Title ID 8078Collection ID1088
Title[Family Christmas at East Grinstead 1972; Beach at Shoreham-by-Sea; Family Christmas at East Grinstead 1978]
Date1972; 1978
CollectionWilliams Family
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsBeaches Celebrations Children Christmas Clothing Domestic Gardens Family Fathers Food Mothers
LocalEast Grinstead Shoreham-by-Sea
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionPeter Williams
CameraPeter Williams
ParticipantsPeter Williams (father)
FormatColour Silent
Duration11 min. 13 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


From the Williams Family collection, this film includes scenes from two Christmas' at their home in East Grinstead. The family exchange gifts, visit Shoreham beach and sit down to a Christmas meal.


The Williams' two daughters are seen sat in front of a decorated Christmas tree in the living room. Jill is aged 13 and Ruth 9, and both are wearing dresses and 'Alice bands' in their hair. The girls open their presents; Ruth unwraps a battery powered toy dog on lead and Jill a pink dressing gown. There is a shot of Mrs Williams playing the recorder, dressed in a long-sleeved burgundy dress with a white collar. She is then seen sat infront of the Christmas tree unwrapping her gift, which appears to be a plastic household utensil. She is also given some money [a twenty pound note?]. Mr Williams sits by the tree next and opens his present and Ruth models a necklace. There is a close up of a candle flame, and the film cuts to the dining table which is laid with food, including an iced Christmas cake decorated with mistletoe. Mrs Williams cuts some cheese and the girls are seen sat on sofas eating.

The family take a trip to Shoreham beach. Ruth wears red trousers and a red hooded jacket, while Jill wears knee-high socks and a skirt. The family are seen collecting pebbles from the beach, and the date '29.12.72' is written in the sand.

On a door decorated with a Christmas stocking is written the date '1978'. The girl's maternal grandmother, Mrs Dickins, is carried into the house by Mr Williams and Ruth, and sat in a wheelchair. As she is helped to remove her coat, wrapped presents are also brought into the room. The family are then seen sat at the dining table eating from tall yellow bowls. The girls are now aged 19 and 15. The family are smiling and talking. The camera angle changes, and Mr Williams pours red wine into glasses. A traditional Christmas roast lunch is served, followed by mince pies and a Christmas pudding, which Mrs Williams cuts into slices.

There is a shot of the Christmas tree surrounded by presents. The family, with the exception of Jill, gather round a large wrapped present and read labels attached to it. They open the gift together - a suitcase which contains a number of other presents for each family member. Mrs Dickins receives a photograph of Jill and a clock. Jill is seen modeling one of her gifts - a purple bobble hat and scarf - and hugs her sister. Mr Williams opens a box containing a shirt and tie. He is also seen assembling pieces of plastic into a shape. Ruth is seen wearing a new jumper, before we cut back to Mr Williams opening more wrapped pieces of plastic. Cutting to the garden, he is seen completing the assembly of a garden compost bin, which he carries to the bottom of the garden and places beside a tree.


A Still from [Family Christmas at East Grinstead 1972; Beach at Shoreham-by-Sea; Family Christmas at East Grinstead 1978]A Still from [Family Christmas at East Grinstead 1972; Beach at Shoreham-by-Sea; Family Christmas at East Grinstead 1978]