Title ID 5665Collection ID816
Title[Holiday to the West Country]
Date1960 - 1964
CollectionDickins Family
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionAlbum/Journal
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsBeaches Camping Cultural Heritage Dance Festivals Holidays Landscape Seaside Resorts
LocalBath Beddington Castle Coombe Croydon Hastings
RegionalCornwall Devon East Sussex Somerset Surrey Wiltshire
NationalEngland United Kingdom Spain Europe
ProductionErnest Dickins John Dickins
CameraErnest Dickins; John Dickins
ParticipantsErnest Dickins (father)
FormatColour Silent
Duration49 min. 42 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This film contains footage of the Dickins' home life in Surrey and the surrounding area. There is also footage from various day trips, and holidays to the West Country and Spain. Note: The online film clip includes footage from an 'oral history' interview conducted with John Dickins in February 2008.


The film begins with images from Ernest and Gladys' holiday to Devon and Cornwall in 1960. We see the Dickins' 'Calthorpe Home Cruiser' at a campsite and images of holiday makers on the beach. There are also some brief shots of the countryside, and Ernest is seen walking by a stream with a stone bridge in the background. The film cuts to shots taken from the windscreen of a moving vehicle which has to avoid animals that are blocking the road.

Next we see various shots of home life, including John Dickins posing proudly in his first company car, a blue Triumph Herald, in 1963. John and Ernest are then seen undertaking some DIY tasks. There are brief scenes from a day trip to Hastings showing the seafront and the East Hill Lift in the background. The film then cuts to brief close-ups of paintings by Ernest Dickins, before we see an intertitle reading '"Old Crocks" Race, London to Brighton, Nov. 1963' followed by shots filmed in Croydon of vintage cars.

Next come brief images taken at Christmas of a family meal and some snowy scenes. Another intertitle appears: 'Surrey Street Croydon, March 1964, Buy! Buy! Buy!' with a street scene of people perusing market stalls. The next intertitle reads 'Croydon Old & New, Town Hall, High St, New Bldg, Whitgift Middle Sc. & Parish Church, March 1964' and is followed by images of the places listed as well as the three large chimney stacks of Croydon B Power Station.

The following section contains scenes from Ernest and Gladys' 1960 holiday to the West Country to visit friends. Gladys is seen inside the couple's tent preparing food in front of a portable stove and there are images of the campsite, a visit to the Roman baths at Bath and the village of Castlecombe. A new intertitle appears reading 'Spain 1964' and 'Estartit 1964'. Various scenes follow of Ernest and Gladys' holiday to Spain including a visit to Gerona.

The final part of the film shows a holiday that John and Joan Dickins took with friends to the West Country in the summer of 1960. There are shots of the friends relaxing, at the campsite, and visiting a model town. We also see images of the surrounding Cornish countryside in summer, St. Michaels Mount, the coastline, and the signpost at Lands End. There are several scenes which show the Helston Flower Dance [also known as the Furry Dance] which takes place on May 8th each year. Adults and children in various costumes are seen dancing in the street, and a brass band marches amongst them.

Note: The online film clip includes footage from an 'oral history' interview conducted with John Dickins in February 2008.


A Still from [Home Life in Surrey and Holiday to the West Country]A Still from [Home Life in Surrey and Holiday to the West Country]