Title ID 8599Collection ID1176
Title[Rottingdean Windmill Reconstruction]
CollectionFrancis Jefferis Williams
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionAlbum/Journal
ThemeFamily Life Seaside Commemoration
KeywordsBeaches Buildings Building Construction Celebrations Local Government Trades Workers
RegionalEast Sussex Brighton and Hove
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionFrancis Jefferis Williams
CameraFrancis Jefferis Williams
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration8 min. 36 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This intertitled amateur newsreel style film by FJ Williams, documents a series of local events in the seaside town of Rottingdean. The film shows stormy weather and a beached whale, the opening of the new Public Hall by the Mayor and Mayoress and the restoration of Rottingdean Windmill by several tradesman.


The film opens with scrolling titles that read: "In bringing you this film I have endeavoured to collect together all matter of local interest, which have taken place since January 1st 1936. I trust that you may find it of interest" followed by shots from the cliff top, showing a rough sea against the shoreline.

Intertitle: "This whale, undoubtedly killed by the blade of a ship's propeller, was washed up at Rottingdean on 22nd January 1936" before shots of a pair of men attempting to move the whale from the beach and two women watching.

Intertitle: "A Great Day for Rottingdean. The Mayor and Mayoress Mr & Mrs E Denne arrive to open the new Public Hall." The mayor is seen being welcomed by Rottingdean's council representative, Miss Crookenden, as they step out of a car outside the new hall. They are led by a policeman in dress uniform. Spectators gather to watch proceedings on the opposite pavement.

Intertitle: "The Mayor and Mayoress with Miss Crookenden, Rottingdean's council representative in centre." The group stand in a line for a group portrait before entering the hall (scene repeats?).

Intertitle: "A little local interest" A wide street scene follows showing a large group of children lining the street outside "Creystone Cottage", watched by a policeman before cutting to a shot of a stone date plaque on a building for 1935.

Intertitle: Rottingdean's ancient landmark... undergoes repairs which were badly needed" followed by a series of shots showing the Rottingdean windmill without sails surrounded by scaffolding, with men working on the mill. Intertitle: "A peep down the ladder from the top" with a shot down the ladder. Intertitle: Up here, even human beings look dwarfed." with several people waking on the grass below. Intertitle: "From the top we get a fine view of Rottingdean" with a panoramic view of the houses in the rural landscape. Intertitle: "Skilled at this class of work, these men repair the ravages of the weather" a close up shot shows two men tending to a join in the boarding on the windmill and brushing away debris. Intertitle: The sweeps are fitted in this massive iron socket" with a close up of the ironwork in which the sails are fitted and the two men working away at clearing the debris. Intertitle: "The condition of the timber was in the main, very bad" with a close up of a man showing pieces of rotting and damaged timber posts. Intertitle: "Hand mad iron nail" with a close up of the nail. Intertitle:"Cogs of apple tree wood, removed from large wheel inside the mill" with a close up of the items. Intertitle: "...massive iron cog-wheel used for turning top of mill to face the wind" with a close up of the wheel seen through the scaffold. Intertitle: "Half way down, we peep over the top, and see..." shots follow of a woman holding a toddler, and several men working on lengths of wood laid out on trestle tables. The shot cuts to ground level where several men are trying to repair a sail, held in place by ropes. Intertitle: "The society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings is responsible for the repairs" followed by a view of the windmill at distance standing alone in an empty landscape. End Title: "The End."