Film ID:
NEFA 21310



Visitor Tabs


Filmed by James Cameron in 1938, this amateur film documents travels in Scotland with the Cameron family. Includes footage of the fishing industry in Arbroath; a grand rally of the Cameron clan at Achnacarry Castle on 24th June 1938; the Empire Exhibition, an international exposition held at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow from May to December 1938; and an entertaining Canadian logrolling performer at North Berwick Open Air Pool. This film is part of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) collection.

Title: Wanderings in Scotland

Title: Arbroath

The film opens with street life around Arbroath on the North Sea coast in Scotland. James Cameron Senior’s wife and daughter wait at the entrance to the Imperial Hotel.

General view of the coast at Arbroath. A fisherman sails his boat into harbour. The fishing catch is unloaded in the harbour, a small crowd gathered to watch on the quayside. Various shots follow of local fishing boats sailing in and unloading fish. Two women enjoy ice creams beside the harbour wall. Fish are auctioned at the quayside.

General views of whitewashed fishermen’s cottages, the coastline and beach. Cameron’s wife and daughter (?) are on a rock beside the sea. Washing blows on lines close to the sea shore. A man and woman smoke haddock near the beach (the famous Arbroath smokie).

Cameron’s wife and daughter wander around Arbroath. Close-up of a gravestone (inscription not readable).

Title: Comrie and District

Exterior shot of the Royal Hotel in the village of Comrie. General views follow of the village, Devil’s Cauldron waterfalls, sheep grazing in fields, a coastline and gardens, with close-ups of flowers and of the river.

Two men enjoy a game of golf on a course.

Various general views document a town with mist over mountains in the background, rocky rivers and picturesque village scenes. A woman strolls past a clan monument, possibly the granite obelisk dedicated to Henry Dundas atop Dùn Mòr. There are more general views of countryside and a village, and the ruins of Comrie castle. (?) The Camerons wait outside the Imperial Hotel. A steam train passes close to camera. The last shot in this section is of a church spire silhouetted against a sunset, which may be the White Church in Comrie.

Title: Clan Cameron Rally at Achnacarry. 24th June 1938

Shot of a sign that reads ‘Loch Eil’. A steam engine arrives at a station. Mrs Cameron is seated on the train. Travelling shot from the train of bleak moorland landscape. A huge crowd is at Spean Bridge Station. The crowd makes its way towards coaches waiting outside the station.

The crowd gathered at Achnacarry Castle include men in traditional Cameron Clan tartan costume, smiling to camera as they pass. The crowd make their way to the grand castle. There is a brief shot of Highland Chief Cameron of Lochiel.

Title: Lochiel – Chief of the Clan Welcomes 700 Camerons

At the door to the Scottish baronial house of Achnacarry Castle, the Clan Cameron chief and Lady Hermione Cameron welcome a huge number of men and women, some in traditional highland costume including tartan kilts, who have gathered for the grand rally on Friday 24th June 1938. Hundreds of people mill around in the beautiful grounds of Achnacarry Castle, ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan Cameron. General views of Loch Lochy and the gathering of Camerons in the grounds of the castle. The Fort William Pipe Band play at the gathering. There’s a display of dancing given by the regimental Highland dance team of the 1st Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders. The 4th Territorial Battalion is also represented in a march around the grounds of band and regiments. Clansmen gathered parade past the Chief of the Clan. The Chief addresses the gathering from a microphone and is applauded. The crowd cheer at the end of speeches. General view of the scenery, probably shot from Spean Bridge.

Title: Glasgow Exhibition

This sequence documents the Empire Exhibition, an international exposition held at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, from May to December 1938. The Exhibition was master-planned by Thomas S. Tait, who headed a team of nine architects, which included Basil Spence and Jack Coia.

The section opens with exterior shots of the pavilions including the Palace of Industry and the Lake Fountains, the New Zealand Pavilion, the Pavilions of Australia and Canada on Dominion Avenue. Visitors wander around the exposition. A giant globe monument revolves at the exhibition. There’s a shot of a fairground ride in action at the Amusement Park. A mechanical laughing sailor is on display at the park. General view of the Mosspark Boulevard main entrance to the Empire Exhibition. People walk towards the Palace of Art.

A Scottish woman in traditional tartan cape and grey wig works at a spinning wheel outside a weaver’s cottage. People wander around An Clacha, the recreation of a complete Highland Village with nine buildings made from plaster moulds of actual houses, including a Chief's Castle, a smithy, a post office, a weaver's cottage, a "black house" and an inn. A loch at the village is fed by a 'mountain burn'. Lots of people are going into the inn.

People enjoy the sunny weather at a large 1930s lido. A woman rubs sun lotion on her friend’s back. People dive from the concrete diving platforms. [It’s not clear if the pool is at the Empire Exhibition, or footage of the lido at either North Berwick or Arbroath.]

General view of the Scottish Pavilion with nearby fountain. Tilt up the Tower of Strength representing the Scottish Trades Union Congress. Union Jacks fly from another pavilion.

People eat inside the Atlantic Restaurant, enclosed in glass.

Panoramic shot of the giant roller coaster and amusement park in the grounds of the Empire Exhibition.

More general views follow of the exposition park, which may have been shot from the tall Tower of Strength. In the background Glasgow terraces are visible.

People walk around the Empire Exhibition on a rainy day.

The sequence closes with shots of the fountains and building lit up at night, a spectacular light show in lurid colours.

Title: Canadian Log Roller at North Berwick 13th July 1938

An audience watch a Canadian perform log rolling on the water at the North Berwick Open Air Pool, opened in 1900, (closed in 1998). A woman from the audience has a go but falls in the pool. The Canadian then performs a few gymnastic moves. He paddles the log down the pool and performs a jump over a wire slung across the lido to applause from the crowd watching. He performs stunts and drinks a cup of tea from a chair balanced on the log. He then rolls the log whilst carrying a child on his shoulders. He tries to put on trousers whilst balancing.

Title: The End