Film ID:
NEFA 13611



Visitor Tabs


A series of short home movies made by Robert Wrench showing family activities takeing place around Newcastle, Whitley Bay and Romford in Essex between 1924 and 1935. The films include footage of his wife Susan, daughter, Mary Elizabeth Wrench (later Richardson), and her children Robert, Susan and Thomas William Richardson. The film also includes footage from the Royal Air Force Display at Farnborough in 1929.

The film opens with wintery scenes down a street in South Gosforth, Newcastle, where a crowd of mainly children are sledging in the snow.  [dated c.1930].

From the Gateshead side of the river Tyne a paddle steamer travels downstream.

A steam tug boat tows a cargo ship under the High Level & the King Edward VII bridges. Shadowing the cargo ship is a second paddle steamer.

A smaller steam ship heads slowly downstream. Behind it the Swing Bridge can be seen slowly closing.

Pedestrians, lorries, horses and carts cross the Swing Bridge into Newcastle [dated 1924].

Thomas William Richardson, aged 3, kicks stones in the garden at his grandparents’ house in Romford, Essex.

Mary Elizabeth Richardson, her mother Susan Wrench and two other boys eat sandwiches and cake and drink tea at a table inside a house.  The family dog is fed scraps by Susan Wrench [dated c.1930].

Two girls and three boys play on the beach at Whitley Bay. They all leap over a mound of sand. Thomas William plays with a spade in the sand. The other older children play leap frog.

The family sit behind a chalet on the beach eating sandwiches. The women are sitting on deck chairs while the children and the man sit on the sand. The children pat the dog.

Three of the children bury the fourth in the sand. They then bury Thomas William [dated c.1930].

The family walk across Newcastle Town Moor dressed in their Sunday best clothes. The children run around; Exhibition Park can be seen in the background.

A motor boat travels slowly around a boating lake and goes under the footbridge leading into Exhibition Park [dated 1930].

A group of children paddle in the surf on Whitley Bay beach. Thomas William Richardson dressed in a sailor suit plays with a toy canoe in the surf and then in a small pond of sea water.

The film changes to show crowds standing around watching dodgem cars move around the 'The Auto Runabout' ride at Spanish City, Whitley Bay.

Another crowd watches a magician perform a trick with metal hoops in front of the 'Wonderland' attraction.

Crowds of people can be seen filling Whitley Bay beach with swing boats moving in the background. Thomas, still dressed in a sailor suit, holds his toy canoe beside a pool of sea water full of other children either paddling or playing with their own toy boats.

Horses and riders race across the sand [dated 1935].

In Jesmond Dene park, a dog swims in the river Ouseburn before rolling in the grass under a tree. There is a view of a waterfall with footbridge crossing over it. Two young boys walk a dog on a lead through Jesmond Dene park [dated 1935].

Thomas William Richardson rides a tricycle in a street outside a house, probably in South Gosforth in Newcastle.

In Jesmond Dene park Thomas and his brothers walk a dog along a path. They sit on a bench, drink from a water fountain before crossing a footbridge.

There are views of the waterfall and the river Ouseburn.

Three men cross the river using stepping stones.

The family dog eats grass at the grandparents’ house in Essex. [dated 1930].

Crowds watch a parade of men dressed in various historic military dress marching around Exhibition Park. [The display was put on as a public event as part of the opening ceremony for the New Tyne Bridge,10 October 1928].

The film changes to show an industrial process. [unidentified]

Title: Royal Air Force Display [Farnborough], 1929

A number of bi-planes fly overhead watched over by a large crowd.

Title: Small single seaters, monster bombers, super flying boats and many other types.

A bi-plane taxi's across a field. A man climbs out of it.

Two bi-planes with RAF insignia begin to taxi across a field.

A large bi-plane bomber taxi's across a field; a gunner is seating in a turret at the rear .

A large RAF bi-plane flying boat flies overhead.

Title: Wonderful stunt flying.

An RAF bi-plane flies upside down overhead.

Three RAF bi-planes fly in formation. Two of the bi-planes fly in formation close to the ground. Another bi-plane perform spins and loops.

Title: A thrill - for the spectators, but all the parachutists landed safely.

Four parachutes are seen opening from the rear of two large bi-plane bombers. The parachutists land in a field.

Title: The attack on the "mole".

Five bi-planes fly in formation overhead. Five more bi-planes taxi and take off and join the other formation.

Title: "Casualties" in both the attacking and defending squadrons.

Various types of bi-planes perform a mock air battle in the sky. Smoke comes from the rear of some of the airplanes.

Four bi-planes attack a barrage balloon. The burning balloon crashing to the ground.

Title: The end.

Note: Robert Wrench was the North East Regional Director of Kodak before he retired to Romford, Essex. The film was deposited with Tyne & Wear Archives by Elsie Richardson who was married to Thomas William Richardson. Thomas is seen several times in the film aged 3 and 7.