Film ID:
NEFA 14543

CRAGSIDE HOUSE AND ESTATE: ROYAL VICTORIA INFIRMARY

1937

Visitor Tabs

Description

This amateur home movie footage features Baron Watson-Armstrong and Lady Armstrong at Cragside House, near Rothbury, Northumberland, as they entertain friends and survey their estate's grounds. The film also contains footage of the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, which was built with funds bequeathed by William George Armstrong in 1901.

The film opens with a high angle view of Cragside House surrounded by fir trees, followed by various shots of the gardens, greenhouses and the Cottage In The Garden.

The Armstrong family and friends gather in Cragside gardens for tea, attended by a nurse and maids, also drinking tea. Several women are seated at an outdoor table, and two of the women are holding babies. The uniformed chauffeur and maids in black dresses and white aprons wait beside the table. Baron Watson-Armstrong and another man in flat cap and plus fours stand nearby. The two walk past camera.

Various close-ups of the babies follow, sometimes cradled by different women.

There is a portrait shot of a seated Lady Armstrong, dressed in a stylish tartan hat, tie and skirt outfit and posing demurely. The two women and Lady Armstrong socialise, attended by the maids and nurse. As they walk past camera, Baron Watson- Armstrong and companion, a young woman and girl are standing together.

A gardener sets up a teeing off spot for golf (?) as the maids clear the table in the background. Baron Watson-Armstrong potters in the garden and clips a few roses. Two gardeners are hoeing in the garden outside the cottage. Lady Armstrong swings a golf club on the lawn.

The film cuts to a close-up of a barometer.

A small dog sits and begs for food, then sniffs around the garden.

Further shots of the lily pond and water falling into a pool follow.

Baron Watson-Armstrong and Lady Armstrong stand on Cragside’s iron footbridge over Debdon Burn. The uniformed chauffeur stands a few yards away on the bridge. He takes off his hat and Baron Watson-Armstrong waves his own hat at the camera. The three stroll in the gardens and over a stone bridge. There is a high angle view of the lake and woods in the estate grounds. Baron Watson-Armstrong and Lady Armstrong wave from the back seat of their chauffeur-driven open-top car as it drives through Cragside grounds.

Shots of the Cragside Douglas Fir woodland follow. [Very pale footage.]

The Baron and his daughter, dressed in a fur-collared coat, continue to walk in the Cragside estate beside the lake, with the chauffeur at a discreet distance. Lady Armstrong kisses her father. She pins something to the chauffeur’s lapel. He salutes her. Then she shakes his hand. High angle shots show the three beside the lake, as she throws stones into the water.

Looking across the lake, the camera cuts to the group as they pick their way through the gardens. Again, the Baron and his daughter wave as the car drives towards camera. A shot briefly records the thatched roof boathouse.

Next, the film documents the arrival of friends at Cragside, greeted by Baron Watson-Armstrong and Lady Armstrong.

The camera pans across the fir trees of Cragside.

A woman is sitting on a bench with a young child.

General view of the Cragside house perched on a slope, with thick foliage on the foreground slopes. The exterior architecture of the house is recorded in various shots. The Armstrong’s car drives away as a woman and a butler wave them off from the Cragside entrance. Various shots focus on the exterior of Cragside House and its location on a steep slope.

Baron Watson-Armstrong walks off with another man.

A woman reads an estate file outside the Estate Office doorway. She and Lady Armstrong consult the file.

Shots of the Gothic Clock Tower and of the Cottage In The Park follow. A woman shakes hands with Lady Armstrong, who then hands her coat to the woman. A maid helps her on with a jacket. She joins Baron Watson-Armstrong in their car and they drive off. The chauffeur drives the empty car through the Cragside House Gatehouse. The Baron and his daughter follow arm-in-arm. She waves. The chauffeur holds open the car door and they get in the backseat. The chauffeur covers the Baron’s knees with a car blanket. They drive off through the Gatehouse.

The film cuts to the Cottage In The Park. The chauffeur walks out of the cottage and poses for the camera. There are various shots of the cottage exterior. There is a general view across a field towards estate buildings. Two men are sawing wood. Baron Watson-Armstrong and Lady Armstrong talk to a woman at the door of a cottage. The camera pans across the cottage garden. The woman holds food out to entice a black Labrador dog to beg.

The next shots document tennis courts, gardens, wild country landscape, and the Cottage In The Park. A close-up shows the carved inlaid stone on the cottage, followed by a shot of a sign for 'The Cottage In The Park.' The chauffeur is driving the car away.

The final sequence is filmed at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, with exterior shots of the building, car park, gardens and statue of Queen Victoria in the grounds. Several patients or staff leave the hospital. At the gatehouse entrance, a sign requests donations. There is a close-up of the Royal Infirmary Hospital sign and a shot of the entrance.