Film ID:
NEFA 21366

SEASIDE HOLIDAYS

1946-1951

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by amateur filmmaker Leonard Winter, this is a compilation of well-composed post-war seaside holiday footage, documenting trips to Southend-on-Sea, Whitby and Saltburn between 1946 and 1951. The film also chronicles the early childhood of Jean and Leonard Winter’s daughter, Maureen, born in Lambeth in 1947. Leonard Winter was later a member of Cleveland Cine Club. This film is part of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) collection.

The filmmaker’s wife, Jean Winter, is walking along the beach at Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Leonard Winter rushes down some steps to the beach. Jean washes her sandy feet with some water whilst seated in a deckchair.

General view of the Kursaal amusement park entrance on the Eastern Esplanade, Southend, (closed during WWII). Jean takes a ride on the water chute seated up front. Next, she’s walking by smoking a cigarette and takes a seat outside at a seaside café kiosk. There’s an extended sequence of Jean playing mini-golf, with many close-ups of her taking a putt, and missing.

A staged sequence follows. Jean and a woman friend share cigarettes under a tree in a country park. Jean walks off. Leonard Winter comes along and sidles up to Jean’s friend on the bench until she falls off the end trying to move away from the pest. He helps her back onto the bench but is a little over-familiar. To put him off, she points over to where Jean is standing, looking disgruntled at her (future?) husband.

Jean is now seated in a seaside shelter, teasing a baby in a pram. Close-ups follow of her baby daughter, Maureen, all snuggled up in her knitted bonnet and dress. Jean picks her up and holds her, posing for the camera. The baby cries a little and Jean comforts her.

The scene changes to the back garden of a terraced house, which may be the home of Leonard Winter’s parents in London. Jean carries the baby outside to bathe her in a tin bowl. A younger man and woman are also out back, who may be either family or friends of Jean and Leonard.

Leonard Winter is sitting on a beach, scrubby with beach grass. He has his trousers rolled up and his hat on. He brushes sand from his pipe and attempts to light it. Meanwhile, Jean is holding baby Maureen and paddling in the sea, dipping her baby’s feet in the water. Back at his patch, Leonard gets annoyed when his sand-filled pipe won’t light. Jean and the young man and woman (seen previously) are now lounging on a hill around a bandstand in a park. Jean is feeding the baby a bottle. The next shot is of Leonard Winter reclining on the beach sucking the baby’s milk bottle, having given up on his pipe.

In the same London terraced house (?) a young woman carries baby Maureen out into the back garden. She hands the baby over to an older woman, probably the grandmother. Jean is standing next to a corrugated iron Morrison bomb shelter in the garden, ready to snap a photograph. A portrait shot of the young woman (Leonard’s sister?) taking a swig of pop from a bottle, nudged by her sister.(?)

Now a couple of years old, baby Maureen runs across wet sand on a beach to her mother and grandmother, who both light up cigarettes. All are wearing winter coats. Jean helps the toddler make sandcastles. Portrait shot of grandmother. The mother and grandmother sit on a sand dune with Maureen, eating sandwiches. A group portrait of the three follows.

Jean and a female friend (or relative) leave a changing tent on Saltburn beach and run down to the sea for a paddle. They run back up towards a young man holding a toddler. A row of changing tents hugs the base of the cliffs along the beach. Portrait shot of the man (not Leonard Winter) holding toddler Maureen. Maureen’s mum, grandmother and the young woman carrying the toddler carefully scale a grassy cliff up from the beach.

Jean and family enjoy teas outside a wooden shack snack bar at Saltburn. Jean carries Maureen to a little fairground ride. The toddler recognises her father behind the camera and points over to him, grinning. She has a ride on the small carousel in front of the snack bar. Jean and the young woman push Maureen on shuggy boat swings. Jean and the young couple have a ride on a bigger carousel (4d for adults), the young man then lifting the toddler off when it finishes. Jean and family walk on the seafront promenade. Maureen runs towards her father, still behind the camera. Leonard Winter and the young man then walk Maureen together along the promenade.

Jean walks out of a Middlesbrough council house with the young couple in previous sequences. The young woman is holding her own baby. The rest of the family follow and they walk up the street, where there are still gas lamps.

A travelling shot follows from a train leaving Middlesbrough railway station, passing warehouses, terraces, the Whitbread & Co. Bottled Beer Stores and Newport Bridge.

Maureen and family are at Whitby Abbey. Maureen plays in an open stone grave with her grandfather. They all play with a goat up on the East Cliff. General view of the abbey ruins. The family walk down the steps from the cliff top. Next, they are seated on a beach at Whitby. The men play leap frog, then play with Maureen in the sea. Jean walks Maureen in the sea. Leonard and the younger man walk Maureen in the sea.

Back again at Saltburn beach (?), the two young families play in the sea, paddling. Toddler Maureen plays near the cliffs. Jean pours water over the young man’s feet to wash off sand. The families start to towel themselves dry and get changed.

Jean runs down to the sea with Maureen, now aged around 3 or 4. Jean is dressed in a fashionable bathing play suit as mother and daughter play in the sea and on the beach.