Film ID: NEFA 21529 Video of NEFA 21529 Party for Seven PARTY FOR SEVEN 1954 Visitor TabsDescription This well-made, partly staged, amateur film by Leonard and Jean Winter documents their daughter’s 7th birthday party and Leonard’s performance as a magician for the children. Leonard and Jean Winter were members of the Cleveland Cine Club. The film was probably shot at their home in Lancaster Road, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough. This film is part of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) collection. Title: Winter Productions Present Title: Party for Seven Credit: Produced & Directed by Len and Jean Winter Title: Maureen is seven years old today. So let’s have a party and all be gay. A door opens to reveal children in party hats around a table filled with party food. A birthday cake with candles sits in the centre of the table. The camera zooms in on the party. Maureen reaches for a sandwich, looking a little embarrassed at the filming. The children eat and drink, quite solemnly at first. Maureen’s mother, Jean Winter, also in a paper party hat, begins to pour out tea for the children. The children are getting more excited now. A little boy is staring round at the camera. Close-up of Maureen, face close to the birthday cake. Jean Winter lights the candles on the cake. The children are all happily eating and drinking. The room lights are switched off and Maureen blows out the candles on her cake. Title: Tea is followed by a magical feast. With a mysterious gentleman – from the East The door opens and a man enters dressed in a dressing gown, turban, fake moustache, wearing make-up and holding a cigarette holder (probably Leonard Winter). The children cheer and clap, delighted. Title: A demonstration of the truant habit. Of naughty and mischievous – Percy the Rabbit. The performer, in a fake Arab costume, performs a magic trick with a cardboard cut-out of a rabbit and two doors marked home and school. The rabbit keeps vanishing from behind the door marked school and reappearing behind the door marked home – because it is a rabbit with a truant habit. The performance is intercut with group portraits of the children clapping and laughing. The performer raises his fake bushy eyebrows, and looks confused about the disappearing rabbit, who peeps out from behind the prop every so often, never where he is meant to be. He bows at the end of the show. Title: We now enjoy another treat – The magic of Maureen’s dancing feet. Maureen performs a tap dance. Various shots of the tap dance including close-ups of the child’s feet. The children and Jean Winter clap enthusiastically. Title: The party is over, it has been heaven. Don’t you wish you too were seven? Close-up of the crumbs left over on the cake plate. Jean Winter ties up the birthday girl’s dressing gown, kisses her and Maureen carries her teddy bear with her to the door, opens it and waves goodbye. Title: The End. A Winter Production [over a still of all her presents] Context A birthday girl’s special day Mum and Dad record their daughter’s birthday party, featuring cake, tap dancing and a bit of Eastern mystery. Before William Oliver Wallace became famous as the great Ali Bongo, Middlesbrough resident Leonard Winter donned the cape and turban of an Oriental magician to entertain guests at his daughter’s birthday party. The birthday girl follows next with a tap-dance routine, possibly to work off some of the sugar rush from eating birthday cake made by mother Jean, who, like bakers across the country, were still revelling in the end of sugar rationing the previous year. Leonard Winter was an accomplished amateur filmmaker who frequently blurred the distinction between home movie and fiction in his work. He made many 9.5mm movies between the 1930s and 1970s. From 1946 onwards his films often featured his wife Jean and daughter Maureen. The family moved from the South East to Middlesbrough in the late 1940s. William Oliver Wallace became a household name as Ali Bongo during the 1970s appearing in a number of television magic shows. For 15 years, he also worked alongside Middlesbrough born magician Paul Daniels on his hugely successful television magic show. He joined the Magic Circle in 1960 and was elected its president in 2008 shortly before his death the following year.