This film is part of Free

Christmas in Canterbury 1963

John Clague's colourful film captures those last exciting days before Christmas – with Christmas trees and Christmas lights all ready for the big switch-on

Amateur film 1963 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


John Clague's film from 1963 starts with scenes of Canterbury's shopping centre decorated with Christmas Trees and Christmas Lights while shoppers crowd the streets and shopping centres. Collectors raise funds for the Mayor's Christmas Gift Appeal from passers-by while a large street organ adds to the atmosphere. Finally, we see the lights by night while shoppers and traffic continue to go about their business.

John Clague was a keen amateur filmmaker who was based in Herne Bay. From 1934 to 1970 he produced annual newsreels showing events that had occurred in Kent, particularly in Herne Bay and Canterbury. He used 9.5mm film at first but by the 1950s had adopted 16mm film and the collection forms a lively chronicle of Kentish life over 36 years. An architect by profession, John set up his own company in the 1930s, working on a diverse range of projects throughout the region.