This film is part of Free
Mermaids at Play at Bognor (Passmore Family Film)
Breathtakingly adorable home movie of an Edwardian seaside holiday on Bognor Regis beach.
Home movie 1903 1 mins Silent
This breathtakingly adorable film of an Edwardian seaside holiday at Bognor Regis is an incredible survival from the beginnings of cinema: it's one of the world's earliest home movies. The images are pitted with decay and the frame judders unstably, but this century-old film strikes an astonishing resonance with today. These fleeting, personal, everyday snapshots preserve an authentic memory of British life.
The film was shot just down the beach from Park Terrace in the west end of Bognor by Alfred Ernest Passmore (1867-1948). Some 15 home movies made by AE Passmore recording his family at home and at play between 1902-03 are preserved in the BFI National Archive.
Pioneers of Personal Film
Amateur film 1927 14 mins Silent
Grandma and Grandad also join in the fun of this home movie - with beaches, swings & roundabouts and a medieval pageant led by Christopher Robin
Amateur film 1933 2 mins Silent
Four bright young things enact a midsummer's love tryst among the daisies in this short, well-crafted amateur fiction film.
Non-Fiction 1920 10 mins Silent Location: Devon
Bright young things thereto plight troth in a society wedding.
Amateur film 1924 7 mins Silent
Gotta dance! A bewitched violin gets everyone's feet tapping.
Amateur film 1930 8 mins Silent Location: Hampshire
Marjorie Glasspool's home movie captures a variety of events and occasions experienced by a Hampshire family
Home movie 1924 44 mins Silent Location: Hampstead Heath
Catholic fantasy starring Elsa Lanchester and Evelyn Waugh in an Andy Warhol fright wig.
Travelogue 1935 15 mins Silent Location: Bournemouth
Anyone for a trip to the seaside? From Bournemouth to Margate via Brighton and Folkestone – sunny delights in abundance.
Amateur film 1930 12 mins Silent Location: Tangmere
Join the crowds dazzled by keep-fit frolics, a record breaking air race, a speed boat celebrity and joy-riding at an air circus in this 1931 film from the Bognor Regis Film Society.
Amateur film 1962 4 mins Silent Location: Bognor Regis
Bognor's Butlins is the venue for this nostalgic film from the early 60s - featuring a packed swimming pool, a kiddie playground and a dance hall full of Twisters
Amateur film 1954 7 mins Silent Location: Bognor Regis
Amateur film of a family trip to Bognor, including shots of the beach and the pier.
Comedy 1907 5 mins Silent Location: Bognor Regis
At the seaside, a young Edwardian lady is pursued by three suitors, but which one will win her hand?
Amateur film 1931 7 mins Silent Location: Arun Valley, The
Harry Guermonprez’ amateur newsreel captures a Bognor battered by winter storms, silly season antics off the pier, flooding and a shipwreck
Travelogue 1907 9 mins Silent
A grand tour of Japan’s major cities, offering scenic views of the streets and daily life.
Interest film 1913 3 mins Silent
This ethnographic film offers a brief overview of the traditional culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in Japan.
Documentary 1905 4 mins
The performance of a masked dancer is followed by a scene from a kendo match, contrasting grace and ferocity.
Non-Fiction 1904 2 mins Silent
In a school gymnastic festival, boys and girls demonstrate their physical rigour through exercise and dance.
Interest film 1909 5 mins Silent
A vibrant festival with parades of fishermen and geisha celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port.
1912 5 mins Silent
Pathécolor’s mechanical stencil colouring is put to good use illustrating a festival at an ancient shrine.