The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
A Christmas Party
Baby boomers celebrate Christmas with a party at a prefab in post-war Wallsend.
From the collection of:
This touching and chaotic home movie records a cheerfully indulgent Christmas dinner with the Bartholomews at a post-war prefab in Wallsend. Leaving the gloom and “unspeakably dismal meals” of austerity Britain behind, this family’s table displays a glut of goose and festive goodies. After food, in the family-centred 1950s, the filmmaker’s focus is on the children and their spirited games and dancing to vinyl 78s.
This amateur film was shot by Victor Sidney Carman, who lived in Wallsend and Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne. The work features his sister’s family Christmas with many generations around the table. The words quoted here on British food during the austerity years are those of cookery writer Elizabeth David, whose wartime experience in Italy, Greece and Egypt didn’t prepare her for the food back home. However, the standard of living actually improved for working class families during rationing and diets were more nutritional.