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Davis Family Films: Clacton-On-Sea, Trafalgar Square and Manor House (1963)

Ice cream on a London estate, Westminster landmarks and a seaside holiday feature in this great home movie from the 1963.

Amateur film 1963 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


Shot in 1963, this home movie starts on a local authority estate somewhere in North London with children playing and a family eating ice cream on the balcony. There are then lovely scenes from a park, probably Finsbury and shots of central London showing several London landmarks – Trafalgar Square, Big Ben – and streets unspoilt by traffic and extended glimpses of a family holiday in Clacton.

This film from the Davis Family Films archive was, like others, found in their old family home of Stanhope Gardens off Green Lanes by the new inhabitant. It seems this film predates the move to Stanhope Gardens, when the family were living on a London estate. There are great scenes from the balcony of children playing below – this is what idealistic planners imagine high-rise living to be like – and also some lovely shots from the park, where the youngest daughter is playing. The final scenes are from Clacton, a popular holiday destination for East Londoners, and show the family on the beach and outside their mobile home. Bruce Castle Museum