Film ID:
NEFA 21369

THE CAMPERS AT THE FARM: MINUTES OF DESTINY

1938

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a compilation of two films produced by amateur filmmaker Leonard Winter. The first was made in 1938 with members of the West Norwood Cycling Club and is a semi-fictional record of a camping holiday at a farm near Chiddingstone, Kent. The second film is a romantic drama filmed in Kent, south and central London. This compilation film is part of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) collection.

Credit: The West Norwood Cycling Club Present

Title: The Campers at the Farm

Credit: Produced and Directed by Leonard Winter

Credit: Played by Members of the West Norwood Cycling Club

Title: One Early Spring Morning

The film opens with a close-up of a gateway to Brownings Farm. The gate opens to reveal a small campsite with tents in a farmer’s field. A general view follows of Brownings Farm next to a pond. Bicycles are parked in an open lean-to shed. A young man undoes the flap of a bell tent and peers outside. He crawls out and heads off across the field. Another man inside the tent closes up the flap, not ready to get up. The early riser takes his pail to a water pump and collects water. Two young men are washing and drying themselves in the field elsewhere.

The rest of the cycling club members are starting to wake at their campsite and get up. A camping stove is lit. Someone carries over a large tin kettle. Bread is sliced for breakfast. A young man brushes his teeth. The kettle boils. Eggs fry in a pan on the stove. More young men and women emerge from their tents, dressed. The campers breakfast beside the tents.

Title: Morning exercises

The campers sit together in a group in a field, waving their arms in the air in unison. One of the young men conducts the others in a sing-song. Two of the campers get up and perform a few walking dance steps. The campers pair up and waltz together.

Title: Preparing for dinner

Some of the young men and senior club cyclists fish at the farm pond next to an oast house, one smoking whilst catching a few small fish. He hands a fish to one of the younger cyclists who drops it in a pail of water. A close-up follows of the fish in the pail. General view of the men fishing at the farm.

Title: A visit to the village for supplies

Four male campers head down a lane from the farm, jumping a gate. Their trousers are tucked into their socks, knickerbocker-style. They walk and talk, the club senior smoking a pipe. They arrive at the Greyhound pub, possibly at Charcott, near Chiddingstone Causeway. They emerge carrying a barrel and a crate of bottled beers. One young man uses the barrel as a seat as they join a young woman at one of the tables outside. The sequence ends with a close-up of the empty bottles in the crate and dregs left in glasses.

The young men return to the farm in a drunken state, dancing and falling over each other and into the pond. They attempt to climb the gate into their campsite and tumble over each other, falling in a heap on the grass.

Title: The End of a Perfect Day

The Browning Farm gate closes.

Title: The End

The next film is a short romantic drama.

Credit: Leonard Winter Presents

Title: Minutes of Destiny

Credit: Directed and Produced by Leonard A. Winter

Credit: Edith Artus, Leon Austin, Kathleen Townsend

Title: The course of life is decided.

And of life which is yet to be

By eternal time divided

Into minutes of destiny

Title: Somewhere in Kent

Two women and a toddler are walking through a wood in the distance.

Two young women are seated in a field having a picnic. A young man joins them with a flask. The man eats a banana. One of the women (Jean) laughs and chats with the man (Bob). They appear to be romantically attached. Then the women begin to clear away the picnic, Jean’s friend walking off with a small case packed with picnic things. Jean holds hands with Bob. Shots of the two talking are intercut with the following intertitles.

Title: “Jean, for the umpteenth time, will you marry me?”

Title: “But Bob, I – I’m not in love with you.”

Title: “Not even a little?”

Title: “Well, maybe just a little, but not enough to marry you!”

Jean’s friend returns and disturbs their flirtation. They get up. Bob invites Jean for a night out.

Title: “Will you go to a show with me to-morrow night darling?”

She smiles and agrees.

Title: “Bob, I’d love to.”

Title: “Right’o. I’ll catch the six-thirty and meet you at the usual place about seven-fifteen.”

They re-join their friend, Pat. He picks up a serviette from the grass. Jean remembers that they’ve left the tea towel.

Title: “Oh bother! I’ve forgotten the tea-cloth.”

Jean and Pat walk back to the picnic spot arm-in-arm. Jean confides in her friend.

Title: “Pat, Bob just proposed to me again.”

She looks excited for her friend. (The camera catches the actors just a moment before Pat acts her part.)

Title: “Darling, did you say ‘yes’?”

She shakes her head. They stroll across the field and Jean picks up the tea cloth.

Title: “But Jean, I always thought that you were in love with Bob.”

Title: “Oh Pat, I like Bob a lot. I think I love him but I – I – “

Title: “Oh, if only I could be sure.”

The friends drive past a Tyne Main Coal – Cameron Coals office.

Title: The following day

It’s a wet day at the platform of the Southern Railway Norwood Junction Station. A clock reads six thirty. Bob appears and races into the station to catch his train.

General view of a busy Hyde Park Corner in London, a young couple together in the foreground. Jean is waiting for Bob beside the Wellington Monument in Hyde Park. Traffic passes on the busy roads outside the park. Jean looks at her watch. The time is twenty to eight now, and Bob is late. She glances around the park. A woman draped in a fox fur is looking at the evening edition of a newspaper with her young daughter, still in her school uniform. She comments on the headline.

Title: “There’s just been another train smash.”

Jean overhears and looks worried.

Title: “It was a local train too.”

The mother and daughter head off. Jean thinks for a moment to stop them. She looks around her, increasingly afraid. She spots a newspaper kiosk (advertising Selo Chrome film). A close-up of a London newspaper features a photo of a derailed train. She buys a copy of the Evening Standard newspaper. The headline reads: “Ghastly Train Disaster. 6.30 Train from Norwood Junction Crashes at Full Speed. Many Dead and Injured.”

Jean looks as if she will faint. She drops the newspaper. She starts to walk in a daze. Traffic races by outside the park. She walks towards the traffic distractedly. The past flashes through her mind. She and Bob are walking together in the countryside.

[Black and white footage fades out; colour footage follows]

Jean and Bob are together again in the countryside.

Title: “Darling, I’m terribly sorry – I missed my train so I had to come by bus.”

Title: “Oh Bob dear, I thought – I thought I’d lost you.”

Title: “Jean darling, you need never be afraid of that.”

They kiss passionately.

Title: Finis