Title ID 7978Collection ID708
Title[Building of New House]
CollectionMacFie Family
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurFamily Home MovieNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeFamily life Working Life
KeywordsBuilding Construction Companies Buildings Domestic Gardens Family Men Trades Workers Labour Houses Play
LocalBognor Regis
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionDr. Thomas Hately MacFie
CameraDr. Thomas Hately MacFie
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration17 min.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Dr. Thomas Hately Macfie records in detail his new house being built, in typically grand and modern style, in Bognor Regis. His wife and daughter explore the construction site, and workers labour to finish the founations, first and second storey, roof and garden.


0:00:11:19 [Land For Sale] Mrs. MacFie walks from her car to a gate, where a 'For Sale' sign has been erected. Two girls walk with the woman, who is pulled along by the family dog. Another sign, fixed to a tree by a road sign for Pagham and Chichester reads 'Building Land For Sale, Whiteheads, Station Road, Bognor Regis'. The land is overgrown, grasses blow in the wind. A woman tends to her correspondence at home. A poster has been pasted over the For Sale sign, which reads 'SOLD'. Views of a whitewashed cottage and seaside houses follow. A field is littered with tents. A man spins a tombola made to look like a house. A grand manor house is seen from the grounds. A sign advertising West Sussex General Builders has replaced the For Sale sign by the gate.

0:02:56:11 [Contractors at Work] The builders are hard at work, excavating land for the house's foundations with a pick axe, shovel and wheel barrow. A young family member picks her way across the deep channels made by the men. The walls are now half-built, and wooden window frames in place. Family members explore their new partially built home. Workers carry materials on their shoulders and build the walls with bricks and cement. All wear waistcoats, striped shirts and flat caps.

0:06:22:07 [Second Storey and Roof Construction] They start work on a second storey once scaffolding has been erected. The beams to the roof have been positioned and fixed. Piles of bricks and wood litter the site but the house has finally taken shape. The builders work high up on the roof while family members explore down below. Wooden planks are laid across the beams to the roof, before two men cover the whole area in tiles. One fixes the tiles to the boards while the other brings stacks of the material to the roof, up the ladder, carrying them on his head.

0:09:22:08 [The Finished House] The exterior is plastered and painted by men standing on platforms balanced between ladders. The girl bounces on a wooden plank with the dog and lays bricks for the garden wall. At the house, the builders mix tarmac for the driveway. The completed house is shown from the road in panning footage.

0:12:16:22 [Landscape Gardening by Barnham Nurseries] Gardeners start work on the garden and fencing, hammering boards together and sawing the uneven top off by hand. A bonfire has been lit to burn the pines in the garden. A sign reads 'Landscape Gardening by the Barnham Nurseries Ltd, Barnham, Sussex. The gardeners dig while Mrs. MacFie and her daughter retrieve a birds nest from a felled tree in the garden. Another tree is felled, pulled down with ropes.

0:15:06:06 [End] Gravel is delivered and spread over the drive, before the men use a roller to flatten the area. Family members drive up to the house across the newly finished driveway. The family dog takes treats from a table while perched on a chair indoors. Trees are silhouetted against a sky at dusk.