Film ID:
NEFA 13583



Visitor Tabs


This home movie by amateur filmmaker Tom H. Brown documents stages in the construction of the Brown’s new art deco home in Walton Avenue, Middlesbrough, in 1936. Footage includes images of the finished home that provide a good example of modern English domestic architecture of the 1930s.

[Black & white footage]

Title: Genesis

Title: May 3, 1936

Trenches have been dug for the foundations of the Browns new brick house. Builders move piles of bricks while the foreman looks on. There is a shot of a wheelbarrow full of clods of earth. The builders mix cement and lay the brick foundation.

Title: Surgimus

A few metres of the brick walls of the house are built with window and door frames inserted. A builder uses a trowel to lay bricks for the wall of the house. A man carries bricks in a hod and unloads them for the bricklayer. Work progresses. There is a general view of the building site with vertical scaffolding. The scaffolding is unusual in that it is wooden. Builders now work on the first floor section of the wall. They continue to put up the brick walls for upper floors. The sequence closes with a shot of the metal ribbon style window frames in place.

Title: Ad Astra

There is then a general view from the interior of the half-built house, with brick piles ready on the scaffolding. Wooden floor joists are in place.

Title: Fortiter

A man hammers in wooden frames. There is a general view of the skeleton of the house and building site with a temporary workers’ shed advertising 'Dean Brothers.'

Title: June 3, 1936

Kate Brown walks onto the site.

Title: Audax

Dressed in long leather coat and high heels, Kate climbs a ladder towards the top of the house.

Title: Excelsior

Kate reaches the top of the ladder. There is a shot from the top of the half-built house with ceiling joists in place. She examines the wooden joists at the top of the house. There is a view upwards through the ceiling joists. Men brush tar on the roofing felt. Three barrels of boiling tar stand on the roof, and there are shots of the tar and felted roof. A man puts the finishing touches to the tarring.

Title: October 1936

There is a shot of the finished detached brick house with flat roof, 1930s style windows and landscaped front garden. There is a shot down into the garden from an upper floor window. Kate Brown strolls on the circular lawn with her daughter Helen. [Dufaycolor footage]

Title: March 1957

High angle shot of Kate and her son Tony as they enjoy the garden of their detached house in Middlesbrough. Kate cuts blossom from a tree planted when the house was built. [Kodachrome footage]

End title: Finis Coronat Opus

The film closes with a brief shot of a very dark skyline at night. [Dufaycolor footage]