Title ID 7924Collection ID1064
Title[Round & About: Flowers; Bexhill; Zoo]
Date[ca. 1960 - 1979]
CollectionChristopher Harris
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionAlbum/Journal
KeywordsFamily Outings Plants Recreational Facilities Leisure Time Activities Zoological Gardens Transport Cars Castles Travel Urban Areas Roads
LocalBexhill-on-Sea Bells Yew Green Frant Robertsbridge London Greenwich Arundel Bexleyheath Bexley
RegionalEast Sussex Kent Greater London West Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionChristopher Harris
CameraChristopher Harris
ParticipantsEllen Harris
FormatColour Silent
Duration33 min. 53 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A family car trip through the Sussex countryside and several towns is interspersed with scenes edited by the film-maker that includes Bodiam Castle, London Zoo, Royal Observatory, Greenwich (London) and flower gardens.


The film opens with a car driving through the East Sussex countryside (A21?). Continuing through a town and later the village of Bells Yew Green (Kent), the car pauses to take shots of a water mill and fields of sheep with lambs before moving on to an Oast house, and Bodiam Castle in Robertsbridge. Scenes at Bodiam castle include shots of the castle's reflection in the moat, and exterior views of the castle. A brief shot of three women walking through open countryside cuts to a montage of dusk shots of the seafront at Bexhill on-sea.

At London Zoo, there are various shots of lizards, birds, rhinos, wild cats, penguins and other animals. A zoo keeper is seen among the elephants; followed by scenes of the Humbolt penguins; polar bear enclosure and bear cub; giraffe house; insect house; and several large tigers and lynx. The family walk along next to the Grand Union Canal and under a bridge in the park with shots of flowers, before returning to shots of the animals in their enclosures and a catering kiosk. The camera also repeatedly focuses on a range of colourful flora, zooming out to reveal the whole plant (shaky).

The location changes, to show views of London from the top of Greenwich Park, later Flamsteed House and The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, with the 24 hour Shepherd Gate Clock opposite the Meridian courtyard, the South building Observatory dome with ship wind vein and the rear gardens below.

After a series of shots showing roses and flowers in a garden, the scene returns to views from inside the car, travelling along Sussex roads, past churches and houses and along wide suburban streets. At a golf course, men and women are seen putting and looking for golf balls in the rough grass.

Now in Arundel, the camera takes in the town's ruins and visitors to its gardens with sculpted borders. A man is seen holding an armful of onions, a fruit cake and a card that reads "2nd place" Sponsored by "Dobies [?] of Chichester". Further [shaky] shots of wild plants and spiders follow.

Back in the car on a road during a rainy day, the car speeds along country lanes, arriving at a canal lock gate with shots of the gate mechanisms and a weir.

The car continues along urban roads around Bexleyheath via Bowford Avenue onto Bexley town centre, finally stopping at the film-maker's home adjacent to the "Leppard & Harris" Garage.

On a sunnier day, the car drives on a near-empty dual carriageway (A21) through the countryside to reach Bexhill-on-Sea. On arrival the camera captures views of shops and pedestrians standing to talk on the street, as it makes its way down an alleyway to the seafront, before turning around to return.

Evening footage follows, as the car passes underneath a pink sky, silhouetted by trees. As night falls, only street lights and neon signs are visible. The film ends with scenes showing the edge of a castle on a lake (?) and a field of flowers.