Home Movies & Amateur Film
Celluloid scrapbooks: the most intimate and personal of films invite us into Britain's birthday parties, back gardens and beach holidays.
Home movies are intimate catalogues of everyday life: birthdays and holidays, childhoods and neighbourhoods. Each reel is a private scrapbook - memories of cherished people, places and times committed to film. Rarely shared outside the family, home movies are the most intensely personal kind of filmmaking. They are by us, of us, for us. Victorian inventors put filmmaking gear in the hands of wealthy amateurs, but decade by decade, home moviemaking technology has become ever cheaper, simpler and more ubiquitous. Our home movies look much as they always have: in and out of focus, thumbs over the lens, wobbly framing, over-enthusiastic pans. But these flaws can't diminish their warm authenticity. Collectively, the nation's home movies make up a patchwork archive of British social life, of whims and ways, loves loved and lives lived.
Home movie194517 mins Location: Sheffield
Whether it’s the height of the war or its aftermath makes no difference to these children enjoying themselves: at the seaside, on V E Day and around the bomb sites of Sheffield.
Amateur film195211 mins Location: Biggar
Classic 1950s buses take the children of Moniaive for an adventure in Edinburgh, in this wonderful amateur film complete with fizzy pop, elephants and steam trains.
Amateur film193415 mins Location: Holborn
A man with a dozen baskets on his head and Big Ben shrouded in scaffolding feature in this amateur movie exploring various London sites in 1934.
Amateur film19686 mins
Two Teddy Bears look on happily, as before their glassy eyes a normal suburban family falls victim to some very abnormal goings on in their back garden.
Amateur film19346 mins Location: Helston
The town of Helston comes out dancing in this charming amateur film of a unique springtime custom.
Amateur film196225 mins Location: Aldermaston
A fascinating record of the 1962 Aldermaston March featuring Canon John Collins, Michael Foot and thousands of marchers of all ages.
Amateur film194510 mins Location: Gateshead
You can almost hear the cheers in this gorgeous silent film of VE day celebrations on the red, white and blue decked streets of Gateshead
Amateur film193920 mins Location: Herne Bay
Members of Herne Bay's First Aid Posts gear up for gas-attack casualties in this remarkable film, which also features a visit to the deep tunnel shelters in the cliffs of Ramsgate.
Amateur film19423 mins Location: Waldron
The war seems far away in this pastoral film but suddenly there's a reminder when a flight of Hurricanes pass overhead. Then it's back to the work of feeding the nation.
Amateur film19396 mins Location: Porthcothan Bay
It was business as usual as the university came down for the summer break and Cambridge don Trevor Spittle and his family headed to their new holiday home at Portcothan, Cornwall.
Amateur film194323 mins Location: Solihull
Preparation and readiness is the order of the day as the different branches of the home front services in Solihull do their bit in the fight for the future of the nation.
This alluring travelogue follows a missionary on his colourful journey into the ethnically diverse mountains of Yunnan, south west China.
Amateur film193818 mins
Crowds pack the streets of Hong Kong for a stunning procession of dragon dancers, drummers and stilt walkers in celebration of George VI's crowning.
Amateur film19388 mins Location: Isle of Skye
Hardy salmon fishermen on the scenic shores of Skye work their nets in pursuit of a plentiful silver paycheck in this award winning early colour educational film from 1938.
Travelogue193820 mins Location: Harris/Na Hearadh
A starkly beautiful portrait of crofting life in Flodabay on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.
Amateur film194925 mins Location: Ben Nevis
Join four clean-cut intrepid youngsters on an awfully big 1940s adventure as they sing and cycle their way around the youth hostels of scenic Scotland in glorious colour. Tally ho!
At the dawn of the cinema age, these trailblazing early adopters brought filmmaking technology into the home.
Home movies give us unique permission to step inside the lives of people who we've never met and never will.
Ever dreamed of shooting your own movie? These pre-digital cine-enthusiasts did - with all the passion and devotion of the true auteur.