This film is part of Free

A Merry Xmas

A little girl’s joy at Xmas in post-war rationing Britain, with the empty pillow case delivering a dolls house, and sledging at the seaside.

Home movie 1957 10 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Christmas 1951, and four year old Susan experiences all the excitement of a white Christmas, decorating the Christmas tree, getting presents and out building a snowman and sledging on Bridlington sea front. It’s the days before hardly anyone had a television, but this had no ill affect for a local teacher’s family, who manage home-made mince pies, Christmas cake and trifle, despite the rationing.

Amateur filmmaker Bill Freeman from Bridlington, a member of the local cine club, made over 60 films from the 1940s through to the 1980s. He would show some of these at Hilderthorpe Primary School where he taught. Although his name was actually Harold, he was always known as Bill. Here we see them when they lived in the Expanse Hotel, just opposite the North Bay at Bridlington. The weekly food ration for one person at this time was: 1oz cheese; 2oz tea; 2oz jam spread; 4oz bacon or ham; 8oz sugar; 1 shilling's worth of meat; and 8oz of fats, of which only 2oz could be butter. Susan was born in 1947, the peak year of the post war baby boom that has never been equalled since.