Film ID:
YFA 694



Visitor Tabs


This is a film by Charles Chislett pieced together from films spanning over a decade of places visited in England and Wales, including the Isle of Wight, the New Forest and London. In parts it includes the family on a caravan tour, with the children Rachel and John.

(1955) The film begins with a misleading title, 'Gateway to Lakeland', taken from another Chislett film. The family are first seen visiting an old building, a church and gardens overlooking a beach in Wales. They sit at a caf? in the village. They next visit a miniature railway on the coast, and later a church or cathedral with cloisters. Horses are running wild on moorland. There is a booking sign for the Isle of Wight and a sign for Lymington Pier. A ferry, the Freshwater, pulls in and a lorry, 'B. Harris and Sons Removals', gets on.

They arrive at the Isle of Wight, staying at the Crab Hotel. The film shows some countryside and houses. It then focuses on the white cliffs, which, shown close up, display many other colours. The Queen Mary sails past. Having toured the Isle of Wight, they return to Southampton, where the Queen Mary is docked. On the mainland they stay at the Master Builders House Hotel, Beaulieu. On the trees the leaves turn one by one, to call the autumn time. They walk around the grounds of a country house. In the village there is the sign for the Montagu Arms public house. A horse auction in a field has attracted lots of people. There is a sign for the New Forest. Grace sits in the family car (reg. SNU 492) and a pony puts its head into the car for Grace to feed it. There is a comical scene with donkeys lying in a line next to a bus stop. They visit Stonehenge and Salisbury, showing much of the Cathedral. There is a very red sunset seen through a window.

(1959) The film switches to show it snowing in the family garden, with snow thick on the trees, and cars driving through the snow outside. Next, filming from a train, they are going through snow covered hills, passing a lake or reservoir. The train stops at a station and continues through mountains. The film switches to show a sledge and skis being taken out of the family car (red LWA 728). A man, possibly Charles Chislett, goes gingerly down a hill on skis. Two more men turn up with skis, and also Rachel pulling the sledge. They all go down a hill, with Rachel sat up slowly coming to a halt on her sledge.

Next it is spring, with a Fox terrier and a Dachshund in a park fighting over a rag. Elsewhere there are deer, with a stag warning off rivals, herons and daffodils. They visit another cathedral, then the coast with the tide out, and with a river running into the sea near a windmill. Two boys go out in rowing boats.

(1951) Then to London, showing Westminster and Big Ben. A bus passes (with twin wheels at the rear, advertising 'Sampic'). Traffic goes along Whitehall, including a truck with N.M.U. on it. A number 3 bus passes going to Crystal Palace.

Intertitle - Kew in Springtime

After showing some of Kew Gardens, the film jumps to show a Cathedral, possibly York, with the area around it. They visit another historic city with a Cathedral and close. Then a new housing estate and an old road with Tudor houses.

(1948) Then Rachel stands in front of sign for the smallest public railway in the world, R.H & D. Lt Railway at Hythe, holding a black dog. The engine driver gets ready for the journey, with John standing nearby. The train gets underway, with Rachel and another girl of similar age, possibly her cousin, in a carriage hanging their heads out of the window. Then we see a lighthouse. They visit kennels that specialise in a particular breed of dog, which are in a fenced area with puppies, and Rachel giving one of them a walk - possibly one they have just bought. The film shows a selection of different styles of old houses, including Elizabethan, juxtaposed with more modern buildings. Rachel stands next to the family car outside their caravan and pours water to brush her teeth. The car is then seen parked in the main street of an old village. There are various other old village streets, including one with the 'Lamb Inn'. Then another street, possibly the High Street in Oxford, showing several colleges. Next the caravan and car (reg. LWA 728) are parked in a field.

(1949) The family next visit a village, possibly Burford in the Cotswolds. Again, many examples of country type houses, thatched roofed etc., are shown. Charles Chislett hitches the caravan onto the back of the car. They stop off at another old village, with a church and a sign with the date 'August 20th 1575'; possibly Elmley Castle in Worcestershire. They are then back in a field with the caravan, sat on the grass having lunch; Rachel in her swimsuit. A group of cows come over to see what is going on. Then on to another old street in a town with Tudor buildings, one housing Marston Bros. Ltd, possibly Bridge Street, Hereford.

Next there is a view down onto a coastal town, with a lighthouse. There is an old sailing ship in the harbour. There are more views of countryside, with hills and lakes. Grace walks around a lake with two dogs, with one getting in the water. The film finishes with a sunset and then sunrise over the lake.