Film ID:
NEFA 13590



Visitor Tabs


This black and white home movie with intertitles, made by Tom Brown (Senior), captures the fun of a holiday in Devon with his wife and friends. Footage also documents the land and seascapes of Torquay and the surrounding district, in Devon.

Title: Torquay & District Aug 1936

The film opens with a shot from an elevated promenade of the beach in Torquay, crowded with visitors. An ornamental fountain stands in park gardens, with a steep bank of garden in the background. There is a shot of a large crowd. Returning to the beach, several young children create large shell pictures in the sand in a kind of competition.

A cook stands on the doorstep of the Kistor Private Hotel. A man and woman are playing a mini croquet game in the hotel garden. Mabel Brown and friends are swinging and joking around on a set of outdoor swings. Four attempt to swing on a single swing.

Title: Teignmouth

High angle view across the sand and sea at Teignmouth, with several boats moored at the seashore. The beach is crowded with people and there is a thickly wooded headland across the bay. A group of the Browns’ friends walk along the seafront promenade.

Title: Anstey’s Cove

Overhead view of a small, crowded, rocky beach nestling between high cliffs and wooded hills. The film then cuts to a shot of passengers on a small boat trip.

Title: At Paignton

Shot of an iron gateway in Paignton. A boy cycles towards the camera. Mabel and Tom Brown (Senior) and friends sit on the seafront wall in Paignton and wave at the camera. The group enjoy themselves on a revolving fairground ride.

Title: A Sail To Brixham

From the stern of a boat we can see the fishing town of Brixham in the distance. A general view of sailing boats on the sea is followed by a shot of Mabel and friends standing at the stern of the cruise boat. There are various shots of boats on the sea in this section.

Title: The Harbour, Brixham

At Brixham Harbour, friends of the Browns walk by in sunhats and wave. General view of the statue erected to celebrate the bicentenary of Prince William of Orange’s 1688 landing in Brixham. One of the Browns’ friends climbs onto the cannon next to the statue. A local catch of fish is placed in wooden barrels with ice. There are various travelling shots of the many boats and fishing vessels in Brixham Harbour, taken from a cruise boat. Mabel and friends climb off the boat with other sightseers.

Title: Dartmouth & The River Dart

This sequence begins with views along the deepwater harbour and of a crane on the port’s quayside. Shot from a boat, people’s heads are visible in frame. The Dartmouth Higher Ferry crosses the River Dart. A uniformed guide gives a talk from the front of the boat, with a view of the steep wooded hillsides of the bay in the background. A paddle steamer sails past. Many shots of large naval ships (?) or liners, paddle steamers, and other vessels follow. Mabel and friends laugh and joke around on a boat trip.

Title: Buckfast Abbey

Mabel and friends are pictured on the upper deck of the tour bus. There is a general view of the crowds of visitors at Buckfast Abbey. The abbey undergoes restoration. Scaffolding has been erected and there is a shot of one of the restorers illustrating his technique of running forwards at speed down a ladder. Another workman walks past.

Title: Dartmeet

A bridge with semi circular arches spans the rocky East Dart River. Some of the women are helped across stepping-stones. They all relax at the side of the river. Next, the group step across the old clapper bridge of granite spans, with a second bridge visible in the background. Many people walk beside the river in the popular Dartmeet area.

The film closes with a shot of the Torpoint Ferry.