Film ID:
NEFA 14546



Visitor Tabs


Home movie material from the early 1930s that features the Watson-Armstrong family at home at Bamburgh Castle and Cragside, Rothbury, Northumberland. The film includes footage of a child’s Highland dance performance.

The film opens with a brief shot of members of the Watson-Armstrong family in the grounds of Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast. School children file through the inner ward, or courtyard, of the castle towards the Kings Hall entrance, overseen by their teacher. The camera pans across the courtyard where some of the Armstrong family are gathered. In the next shot they are standing on the steps to the castle entrance. The family group are then standing in the courtyard and the elderly Baron Armstrong carries a basket towards camera. The family walk past the camera and a young boy bows briefly. They then walk into the castle entrance. In the castle grounds a young man crouches with a Scottish terrier dog and sends it running towards the camera.

Various shots follow of the Armstrong family again gathered in the courtyard, with a car parked at a castle entrance. The young man blows a raspberry at the camera and bows cheekily. He then turns and bows to a young woman in the group.

Maids in traditional uniform with white aprons are lined up, awaiting duty, at a formal outdoors event at Cragside, Northumberland. A moving shot across the Cragside terrace picks out Baron Armstrong followed by the many guests seated at tables (mostly women). An elderly woman, probably Baroness Armstrong, addresses guests from a podium with a microphone. The film records the many guests listening to the speech, with views of the woodland valley in the background.

Armstrong family members get out of their car, gather and chat, probably at Bamburgh Castle. In the next scene, a young boy stands by a stone wall. An Armstrong family group stroll inside the ruined walls of Lindisfarne Priory. Shots of the priory walls follow. The cine camera is then experimentally turned on its side and we see tilted footage of Lindisfarne Priory.

There are travelling shots through the window of a car as it leaves Bamburgh Castle and drives around a perimeter road, before re-entering the inner castle.

Men walk horses in decorative bridles down a main street in Rothbury (or Bamburgh?), possibly during an annual horse fair. People watch from a village green.

The next scenes introduce a local fete, probably held at Rothbury or Bamburgh. A raised stage stands on the village green. A young boy performs an athletic solo Highland dance accompanied by a lone bagpiper, both dressed in traditional costume of tartan and kilt, possibly Northumberland tartan. A crowd are gathered around the stage to watch. Two young boys are sitting on the edge of the stage in the foreground, also dressed in tartan kilts. There is a brief shot of the bagpiper playing solo on stage. Moving across from the stage, Baron Armstrong in bowler hat stands in the middle of a large crowd and looks towards the stage.