Film ID:
YFA 2201

CHRISTMAS 1940 - 1943


Visitor Tabs


Made by amateur filmmaker Kenneth Raynor, this film includes colour footage of Wartime Christmas celebrations in his family home in Swallownest, South Yorkshire.

The film opens showing several music records being placed on a gramophone, before the needle arm moves to engage the record. There are then shots of the family enjoying music; men, women and children of all ages sit around the cosy living room enjoying the music; some smile at the camera. A close up of hands shows a couple with their two small fingers intertwined in a show intimacy, and then another record is put on. Next, a woman sits at a piano playing and singing a song, while a young boy and his mother sing along.

Two women then look at a Christmas card, another woman sits knitting. A young boy sits on a suited man's lap, who makes a face as he tickles the boy, and there is a brief glimpse of a small decorated Christmas tree. This passage concludes with a shot of a woman pouring some drinks.

Title- A reverie on a year. 31 December, 1943.

This sequence opens with a man and woman sitting on a sofa.

Title - "I think this Schubert says something about time."

A girl removes several records from their cases and a watch is superimposed over this image. She then holds aloft a reel of film.

Title - "Look! Here's last Christmas!"

A film projector is shown very briefly.

Title - Christmas party.

Two men jovially ring a bell together, while a man watching laughs. Following this, there are more shots of someone playing the piano and the filmmaker gets various close ups of the piano hammers hitting the strings. A woman then sits knitting in an armchair and a young boy holds a ball of string. There are then various shots of people lounging around the room. A man then opens a cabinet and takes out several record sleeves.

Title - Christmas Moonlight.

The filmmaker captures the moon over the roofs of some terraced housing.

Title - Carols at the hospital or 3 cheers for silent film.

Outside a hospital, a group of people in thick coats and hats stand by man on a piano singing from books. This sequence finishes with two very dark shots, which were quite possibly taken in the hospital, where a young girl can just be made out sitting in bed.

Now on colour stock, a couple enter a house, and once they have taken off their coats the woman in a red dress plays the piano.

The action then moves to a kitchen were two women in aprons roll dough and cut out shapes. A woman then takes a jar of mincemeat and spoons it into pastry before placing it in the oven. The filmmaker then captures people eating at a dinner table; men wear vests and suits, while the women wear dresses, and a young boy laughs at the camera.

A large group of people then gather around the piano for a sing-song. The filmmaker then captures people relaxing; people play checkers, a girl reads a magazine, a man flicks through records and a group sit round the fire playing an old fashioned version of pinball. The film ends with people reading and one man who smokes a pipe.