Film ID:
NEFA 10474



Visitor Tabs


This colour home movie by amateur Middlesbrough filmmaker Tom H. Brown records a ten day family skiing holiday in Wengen, in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland at Christmas,1950. The Browns learn how to ski on the nursery slopes and film professional ice skating, ice hockey and ski jumps.

Title: Movie no. 33

Title: Wengen 1950 Winter Sports

The film opens with a display of travel tickets, passport, currency declaration and guidebook.

Title: Victoria

Kate, Helen and Tony Brown walk onto a platform to board the Continental Express train at Victoria Station in London, the boat train to Dover. The film cuts to a shot of an electric tram in Wengen. A train shunts a container wagon full of skis into the station. A group of men in uniforms, with bow ties, congregate at the station. People pull sledges and skis down the snow-covered roads. Two men carry metal canisters up the road. There is an exterior shot of the Hotel Brunner, with snow-covered mountains in the background. Many views of the winter mountain scenery and of the ski slopes follow. A train arrives through snow-covered mountains. Kate poses in her ski outfit at the doors to a hotel. She walks past people relaxing on sun loungers in the hotel patio. Kate, Tony and Helen pose in the street, with Tony on a sledge. Kate and Tony joke around in the snow.

Title: Curling.

Curling practice is in progress.

Title: Ice Hockey. Basel v. Wengen

An audience watches a professional ice hockey match. A sign reads 'Wengen Ski-School'. Ski classes are in progress. Kate Brown puts on her skis.

Title: Stemming

People are practicing the 'stemming' (snow ploughing) manoeuvre.

Title: Stem Turns By

There is a close-up of the sign for Adolf Gertsch, Ski Instructor, followed by shots of the instructor teaching people how to turn on skis.

Title: Traversing

People are practicing travelling across the ski slope.

Title: Herring Bone Climb

Novice skiers practice the 'herring bone' climb.

Title: Side Slip

Next, they practice getting down a slope in one piece by side slipping. The film then cuts to a shot of Tom Brown attempting to ski down hill and falling over.

Title: Swing Turn

There are more shots of Tom skiing and falling over. We then see a whole ski class in progress, with shots of beginners contrasted with experienced skiers speeding down hill in the background. Mist has descended on the ski class. Tom poses, skis down hill and remains upright.

Title: Side Step Climbing.

Tom attempts to turn on his skis and skis down hill. Kate skis and falls. Tony skis and falls down. There are general views of skiers and Tom skis towards camera and falls over. A man pushes a snow-clearing machine along the road.

Title: Grindelwald

General views of the mountains at Grindelwald, and of Kate and Tom Brown and other groups of people skiing on the slopes.

Title: The Eiger

Brief views of the Eiger mountain range.

Title: Exhaustion

Kate Brown is asleep on a sun lounger at the hotel.

Title: Casualties

A pony pulls a sled. Tom Brown is pushed onto the sled, lies down and is towed away. He has his leg in plaster. The man reclines in the sled, wearing sun goggles.

Title: Skijumping

A crowd is watching professional skiers performing ski jumps. A group of children practice ski jumps using small hand built jumps.

Title: Skating

Various shots follow of ice skaters on an outdoor rink. Two experienced skaters perform a pas de deux on ice. Helen is seen skating with friends. An audience watch a professional figure skating performance by a woman. A brief shot of street life follows.

Title: The End of a Perfect Holi-day

Kate, Helen and Tony Brown wait next to their suitcases. A sled is packed with suitcases ready to depart. There is a shot of Wengen railway station in the snow. A handmade poster reads 'Palace Wengen. Saturday Viennese Night By Candle Light.' Another sign advertises 'Hotel Eiger und Bahnhofbuffet. Eggs and bacon or ham every time.'

End credit: Photography by T. H. Brown