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.

Amateur film 1937 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


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”.