The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Helen at Redcar
Bucket and spade, deckchairs and donkey rides – a Middlesbrough family enjoy the simple pleasures of a seaside holiday at windy Redcar.
From the collection of:
Shot through with nostalgia for the British bucket and spade holiday today, this home movie is an affectionate portrait of a Middlesbrough family’s daughter on a trip to the seaside at popular Redcar in the 1930s. Along with showman Victor Vernon’s merry-go-round, entertainment is provided by the Daily Sketch Life Saving Team, a troupe of muscular men in striped bathing suits who lead the crowd in synchronized exercise routines on the beach.
The Daily Sketch Life Saving Team was one of several troupes sponsored by tabloid newspapers who toured seaside resorts in the 1930s. Another, the Daily Mirror 8 was a popular women’s fitness and dance act. Both were produced and managed by Digger Pugh (1902-1969), a flamboyant, naturalised Australian whose diverse career included stints as a gold miner, boxer and wrestler, stock car racing promoter, acrobat, contortionist and circus impresario. The International Clown’s Club described him as a “genius of the modern circus and show business”.