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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.