Film ID:
NEFA 12376



Visitor Tabs


Amateur home movie compilation that documents the lives of two families living in and around Durham, the Presteds and the Moralees, from the early 1950s through to the 1970s. The films include birthdays, weddings, funerals, trips to the seaside at Crimdon Dene, a fishing trip on the River Wear, and the Durham Miners Gala in the 1950s.

[Black and white film]

The opening scenes are of Mr and Mrs  Prested, Mr Prested in flat cap and woodworker’s apron, and a young girl (probably Joyce or Catherine Moralee), playing in the snow down Lawson Terrace, a street of Victorian terraced houses in Durham, throwing snowballs at each other.

A young couple, Joyce Prested and Kenneth Davison, walk towards camera down a snow-covered alley off Lawson Terrace, Durham, smiling and chatting together. Portrait shot of the couple, laughing.

Wearing winter coats, Mr and Mrs Moralee (?) stroll along a path bordered by steep banks of trees, a gas lamp in the background. Another man passes them along the road.

General views of Durham cathedral. The camera pans from cathedral to the River Wear, looking north.

Two young girls, dressed in hats and coats, and a young man (Kenneth Davison, seen previously) leading a spaniel dog, stroll towards camera along a wooded path, located beside the River Wear. Shots of a weir on the river. The Old Fulling Mill (now the Museum of Archaeology) stands on the bank beside the weir.

The same young man strides along a park path. He spots a sign on the lawn that reads “No cycling please”, looks closely at it, and then faces the camera laughing.

The scene cuts to a child’s birthday party, Joyce or Catherine Moralee (?) at age four. Eight boys and girls are seated around a table laden with teacups, plates, and an iced birthday cake with 4 lit candles. Family and guests stand around the table singing and serving the children with food. One young woman in a floral dress takes a bite of sandwich. The adults laugh. One of the women bounces a young baby girl in her arms. The curly haired birthday girl scowls a little.  She blows out the candles on the cake. All the children sing happy birthday whilst stuffing cake in their mouths. In the foreground, the youngest boy, with a food smeared bib, puts a biscuit in his mouth. The children clap. The camera pans around the table. Close-up of an iced cake elaborately decorated, with snuffed-out candles.

The small children huddle together on a sofa and floor beside a 1930s tiled fireplace and fireguard after their party meal. A woman in the foreground, Mrs Prested (?) with back to camera, reads stories to the children. The grumpy birthday girl opens a comic book, which reads “Our pets ABC.” Mr Prested (?) sits in a fireside armchair opposite the children, reading and smoking a pipe.

Shot of the woman telling the story, holding a young blonde, curly-haired baby girl (either Joyce or Catherine Moralee) who sucks her thumb.

Close-up of a 21st key birthday card.

The scene changes to a party of young men and women, gathered around a table celebrating Joyce Prested’s birthday. The table is crammed with food, everyone enjoying eating and drinking.  Family photographs are arranged on an upright piano. The blonde curly haired girl (Joyce or Catherine Moralee) nibbles on some cake. A man and woman smoke cigarettes. Joyce Prested cuts her birthday cake, which is shaped like a basket. Everyone claps. Her father presents a giant key to her. Shot of the 21st key birthday card.

General views of the beach and sand dunes at Crimdon Dene open the next sequence of a family visit to the seaside.  Mrs Prested and two small girls climb back up a sand dune, the young girls in their swimsuits. The two girls get into a tent erected on the beach. 

Arm-in-arm, Mrs Prested and a young man climb back up the sand dune. The young man kisses her on the cheek.

One of the Moralee girls writes “Crimdon Dene 1955” in the sand with a stick. The young girl paddles in the sea, a father with his two sons playing in the waves further along the beach.  General view of the beach followed by a shot of the girl splashing in the waves at the edge of the sea. General view of the beach looking south with heavy industry visible on the horizon. The families are seated in the sand dunes on the beach having a picnic, a small tent next to them. They smile and wave to the camera.

Mr Prested takes the two small girls down to the sea for a paddle.  The two men in the party paddle in the waves with their trousers rolled up, holding the hands of the young blonde –haired girl, helping her to jump the waves.

The two young girls (one, Joyce or Catherine Moralee) take a fairground ride on a switchback with replica motor boats on the beach, costing 3 pence, and play at a ball game stall, and then a carousel where the two girls ride on a model ship called the Dauntless and wave.  Shot of the Tunnel of Love waltzers in action on the beach.

General view looking up towards the Railway Viaduct, Durham, looming over the terraces of houses. The next street scenes are documented during a busy Durham Miners Gala in the 1950s.  The Tyneside Hot Dogs street vendor, wearing a dark carnival eye mask, plies his trade on a street crowded with visitors to the Gala. A couple (backs to camera) wear sombrero and sun hat. Portrait shot of a mother cradling a baby in a frilly bonnet.  General view down North Road looking towards Durham Castle, the street very crowded with families. Children and women are looking with interest at traders selling goods laid on the street. Children try sun hats on at a stall.

Two policemen stride down the street.  A group of friends sit on the Castells balcony overlooking the busy street.  Children are playing with their balloon shapes on the street.  Portrait shot of a young girl in a sun hat. Portrait shot of a street trader with a toy octopus and another waving one of his balloons on stick toys.

General view down North Road towards Durham Cathedral with the tower of the Essoldo Cinema to the right (once the Miners Hall).  A woman sells prawns or crayfish at a stall. Mrs Prested (?) walks towards camera. Crowds pass by two policemen on the street.

Brief shot of Durham Cathedral tower. Young boys look at sun hats for sale on the street.  People are watching from windows above shops along North Road including Sola Shoes and W. K. Vasey Florist and Fruiterers.   Large crowds fill North Road, view towards Durham Viaduct. Two traders wearing comic hats sell toys along the street.  Shots of a butcher’s shop. Various shots of traders selling novelty toys and blowing bubbles.  Soft drinks and cordials are handed out to children at another stall. People are strolling around Durham Market Place, bordered by St Nicholas C of E Church with the statue of the Marquis of Londonderry out front.  Various shots follow of people milling around in the square, a young woman chatting to a policeman, and a view down towards Framwellgate Bridge and beyond.  A group of young men perform a sword dance in a street near Durham Castle. 

There are various shots of Durham cathedral and grounds, where a few groups of people relax on the grass and stroll through the grounds. 

North Road, Durham, is still very crowded with people, miners, their families and other visitors enjoying a sunny day. Two women wave from a first floor window above Dewhurst butchers.  Crowds browse the various street traders’ wares.

Title: Presto Films present

Title: Catherine Moralee and Joyce Moralee

Catherine and Joyce Moralee leave the family house carrying bags for a camping trip, probably in late August or early September.  Their mother waves them off from the front step. The two young girls walk into the countryside together.  On a breezy day, they put up a small tent in a meadow. The two eat food outside the entrance to their tent, smiling at the camera as they nibble biscuits. After lunch, they play catch with a ball, and then head off into undergrowth clutching each other’s hands. They play by the banks of the River Wear.  Various shots of the river follow. 

The scene cuts to shots of a wide road at the edge of Durham. 

Back to Catherine and Joyce Moralee who leap up from their hiding place behind clumps of meadow grass, play ring-a–ring-a-roses and fall down. The oldest girl dances around at the edge of a corn field, the corn bundled up into tepee stacks. Portrait shot of Joyce and Catherine.

Title: The End

A sequence follows of homing pigeons and their chicks in a coop, including close-ups of feeding and a pigeon settling onto her eggs.

[Colour film]

Title: Our Wedding

Title: Marriage of Kenneth Davison and Joyce Prested at St Maragarets Church Durham July 31st 1954


Best Man

Howard Davison


Olga Thornton

Catherine Moralee

Joyce Moralee

Olga Caley

[colour film]

This sequence opens with an exterior shot of St Margaret’s Church, Crossgate, Durham.  Families dressed in formal clothes arrive by car and climb the steep steps to the church.  The bride and bridegroom arrive at the church.  Next, the mothers climb the steps to the church, and are followed by the arrival of the bridesmaids, dressed in pink, carrying bouquets of flowers.  Mr Prested arrives at the church with his daughter, dressed in white bridal veil and long white dress, and carrying a bouquet of red and white carnations. The bride beams at the camera.

After the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom walk out of the church and confetti is thrown.  A crowd of family and other guests are gathered around the church entrance watching the couple [out of shot].  Brief close-up of the couple and a bridesmaid squeezed into the back seat of the wedding car with their bouquets.  The black car drives off along Crossgate.

The newly-wed couple, now in day clothes, leave the bride’s home in Lawson terrace, Durham.  She smiles and waves and he carries a suitcase.  They walk off down the street hand in hand.  The Moralees (?) wave them off from their front door. View down the street as the couple depart.

Title: The End

Mr Prested (?) tends the flowers in his allotment, pipe in mouth.  Portrait shot of Mr Prested and a young man in similar glasses and a trilby hat, possibly his son.  Shots of the flowers including gladioli and a general view across the allotments towards Durham Cathedral in the background. Shots follow of greenhouses and many close-ups of his prize flowers, some with flower heads wrapped in paper bags.  The son helps his father pick some of the flowers.

A celebratory meal is in progress with families including the Presteds and Moralees, possibly a wedding anniversary.  Mrs Prested and her husband cut a large iced cake holding the knife together. Children eat from dessert bowls of tinned pear halves.  Plates of buns, scones and teacakes cover the table. A man feeds a baby girl from a spoon. Portrait shot of the recently married couple Kenneth and Joyce at the party.  

Mrs Prested and a young man push three very young girls on some public swings, at a recreation ground at the edge of town.  Portrait shots of each individual girl swinging.  Kenneth and Joyce push an old wooden roundabout around, on which Mrs Prested and four small children with a doll and toy dog are seated. Three of the children and Mrs Prested play on a rocking horse at the rec, council houses in the background.  Close-up portraits of the children and Mrs Prested

A teenager (Catherine or Joyce Moralee) writes “Seaton Carew” in the sand. She walks along the beach at Seaton Carew and waves to camera.  A man stands looking out to sea, turns and waves to the camera.  The girl leans against the sea wall at Seaton Carew, the amusement park behind her.  Pan along the outer wall of the amusement park with its deco tower. In the next shot, she takes a ride on a carousel, waving as it passes.

The Baron Kinnaird cargo ship, owned H Hogarth & Sons Ltd., Glasgow, is moored at a berth at the Austin & Pickersgill's Southwick shipyard on the launch day, 29th September 1958.  People are waiting on the quayside for the launch.  A man begins to take a photograph of the ship, the crane towering to one side. The shipyard workers prepare to knock out the wooden keel block supporting the ship. Guests are on the launch platform.  The champagne bottle smashes against the bow of the ship.  The ship moves off down the slipway, workers watching in groups. The film focuses on the crane.  General views of the ship in the River Wear, workers standing amongst the debris on the slipway.

The following sequences were filmed sometime in the late 1960s or 1970s.  General view of a road on the outskirts of Durham, the River Wear, and further shots of a road.  Exterior and interior shots follow of the family and children arriving at St Joseph’s (Catholic) Church in Gilesgate, Durham, for a wedding. Portrait shot of three young children in their best clothes. The bridegroom and his best man arrive for the wedding. The bridesmaids arrive at the church, dressed in blue.  A mother and father pose for a portrait shot, guests at the wedding. The bride and her father arrive at the church, the bride dressed in white.  Boys are playing at the church gate, one boy climbing on a brick pillar as the bride arrives. 

High angle shots, looking towards the modern church altar, of the bride and groom, bridesmaids and other members of the family walking down the church aisle after the wedding service.  The happy bride and groom pose for a portrait photograph at the door of the church.  In the rain, the bride and groom leave the church heading to the wedding car, passing guests and family milling around after the service. A man takes a photograph of the bridesmaids and other children, with the Prested family in the back row, posing outside St Joseph’s Roman Catholic School, next to the church. The children wave at the filmmaker as they pose. They then pose, the children giggling, for a filmed group portrait.  A larger group of family and friends pose outside the school, two of the small children jumping with excitement.

The film quickly cuts to scenes of another wedding at the older stone church of St Margaret’s on Crossgate, Durham.  The bridesmaid, best man (?), and family pose outside the church.  Portrait shot of the bridesmaid and best man, the best man sporting a long permed hairstyle popular in the 1970s. They kiss. The bride and groom, bridesmaids, family and friends leave the church after the wedding.  They walk down the church path and stone steps to the street.  The young bridesmaids are in mock Victorian dresses and bonnets. Confetti is thrown at the bride and groom.  Portrait shot of bride and groom. 

Mr Prested, his wife and son (?) stand beside the River Wear on Leazes Road, Durham, surveying the view, one of the men pointing across the river. Panoramic view of Durham Castle, the old Elvet Bridge, across to Baths Bridge and the Durham City Baths along old Elvet Waterside, and the sports field beyond. The man’s red Prested Organ Builders van (registration plate HPT 965C) is parked in a layby off the Leazes Road bypass, St Nicholas Church of England church seen in the background.

Another wedding is documented (of Ruth and Gary).  A group of four young men arrive, dressed in pin stripe suits with carnations in their lapels.  The red Ford Granada wedding car arrives (reg. no. SWP 451L) and the bridesmaids get out.  Guests arrive.  Four bridesmaids and a page pose for a photograph taken by one of the guests. The bride has emerged from the Granada car. The film jumps to a shot of the bride and groom, showered with confetti by guests, leaving the modern church smiling.  Guests mill around outside the church and begin to leave.

Two men look at building plans in a portable office at a school, St Leonards Catholic School (just turned secondary modern in 1970), North End, Durham. Outside two men are digging a trench in the grounds of a secondary school.  Children are outside in the school grounds, playing up to the camera. The school is partly an old building with a new red brick and glass extension.  A red Bell & Ridley Builders and Decorators van is parked in the school grounds.

Inside the school, two men are putting up metal industrial shelving.  One of the men in overalls walks into a new classroom and pulls down a white sheet over a blackboard.  Inside another room, two decorators are painting a hallway.  The camera pans around another red-painted room with lounge chairs and a modern glass brick partition.  A man is sliding shut the partition wall to an adjoining classroom. 

A brief sequence looks at new classrooms in the school.  A male teacher walks into the newly painted lecture room and checks a working set-up of four reel to reel tape decks on a desk. A science teacher walks into a new science laboratory and places a mortar and pestle on a desk.

The next sequence records trout being prepared by Mrs Prested (?) and a fishing trip along the River Wear with Mr Prested (?) and a younger man, possibly near Stanhope Bridge during the early 1970s. Mrs Prested prepares trout, cutting off a fish head. Mr Prested and a younger man retrieve their fishing tackle from a red three-wheeled Reliant Robin of the firm, H.E. Prested Organ Builder and head for a stone built bridge, climbing down through undergrowth to the river’s edge.  The two men begin to fish, the focus on one of the men fishing from a rock shelf beside a weir, the bridge in the background.  The younger man poses with his fishing rod and net.

Mr Prested and the younger man are standing near the George Inn with Mrs Prested, looking out over the countryside. Panoramic view of the fields and hills.  Mrs Prested stands at the door to the George Inn with two other women, as the two men walk towards them. A group portrait of the five follows. Views of the river landscape are followed by a shot of Mr Prested fishing, casting off from the rocky bank of the river. Various portrait shots of Mr Prested, Mrs Prested and the two men with them on the fishing trip standing on the steep bank of the river.  Mr Prested and his friend cross an unsteady suspension footbridge, possibly the old swing bridge across the River Wear at Escomb. They continue to fish.  The catch of fish lies on the ground in a row, Mr Prested’s friend displaying one to camera.

Mrs Prested sits in an armchair reading in the garden of a whitewashed holiday cottage, as Mr Prested and friend leave for a day’s fishing, crossing country fields and heading for the river. Panoramic views of the landscape follow. Portrait shot of Mrs Prested still seated outside the holiday cottage in the sun.  One of the group is then pictured holding up a trout he has caught to camera, whilst seated in the armchair. Back to scenes of the men fishing, and one of the men catches a small fish.  Next, the man displays a large sea trout he has caught, with close-up of him holding the fish.  Mr Prested holds a large trout whilst walking with his wife.  Heading for the holiday cottage, he holds up the fish to camera again.

In the next sequence, Mr and Mrs Prested celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with family and friends at the family home in Durham. Mr Prested pours a glass of brandy for his wife.

The next sequence features more footage of the fishing holiday, Mrs Prested carrying the catch of fish, one of which the family friend displays to camera.  He washes up cutlery outside. In the next shot, the man plays with a couple’s dog down a country lane. He collects eggs from a local farm and there are shots of the farm, his cattle herd and his white bull.

The film cuts to scenes in a graveyard, where family gather beside the new gravestone of Martha Ann Prested, “A dear wife and mother died 1st April 1976 aged 76 Years.”  A man takes a photograph of the grave as two young women stand nearby.

A group of family and friends gather around a different, new grave, covered with bouquets.  Portrait shots of one of the Moralee daughters holding a baby in a romper suit and of their mother.  Close-up shots follow of the flowers on the grave.

A young woman (previously seen at her wedding) visits one of the Moralees with her baby son.

Group portrait of an extended family group outside a council house at the edge of Durham (including some of the women and men pictured in the weddings recorded in earlier years), the young boys playing up to the camera.  Two of the boys are wearing interesting fashions from the 1970s.  The group of family and friends are pictured on a Durham railway station platform, waving to camera.

The final shot is of two of the men pictured in earlier sequences of film, having a break from work in an organ building workshop, which will probably be the Prested Organ Builders of Durham.