This film is part of Free

A School visit to Margate Beach

Enjoy a day out on Margate Sands with these maidens in uniform from a nearby school for deaf children - as they play, swim, ride on donkeys and enjoy a bracing outdoor tea

Amateur film 1938 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This engaging film from 1938 shows girls from a local school for deaf children on a day out to Margate Sands. Still in uniform, they play boisterous ball-games on the beach while the teachers relax in deck-chairs. Some girls in swimwear play leap-frog after which they and their teachers pose for the camera. Leaving the beach, the girls head for an outdoor cafe where tea and sandwiches are served. Back on the beach they go on donkey rides before posing for a large group photo.

With origins going back to 1792, Margate's Royal School for Deaf Children began in London as a result of campaigning by a Bermondsey priest called John Townsend. The school opened a branch in Margate in 1876 to enable children to enjoy fresh sea air and a cleaner environment than that found in Victorian London. By the early 20th century all the school's activities were transferred to Margate where there was now an imposing building designed in a Gothic style to house the school. The school was closed in December 2015. The ex-mayor seen in the film was Frederick Lewis Pettman, who was served as Margate's mayor from 1932 to 1934.