Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.
This film is part of Free
Auxiliary Fire Service in Walton on Thames
Woking's AFS demonstrates its fire-fighting skills in a colourful competition held in 1940 followed by slumbering firemen leaping into action when duty calls.
Amateur film 1940 6 mins Silent
From the collection of:
This amazing colour film from 1940 shows Woking's Auxillary Fire Service compete with other teams in an annual competition held in Walton-on-Thames. Combining dexterity with teamwork they race to set up their hose first. Then we go to Horsell near Woking, where sleepy firemen are roused to action when the tocsin sounds. After drawing water from the nearby Basingstoke Canal, the AFS men pose beside the filmmaker's Bugatti – now modified for use as a fire engine.
Eric Giles belonged to a family that owned a coach building business in Walton-on-Thames. A longtime member, and later president, of the Bugatti Owners Club, he owned a 1930 Bugatti Type 46, which he adapted into a tow-vehicle for an Auxiliary Fire Service pump during the war. The Bugatti was one of Giles’ contributions to his service with the A.F.S. However, much of the work of the A.F.S. was hampered by the incompatibility of much of its equipment, particularly non-standard hydrant valves, which didn’t match those of other brigades. In August 1941, the A.F.S. was superseded by the National Fire Service and Eric Giles eventually reached the rank of Senior Company Officer.
Life Under Fire
Activities Pictured at Littleover First Aid Post
Amateur film 1939 16 mins Silent Location: Littleover
An air raid could come at any moment and Derby had to be ready to deal with the casualties. The people of Littleover were so well prepapred they filmed one of their exercises.
Ibberson Family and VE Day
Home movie 1945 17 mins Silent 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.
Welwyn Garden City - The War Years
Amateur film 1939 15 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
A great example of ‘despite war, life continues’, Welwyn Garden City residents continue with annual traditions, festive occasions and celebrations, during wartime.
U.S. And Us
Advert 1943 2 mins
An American G.I. learns how to brew a proper English cuppa in this jolly wartime ad for Maypole tea.
What Is One among So Many?
Documentary 1943 17 mins Silent
"A bomb's cut the gas off. Where can we get a meal?" Look no further than the Friends Relief Service.
Family Album to Entertain
Amateur film 1940 14 mins Silent Location: Broadwater
Life in Broadwater seems unaffected by the war in this film - especially when friends and relations drop by - though a closer look reveals that all is not quite what it seems.
Day in the Life of the School
Short documentary 1970 25 mins Location: Walton-on-Thames
A typical day at Burwood Park, a boarding school for deaf children, features in this film made by two of its pupils, Alan Loft and Michael Chawner
Amateur film 1953 2 mins Silent Location: Walton-on-Thames
This behind the scenes film captures the range of skills shown by the members of the local cine club whilst filming the Perils of Picturegoing
The Perils of Picturegoing
Amateur film 1950 6 mins Silent Location: Walton-on-Thames
Amateur comedy film within a film, about the unforeseen risks of going to the cinema, including 3D films, ice creams, lions and spears!
Kingston Movie Makers' History of Walton
Amateur film 1952 18 mins Location: Walton-on-Thames
An award winning animation by John Daborn and team, who were part of an animation collective with grand ideas of rivalling Disney
Scenes at the Walton-on-Thames Lawn Tennis Tournament Finals Day
Amateur film 1934 3 mins Silent Location: Walton-on-Thames
Amateur film of the final day of play at the Walton-on-Thames Tennis Tournament 1934.
Health at the Centre
Documentary 1974 8 mins Location: Walton-on-Thames
The latest developments in healthcare on show at Walton-on-Thames community health centre
Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Silent
The Victorian great and good mark the passing of a political titan
Parade of Troops with Band and Crowds Following
Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Silent
For Britons during the Boer War, a welcome opportunity to support the troops - and march alongside them
Workers Leaving Work at Vickers
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Location: Barrow-In-Furness
Factory gate glimpses at - we think - Barrow-in-Furness
Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Silent Location: Worthing
Worthing waves at us in this mesmerising early film
The Biter Bit
Comedy 1898 1 mins Silent
Film's first joke? A fresh take on an old prank.
Opening of the Kiel Canal
Non-Fiction 1895 0 mins Silent
This was one of a series of actuality films made by the Victorian pioneer Birt Acres during 1895. The film is thought to have been shot on June 20, on the occasion of the opening of the Kiel Canal by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Acres shot other films at the same time, but they have not survived.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location