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Launches And Family Scenes, Epsom, Wimbledon, Croydon (1933)

Ships are launched and ropes are skipped in this wildly mixed selection of amateur films shot in the 1920s and 1930s by Gilbert Szlumper of Southern Railway.

Amateur film 1933 50 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


Wonderfully, this film mixes family scenes – skipping on a beach, snowball fights – with shots of military parades, boats being launched and the King inaugurating the King George Dock V Dock in Southampton. It was shot by Gilbert Szlumper, assistant general manager at Southern Railway, and includes scenes at London train stations and the company’s sports ground in Raynes Park. Szlumper was a Major-General during WWII, and the film is in the Imperial War Museum collection.

The film includes a Norwegian cruise on SS Acardia and the launch of two ships – SS Worthing and PS Southsea - at Glasgow. There are also shots of the King and Queen at Southampton inaugurating a new dock. But the most enjoyable scenes are of Szlumper’s family playing in the snow, on the beach, and on the golf course and generally having a whale of a time before the camera. Szlumper had an important role managing the railways during the Second World War, and the film was subsequently acquired by the Imperial War Museum.