Title ID 7070Collection ID985
Title[Children from Ockenden Venture; Weddings]
Date1952 - 1953
CollectionOckenden Venture
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsChildren Charities Beaches Summer Swimming Family Domestic Gardens Weddings Clothing Wedding Dresses Suits Beachwear
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionOckenden Venture
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration14 min. 39 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Ockenden families at the beach and two weddings in the early 1950s.


Two children get into a boat with two men and a woman in a headscarf. They all wave to the camera as the boat departs the jetty. Children play in rock pools and shallow water.

A smartly dressed couple walk out of a church and towards the camera. Guests exit the church, dressed in furs and hats. The bride gets into a car and the groom shakes the hands of guests before they pull out of the drive. Everyone waves them off.

A young girl and boy, both dressed in dungarees, play with a tennis racket and ball in a garden. They are now dressed for a special occasion, the girl is a bridesmaid. The older bridesmaids are seen at St Paul's church, all wearing white and holding flowers. Men wear tails and pose for pictures outside. Other guests inside the church are dressed in smart skirt suits and hats.

Men and women sit out in the garden on deckchairs. Two older children play tennis on the court. Children play together on the beach in rock pools while adults sunbathe and nap. The group dress and pack up their things. The twins play with other children, running around together in the grounds of an Ockenden house. The girls wear summer dresses and knitted cardigans, Mary Janes and socks. The boys wear shorts and shirts, socks and similar leather shoes.

Back on the beach, the families plays games and swim in the shallows. A woman walks up the beach in a bathing costume and swimming cap. One of the twins jumps in the water with an inflatable ring. The twins stand on piles of sand as the tide comes rushing across the beach.

Contextual information

Ockenden Venture was founded in Woking, Surrey in 1951 by teachers Joyce Pearce OBE, Ruth Hicks and Margaret Dixon in aid of displaced Eastern European children after WW2. It aimed “to provide for their maintenance, clothing, education, recreation, health and general welfare.” Further houses in Haselmere and Donnigton Hall near Derby were soon acquired. Eight new houses were opened after World Refugee Year (1959-1960) increased charitable donations. Ockenden opened twenty five centres in response to the crisis in Vietnam, accepting the ‘boat people’ after the government decided to accept Vietnamese refugees fleeing after the invasion of China in 1979. Joyce Pearce died in 1985 after over thirty years of work. Ockenden International focuses its efforts on overseas projects.

Related resources


Ockenden International, Surrey History Centre (SHC Ref 7155)

Records include minutes, annual reports, correspondence, papers, personal files, photographs, documenting lives of staff and refugees at Woking, Haslemere and overseas in Asia, the Middle East and northern Africa.


Surrey History Centre

The website for the Surrey History Centre

Exploring Surrey’s Past

An online history of Ockenden international, previously Ockenden Venture, in text and photographs from Surrey History Centre archives. A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enabled the history of Ockenden International to be preserved. The charity’s archive held at Surrey History Centre has been catalogued and memories have been recorded.