Title ID 7925Collection ID1064
Title[Travels Bexhill: St. Peters; Hastings Fish and Old Town; About Sussex; Rye; Herstmonceux Observatory; Thames Long Reach]
CollectionChristopher Harris
Genre/TypeAmateurFamily Home MovieIndependent AmateurNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeTravel Family Life
KeywordsBeaches Cars Family Monuments Leisure Time Activities Ferries Landscape Domestic Gardens Outings Weather Water Transport Swimming Beachwear Villages Tourism
LocalBexhill-on-Sea Hastings Rye Herstmonceux Boulogne-sur-Mer
RegionalEast Sussex Kent
NationalEngland United Kingdom France Europe
ProductionChristopher Harris
CameraChristopher Harris
ParticipantsEllen Harris
FormatColour Silent
Duration39 min. 44 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A car travels through Sussex towns and countryside in this film by Christopher Harris. Scenes include the coast and street scenes at Bexhill-on-Sea, Hastings and Rye. The film-maker makes a brief stop at the Royal Observatory, Herstmonceux in Sussex, visiting the Isaac Newton Telescope with views of the Equatorial Group of telescope domes on the opposite side of the road.


A car drives through East Sussex, taking in road traffic and countryside passing the Kings Arms Public House in Ninfield, through to Bexhill-on-Sea. On the beach at Bexhill, family members wade into the water, a young boy plays with a sail boat in a small pool before the three women walk up the beach in their bathing costumes.

The car continues to drive through residential streets in Bexhill, passing St Peters Church travelling towards Hastings Seafront. There is a brief visit to a clothing shop in the old market. On the return trip along the seafront, the car passes Hastings Pier and a large group of people gathered on the promenade, followed by a series of shots of the family walking down the beach to go swimming again. A compilation of individual shots show a man walking up the beach, dancing while he dries himself with a towel, a couple sheltering in a beach hut, with the woman sitting under a all-in-one towel tunic on the beach hut step. Later two women are filmed on the promenade from the beach below, followed by panning shots of the seafront. The car continues its road journey, stopping at St Peters Church, Bexhill. There are views of the stained glass windows and graveyard.

The film then shows a compilation of shots of Hastings indoor fish market (dark), fishing boats on the beach at Hastings [The Stade?] and seabirds flying above and on the beach. Two fishermen attend to their net. The filmmaker visits Hastings Old Town that includes the Fishermen's Museum, the black wooden towers of the Hastings Fishermen's Guild, Pulpit Gate, The Horse's Nosebag pub, The Fishermen's Institute and society, The Piece of Cheese Cottage and Crown Lane.

Back on the road, passing through expansive countryside, the car reaches the sailing boats moored in a harbour at Rye. The RNLI lifeboat Station with a lifeboat passing up the river towards the camera. A pictorial map of Rye is filmed close-up, followed by two women walking along old cobbled streets, passing teashops, gift shops, Tudor houses and other tourist sites. Rye is filmed from an elevated position, taking in the roofs of the town and surrounding countryside, a windmill, the railway station, the castle keep, the river, and the modern housing estate outside the old town. The two female family members smile for the camera.

Driving again past rough seas in rainy weather and the pier at Hastings, the car reaches the Observatory at Herstmonceux (via Wartling Road). The Isaac Newton dome is seen on the hill, at the top of a path, followed by a view of the six domes from the Equatorial group of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceux.

Views of the beaches at beach at Bexhill and Hastings follow, where two female family members have their picture taken by another man on a cliff by the sea. Night footage is followed by further daytime driving through modern residential streets and towns (some damaged footage). The film cuts to a coach trip with views through a window, followed by an exterior view of a house. The family are seen visiting a formal gate house with domed clock tower and garden estate (?), before cutting to a large reservoir or lake with small sailing boats.

A brief scene shows ships on a river before cutting to three adults walking down a cobbled hill on a residential street (?). This is followed by scenes of a larger ship moving up a river running through an industrial landscape (Thames Long Reach?).

Scenes of domestic gardens and modern houses with sea views follow (at Bexhill-on-Sea), cutting to scenes of several birds eating bread on the grass (mostly out of focus) in the film-maker's garden.

The film closes with a compilation of shots aboard a ferry as it enters the port at Boulogne-sur-Mer. Scenes show churches including the Belfry of Boulogne-sur-Mer, and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer, followed by a Christmas shop window displays, and the family eating and drinking in a house (dark).