Title ID 8077Collection ID1088
Title[Family Christmas in East Grinstead and Woodingdean]
Date1967; 1970
CollectionWilliams Family
Genre/TypeAmateurFamily Home MovieIndependent AmateurNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsCelebrations Children Christmas Clothing Family Fathers Food Mothers
LocalEast Grinstead Woodingdean
RegionalBrighton and Hove West Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionPeter Williams
CameraPeter Williams
ParticipantsPeter Williams (father)
FormatColour Silent
Duration11 min. 40 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Scenes of the Williams' family at Christmas time, including decorating the home, giving and opening presents, and traditional Christmas food.


The film opens with the title 'December 1967'. An interior shot shows the Williams' kitchen at home in East Grinstead where Mary Williams is using a food processor. Mrs Williams is next seen with Ruth, her youngest daughter, aged four. Ruth helps to mix the Christmas pudding ingredients in a large bowl using a wooden spoon. Her sister Jill, who is aged eight, has a turn next, dressed in a Brownie uniform. She is followed by Mrs Williams and then her husband Peter Williams. Mrs Williams is seen wrapping the pudding in tin foil and placing it on the hob to steam.

The girls help decorate the living room - Jill makes star-shaped decorations with straws and Ruth helps her mother put tinsel on the Christmas tree, which is placed on a stool next to the television set. Now evening time, the girls are in their dressing gowns and are seen placing large sacks by their bedroom doors. There are shots of the girls asleep in their beds, Ruth cuddling a teddy bear.

Cut to the next morning and the sisters retrieve the sacks, now brimming with presents and decorated with balloons. The girls sit in bed with their mother and open presents, which include dolls, board games, a spinning top and masks, which they both put on. Another shot shows Mr Williams sitting with the girls. Ruth, dressed now in a nurses uniform and smiling widely, opens the door of a dolls house and looks inside. Sat beside the Christmas tree, Jill is opening another present. She is dressed in a pink sleeveless dress with a matching bow in her hair.

The girls are sat at the dinner table which is laid with Christmas lunch. A candle is lit in the center of the table, and they wear aprons to protect their clothes from spills. We cut to a shot of Mrs Williams bringing the Christmas pudding to the table. After lunch, Mr Williams sits with the girls and helps them to make a model house out of cardboard pieces. It is a Christmas scene, with reindeer on the roof of the house and a stand-up Santa Clause. The girls are seen kneeling with their mother by a bed [praying?], and then the two children climb into bed together.

Mr and Mrs Dickins [maternal grandparents] are seen in bed surrounded by presents a their home in Woodingdean. To the left of the camera, Mrs Williams and the girls hand the couple more presents. These are opened and include sweets and soap. A small dog is also briefly visible to the left of the frame.

Three years on and the two Williams daughters are aged 7 and 11 . They are sitting on the floor either side of their grandmother [Mrs Dickins, seen in the last section of the film]. It is Christmas again, and Mrs Williams passes them wrapped presents. Ruth opens her gift to reveal a doll, Jill has some dolls clothes and Mrs Dickins a book. There is a shot of Mr Williams opening his present, which are some cufflinks from his wife. He appears happy with the gift and kisses her. Mrs Williams opens a box containing a pale blue quilted nightgown. The two girls are seen playing with puppets on a miniature stage complete with red drawstring curtains.


A Still from [Family Christmas in East Grinstead and Woodingdean] (1967;1970)A Still from [Family Christmas in East Grinstead and Woodingdean] (1967;1970)A Still from [Family Christmas in East Grinstead and Woodingdean] (1967;1970)