 (0:02:48:09) Stella's House and Children (IT). Two women walk across the garden, arm in arm. Five children play in the sand pit with buckets and spades. Some chicks peck at the grass. One of the girls has climbed a tree in the garden. She then walks past the camera, wearing a printed cotton dress and red knit cardigan. The younger children run across the lawn, which is spotted with daisies. All five are seen, standing on rungs of a wooden ladder in the garden. A man and woman walk past the camera arm in arm (Stella and husband?).Two older female relatives, wearing smart coats and hats decorated with flowers and bows, walk arm in arm outside the house. One of the women feeds the dog with treats.

0:07:40:15 (0:01:38:22) Weybridge - Surrey and our friends the Westwoods (IT). The house is seen from the driveway, lined with plants in bloom. Views from the house are followed by the house, seen from a distance, surrounded by trees. A horse pulls a cart, laden with hay, driven by a man. Two women and a man walk together with a dog. A commercial vehicle passes by.

0:09:19:12 (0:02:13:08) The Westwood Home (IT). The entrance to the house at the end of a path leading from the road is shown. Flower beds that line lawn paths in the back garden are in full bloom. A church spire rises up behind the white house. A tennis court has been marked out on the grass. Further pathways through the garden are covered by arching trellis and plants, or marked out in stepping stones through the planting. A lily pond is flanked by low red brick walls and lush beds of plants. A dog lies by the pond in the sun. At the River Wey, a sign reads 'River Wey Navigation: The Tow Path is not a Public Right of Way...'. Swans dip their heads into the water as a horse pulls a barge from the tow path; the barge is piled high with planks of timber and bicycles. Signage on the barge reads: Eastern' and 'C.W Bec... Kingston'. The swans follow and splash their wings, cleaning their feathers with their beaks.

0:11:32:20 (0:02:48:18) 'Stoneacre. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Cannnell' (IT). A white gate reads 'Stoneacre', leading to a wide road, lined with trees. Plants in the garden are shown in close up and from middle distance. The lawn, flower beds and trees are neat and tidy. A man brushes a stone garden birdbath. The house is seen from the garden, and the door opens onto a small porch, where two women sit on low chairs. One knits while the other rests in the sun. Inside, a woman sits at a ground floor window seat, which opens out onto the garden. Vases of flowers rest on the window sill. Stone ruins are seen behind some trees. The film ends with views of old stone and timber framed cottages.


A still from Among Our English Friends (1937)A still from Among Our English Friends (1937)A still from Among Our English Friends (1937)

Contextual information

Ishbel MacDonald, the daughter of Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald, ran the Plough Inn pub at Speen near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.