Film ID: NEFA 21421 A DAY AT CAMP 1937 Visitor TabsDescription Made by Leonard Winter, this amateur film documents a fun camping trip in the 1930s with teenagers in the West Norwood Cycling Club, staying at a farm near Chiddingstone, Kent, and spending time on the Sussex coast at Lancing. Leonard Winter later joined the Cleveland Cine Club and lived in Middlesbrough. This film is part of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) collection. Credit: Leonard Winter Presents Title: A Day at Camp A group of teenagers cycle out in the Kent countryside. General view of a farm with oast house. Youths from West Norwood Cycling Club are camping at a farm near Chiddingstone, Kent. They light a fire to cook on. Reverse motion footage of the boys putting up a tent. Some of the boys chop wood for the fire. Then they enjoy a game of football in the meadow, filled with buttercups. Some of the teenagers, different ages, file past camera on their way to explore and climb trees in a nearby wood. Various shots show the boys energetically climbing a tree, some taken from a higher branch. One of the teenagers starts to take photographs. A boy hangs from a branch and the boy with a camera continues to snap photos. Two boys start to saw a tree trunk. All the cycling teenagers and their older leader are gathered at the campsite. A couple of teenage girls are seated on the grass amongst the group of boys, posed for a group portrait. Close-up of hundreds of flies crawling over one of the tents. A boy catches some of the flies and puts them in a small tin. Another boy is fishing at a local river. Three of the boys, two on cycles, attempt a human pyramid exercise, whilst riding. Another boy stands on his friend’s shoulders, the colleague with a camera taking pictures. A fire is burning at the campsite. The boys again attempt a human pyramid on wheels, two boys balancing on three boy cyclists. The boys are now riding down a country lane fast, two boys balanced on the backs of the cyclists. One cyclist falls off onto the grass verge. Some of the teenagers race their bikes up the lane at speed past camera. A staged sequence follows. A boy lays in the road after a crash on his cycle. His colleagues race to his aid, carrying him onto the roadside verge. He has fake, bloody weals on his face, which they swab. He is smiling, whilst his eyes are closed. Two of the boys (grinning) carry the lad, hanging from his feet and hands from a strong tree branch. One of the boys walks across a field to pet a horse, smiling as he passes the camera. Reverse motion footage follows of a boy magically jumping into a barn window. There’s a shot from the barn of a woman walking to the farmhouse down below. In another staged sequence, a teenage girl pleads with a boy, but he orders her to stand against a tree. He makes as if to throw a hunting knife. The knife is now sticking in the tree next to her head. She screams. The boys stage another strange scene. One boy appears to be dressed in a sort of dress cum dressing gown. He pretends to saunter provocatively outside the tent. The other boy drags him to a tent. He struggles. They vanish into the tent and clothes and shoes are flung from the tent. General view of the campsite. The teenagers, boys and girls, are cycling in a group up a country road. The scene changes to the seaside resort of Lancing on the Sussex coast where a small fishing boat flying several flags (SM-159) lands at a beach, carrying an excursion group of boys and girls (probably the West Norwood Cycling Club troop). General view of a stony beach with wooden groynes. Some of the club’s teenagers are sitting on the beach chatting. Others go for a paddle in the cold water. Two of the girl members of the cycling club visit a fairground and enjoy a ride on the dodgems. General view of a sandy beach, not too busy. The teenage boys play cricket on the beach. Back at the fairground, the girls have a go on an old-fashioned carousel ride. [over-exposed footage] Some of the teenage boys and the older leader walk across the road from the Lancing Motor Works and make an orchestrated rush into a snack bar. Back on the beach, some of the girls are playing on a Lilo and swimming. The cycling club senior stands with the teenage boys drinking cups of tea and cold drinks outside the snack bar. The group leave the cafe and head back to the beach. They make a beeline for the gentlemen’s toilets. The cycling club teenagers, including the girls, are cycling down a country road, heading back to their campsite. Title: Finis Context Being social on y’bike Two-wheel tricks and high spirits at the seaside for suburban youths on a cycling trip between the wars. There were just a few more carefree years of peace to escape the Smoke for these young suburbanite cyclists from the West Norwood Cycling Club camping it up for the camera in the Kent countryside and on the West Sussex coast. The comradely trip is captured inventively on film with trick shot tomfoolery and staged scenarios including a drama in drag. Meanwhile, the economic depression continued and war was on the horizon in Europe. This talented amateur filmmaker, Leonard Winter, often blurred the distinction between home movie and fiction in his work. He made many 9.5mm films between the 1930s and 70s, the earliest involving friends from the South London cycling club, until World War Two intervened in his creative activities. From 1946 onwards, his films usually featured his wife and daughter. The family moved from the South East to Middlesbrough in the late 1940s and Teesside and North Yorkshire are the locations in many subsequent films, bar holiday movies shot further afield. He also screened his films with the Cleveland Cine Club.