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A Tour of Conservative Wards in Southampton

A Tory MP and his wife meet their female battalions in a tour of Southampton's wards - while Stanley Baldwin lends his own support at an outdoor fete

Amateur film 1935 14 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


William Craven Ellis' film starts with an exhausting tour of Tory wards in Southampton - with his wife meeting legions of Conservative women. Amid the chatter and frivolity, we also see pekinese dogs dressed as 'babies'. The tour is followed by a fete at Stoneham, where party leader, Stanley Baldwin, puts in an appearance - rallying the loyal crowds despite the weather. The film ends aboard the SS Asconia, seeing off a group of friends on their way to Canada.

William Craven-Ellis was the Conservative MP for Southampton from 1931 until the General Election of 1945. His many home-movies, often made with the help of his daughter, Mrs D Campbell, captured memorable scenes like those seen in this film. Being the local MP, he and his wife would have seen it as their duty to visit Conservative party supporters throughout the city. Party leader Stanley Baldwin's appearance at the Stoneham fete would have also been a show of support for the local candidate.