Film ID:
NEFA 21312



Visitor Tabs


This amateur travelogue, made by James Cameron Senior, records a tour around Belgium and Holland with his family in July 1929, departing on the steam ship ‘New Londoner’ from the Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne. They visit some of the sites of First World War battlegrounds including Ypres, and take trips to Flushing and Bruges. Cameron was an original founder member and Honorary Secretary of Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) in 1929. Cameron’s son and daughter, James Cameron Jnr. and Janet Cameron, who appear in this film, were also active Newcastle ACA members.

Title: A Holiday in Belgium and Holland

Credit: By James Cameron

Portrait shot of James Cameron Senior sitting, reading a newspaper and smoking a cigarette. He folds his newspaper, gets up and walks off camera.

Title: Boarding Tyne & Tees Steamer “New Londoner” at Newcastle Quay –

General views of people on the Quayside at Newcastle upon Tyne and boarding the Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Co. ship “New Londoner”.

Title: 13th July 1929

Close-up of the ship’s ring lifebuoy.

Title: We are amused by a little diversion before the boat sails. A group of Sea Scouts dance a sea shanty on the quayside. A woman in a long white apron standing beside a father and son dances a jig along to the music.

Title: Goodbye to the Tyne

Travelling shot from the “New Londoner” as it leaves behind the River Tyne at dusk and makes for open sea.

Title: Sunrise – the following morning

Travelling shots from ship of sun gradually rising on the horizon.

Title: A Quiet Corner on Deck

Passengers, probably the Cameron family, relax in deck chairs on board ship, two women wearing scarves as a sun shield.

Title: Reading the Log

James Cameron Jnr. and Janet Cameron observe a nautical instrument attached to the railing, a ship’s log.

Title: Going For’ard – To View the Bow Spray and Wave

The James Cameron Jnr. and Janet Cameron climb down stairs on deck. Close-ups of sea at ship’s bow.

Title: Sunlit crests and smooth waters

Various shots of sea.

Title: Passing many vessels on the way –

Shots of a schooner.

Title: The Pilot Comes Aboard 40 miles off Flushing

Dutch pilot boards “New Londoner” from a rowing boat, and is greeted by officer.

Title: Our Jovial Captain

The ship’s Captain cheerfully talks to camera.

Title: Converses with Passengers

The Captain chats to some female passengers on deck. Two women are silhouetted in doorway as they go inside.

Title: Evening Silhouettes

Shot of shadows of two people kissing beside a woman in a cloche hat.

Title: Arriving in Antwerp

General views of busy street in Antwerp with horse-drawn carriage passing.

Title: We pay a visit to the zoo

Title: Where the antelopes were most appealing

Title: The Stately Swans Welcome UsTitle: And Proud Peacocks Strut Round in their Majesty

Title: After a tiring day we entrain for Heyst-sur-Mer arriving there at 9 o’clock on the Monday night.

James Cameron Senior, his daughter and wife pose at the train carriage doorway, Cameron playfully tickling his family and all laughing.

Title: At Heyst

Various shots of couples and individuals strolling on the promenade in the sunshine, dressed in a variety of 20s fashions and styles. Two nuns accompany a group of young boys in sunhats and cute sailor outfits. Children play on the beach and paddle in the sea. Cameron’s son and daughter take a horse ride on the beach. The Camerons browse market stalls.

Title: The Lifesavers

A lifeguard in a lifejacket blows a horn and walks the beach.

Title: Miss Belgium

A cute toddler carries a jug down the beach and plays with a boy, making sandcastles, paddling.

Title: And, unfortunately, a Bather taken ill

A distressed woman is helped along the beach by two friends, all wearing modest knitted swimsuits.

Title: ‘Neddy’ does his bit

A girl takes a donkey ride on the beach. Children get a ride in a decorated trap pulled by donkeys. General view of donkeys on beach.

Title: Passing on to Zeebrugge, we see a German gun at the Mole

James Cameron Jnr., his cine camera over his shoulder, waves from his seat on a cannon at the Mole (a harbour wall) at the end of the canal connecting Bruges with the North Sea.

Title: The Mole

General view of anti-tank defence on beach, the cranes at docks on horizon.

Title: Waiting for an Electric train to take us on to Blankenberg

The Cameron family buy tickets. Steam train travels by camera. General view of Blankenberg pavement cafés.

Title: The Historic City of Bruges next claimed our attention

General view of canals and the Sint-Salvator Cathedral.

Title: Where we were impressed by the hard-working porter!

An idle porter lounges on a train, his empty barrow parked on a station platform.

Title: And the beauties of the city

General views of canals and parks.

Title: Finding a shady retreat

Two people row on a canal.

Title: We have an al-fresco meal

James Cameron Snr. and family sit under a tree, smoke and share food.

Title: Watching the nimble fingers of the Bruges women making the famous hand-made lace

Various shots of women making lace on the street.

Title: We were fascinated with the speed at which they worked

More shots of the work of the lace makers.

Title: Transport in Belgium is of a very varied nature

General street scene with horse and delivery cart and street traders’ hand pulled barrows.

Title: And even dogs work for their keep

Janet Cameron pets two husky dogs harnessed to a cart, its owner staring unsmiling at the camera. The huskies pull the cart away.

Title: Whilst workmen pause on their way home to read the result of the sweepstake

A crowd of men are huddled around a street newsagent.

Title: Visiting Ostend

General views of people strolling under a colonnade, a busy square, and Ostend streets, Belgium.

Title: The race course is a big attraction

Various shots of big crowds, punters and horserace action at the Hippodrome Wellington Racecourse, Ostend. Includes shot of James Cameron in the crowd.

[Reel 2]

Title: We decided to visit Ypres

Title: Where we saw the famous cathedral under repair

General views of St Martin's Cathedral under scaffolding in the Belgian city of Ypres

Title: Where we were deeply impressed by this profound and sacred memorial to those heroes it seeks to immortalize.

General view of the memorial arch of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.

Title: Poignant memories surround us as we see the panelled walls.

Title: Inscribed with the names of 57,000 men who gave their lives for their country in the Ypres Salient.

Title: The history surrounding this old city prompted us to see the remains of trenches at “Hill 62”

The Cameron family look around the British World War One battlefield trench system at Ypres, on the Western Front.

Title: “No Man’s Land”

Title: Where Souvenirs can be bought

James Cameron Junior and Janet Cameron browse a stall of WWI memorabilia, staffed by veterans.

Title: -And an old German “Pillbox” at “Hill 60”

Brief shot of family looking at a World War One concrete pillbox.

Title: In Our Pilgrimage We pass the beautiful Canadian memorial at St Julien

Brief shot of the St. Julien Memorial. The Cameron family get into a taxi.

Title: Arriving at the War Graves at Tyne Cot Cemetery

General view of the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, the burial ground for the dead of the First World War in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front.

Title: And so we leave them in peace [on gravestone for A Soldier of the Great War Known unto God]

Title: Deciding to Visit Middleberg on Market Day, We Wait for a Steam Car for Breskens

General view of a queue on the street and the arrival of an impressively long steam tram.

Title: Arriving at Breskens, we board the ferry to take us to Flushing

Overhead shot of crowd of passengers at the ferry terminal. Travelling shot as ferry departs from the quayside and of river traffic.

Various shots of Flushing including street life, a focus on women and children in traditional Dutch national costume including white lace bonnets, barrow traders, market stalls where lace is for sale. A number of people carry goods in double baskets balanced across the shoulders in traditional style.

Title: Arriving back at Heyst after dinner we enjoyed the cool of the evening

People go for a stroll at dusk.

Title: Our all too short holiday was nearing an end, and leaving Heyst

The Cameron family leave their hotel. A porter transports luggage.

Title: We arrive at Antwerp en route for Rotterdam

General view of a city square and a station platform

Title: Rotterdam

General views of Rotterdam market, canal, street life and flower sellers, the Tivoli Theatre, barges on a canal, a steam train crossing a bridge into the city, and an ice cream seller on street.

Title: Entering the Docks

General view of ships in docks.

Title: Boarding the Steamer “Alnwick” at the Quay.

General view of the ‘Alnwick’ moored.

Title: The Tug takes hold

General view of steam tugs in the dock, guiding the ‘Alnwick’.

Title: And soon we are sailing down the River Maas; homeward bound

Travelling shot of large ships at docks along the Maas.

Title: Dropping the pilot

The pilot climbs off the ’Alnwick’ and the tug boat sails away.

Title: We head seawards

Travelling shot of variety of ships on the seas, including steam cargo ships.

Title: And overtake a Leith vessel outward bound.

General view of ship.

Title: After a good deal of rolling and pitching, some of us were glad to see the Tyne piers and pilot cutter the next day.

The Cameron family are on deck in sun chairs.

Title: Shipping the pilot

The Tyne pilot comes on board.

Title: The cutter is soon left behind.

General view of Tyne tug sailing away.

Title: The Syren awakens the echoes as we pass between the pier heads.

Close-up of the ship’s hooter. Travelling shot of the north pier and lighthouse.

Title: Saying ‘Good-bye’ to our Captain and Pilot

Various shots of the two men on the bridge.

Title: We leave the ‘Alnwick’ on Sunday afternoon 28th July 1929

James Cameron Junior and Janet Cameron leave the ship. Shot of a Union Jack flag blowing in the wind.

Title: And so ended a wonderful and impressive holiday.

Title: The End