Title ID 7122Collection ID766
TitleOut to East Africa
CollectionJohn Wood Collection
Genre/TypeAmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionTravel
ThemeFamily Life Travel Urban Life
KeywordsBoats Bridges Buildings Cars Children Clothing Docks Ethnic Groups Harbours Leisure Time Activities Men Motor Vehicles Pageants Parades Recreational Facilities Ships Sport Water Transport
LocalStratford-upon-Avon Cape Town Durban Dar es Salaam Mombasa
NationalEngland United Kingdom South Africa Tanzania Kenya Africa
ProductionContact Screen Archive South East for details
CameraContact Screen Archive South East for details
FormatColour Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This colour travellogue style film shows the family exploring landmarks in Stratford-upon-Avon, followed by a journey to South Africa and the East African coast aboard the cruise ship Kenya Castle. The family tour various towns and cities from South Africa, to Tanzania and Kenya capturing the sights.


This film opens with mixed views of Stratford-upon-Avon, with landmarks and street views of everyday life including close-ups of several Tudor houses and a sign for 'Ann Hathaways Cottage - The home of Shakespeares wife' (sic), followed by a brief shot of a signpost pointing to 'Carlisle', a bridge over a shallow river (Clopton Bridge?) mixed views of a castle or stately home (?) and a house set in the countryside (?).

An Intertitle: 'Kenya Bound March 1957 - by way of Cape Town - Aboard 'Kenya Castle'. The film opens with views of a ships bell on the Kenya Castle, followed by views of a crewman at the helm of the ship and views of the interior of the bridge.

An intertitle superimposed over an image of a map marked: 'Union-Castle.... Africa' highlights Europe and Northern Africa accompanied by the text 'Las Palmas'. Activities aboard ship that includes shots of a play featuring Neptune and several police men (?), views of a children's fancy dress pageant, two men having a pillow fight on a beam above the water, along with several games and sports on board including table tennis and deck quoits.

An animated intertitle of a map with lettering spells 'Union-Castle.... Africa' which then slowly repositions to show countries from Central to Southern Africa accompanied by the text 'Capetown'; denoting the ships movement. The view then shows the port of Cape Town with the mountain region (Table Mountain) on the landscape. A view from a cable car follows from the top of Table Mountain, accompanied by views of the landscape and coastline below. A brief view of the Rhodes Memorial, with bust of Rhodes and the 'Energy' statue and views down the steps towards the town. The shot then cuts to a portrait view of Mostert's Mill, next to a road.

The animated intertitle of the map with lettering moves from 'Capetown' and adds the text 'Durban'. The shot then changes to capture wide views of a rural coastline from the water, cutting to a man in a full African Zulu costume pulling a rickshaw through a street (Rickshaw or Ricksha Runner) with two passengers on board. Shots of a house and gardens follow, with two women walking up a garden path in summer dresses. The scene ends with shots of several restaurants on a street.

The animated intertitle of a map with lettering moves from 'Durban' and adds the text for 'Dar es Salaam', with views of the coastline from a boat at sea and a brief view of Saint Joseph's Metropolitan Cathedral (?) on top of a hill. A group of people wave from the shoreline as the ship passes close to land as it sails out to sea.

The intertitled map now highlights 'Mombasa', followed by a static title 'Gateway to East Africa with a view of Moi Avenue with the elephant tusk gateway. A view follows of the Hindu Temple in Mombasa Old Town with street views. The shot then cuts to views of several industrial buildings, 'The Union-Castle Naval Steam Ship Co. Ltd' building and 'Smith & Mckenzie & Co. LTD' next to the coast. A parade passes with a group holding a green flag with crescent moon and star (Republic of East Turkistan ?), cutting to mixed views of a show ground with rows of classic and vintage vehicles on show (Annual Concours d'Elegance in Nairobi?).

The Intertitle shows: 'Old Port Mombasa & Town' with views of the port and town as the camera captures panoramas of the building and ships in port and the gateway to the dockside. The film closes with street screens around the port and an end title: 'The End'.