Title ID 8596Collection ID1176
Title[Happy Moments]
CollectionFrancis Jefferis Williams
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionFamily Life
ThemeFamily life Seaside
KeywordsBeaches Children Christmas Family Food Leisure Time Activities Mothers Play Seaside Resorts Swimming Domestic Gardens Villages
LocalPeacehaven Rottingdean
RegionalEast Sussex Brighton and Hove
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionFrancis Jefferis Williams
CameraFrancis Jefferis Williams
ParticipantsHaydn Williams (Son); Frances (Nanny)
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration14 min. 15 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Mr Williams records family scenes including his son's first steps in a family garden in Peacehaven, Christmas Day activities in 1935, and a family picnic on the beach at Rottingdean. The film closes with a brief shot of the young boy dressed as Cupid for the Rottingdean fair.


Mr Williams' son takes his first steps in his grandmother's garden at Peacehaven, using a small lawn roller for balance, followed by a series of portraits shots of the family cat and the film-maker's daughter outside the house.

An intertitle reads: "We wish you a merry Christmas" before the film fades up to an interior shot of a room and Christmas tree, with close-ups of handmade decorations on the tree. A bowl stacked with fruit and dates sits on the family table, as a goose is being basted and returned to the oven. Saucepans are seen on the stove. Mrs L. Wethered (Mr Williams' mother-in-law) has a drink of sherry in the kitchen, and the young boy stands in his playpen. An iced fruit cake is cut. Shots follow of the young boy being held by an aunt (damaged film, quite dark).

Intertitle: "Happy Moments, Summer 1936", shows the Williams family playing on the beach at Rottingdean. The children paddle in the surf with their nanny, Frances, and another young woman. Later the family eat a picnic on the shingle beach.

Intertitle: "'Watch me tackle this stone problem' is followed by footage of the boy walking on all fours on the shingle, with further shots of him paddling and sat in a wooden boat [not in online clip] on the beach. The film closes with a brief shot of the boy dressed as 'cupid' for the Rottingdean fair standing in a garden (?).