This film is part of Free

Frensham August 1933

This nostalgic film shows the Staley family larking about in swimwear, playing tennis and enjoying the lazy days of summer in 1930s Surrey.

Amateur film 1933 9 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This charming film record of a summer holiday at New Lodge, Frensham starts with shots of the Staley family in swimwear playing around the grounds of the large house. We then see them, including their daughter, Pam, playing tennis, posing for the camera, sitting in deckchairs and doing some garden gymnastics. Visiting children join Pam in performing cartwheels on the lawn. Ralph Staley, with his camera on a tripod, joins in the fun.

Bognor Regis-born Ralph Staley and his wife, Nellie, ran a High Street draper's shop in the Sussex seaside town. He was a keen amateur film maker, starting as early as the 1910s, and over the next few decades filmed many of family events, outings, holidays and even trips abroad. He also filmed the local countryside, picnics, boating scenes and a holiday in Wales. A skilled cameraman, Ralph Staley often experimented with camera techniques like slow-motion and reverse action and also used, on occasion, an early colour movie film stock called Dufaycolor.