This film is part of Free

Summer holiday 1939

It was business as usual as the university came down for the summer break and Cambridge don Trevor Spittle and his family headed to their new holiday home at Portcothan, Cornwall.

Amateur film 1939 6 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


The idyllic seaside setting on the North Cornwall coast was a lifetime away from what was developing in Europe but this film marks the contrast and return to Cambridge as war was declared and the Spittle family rallied round to do their bit for King and country. Mrs Spittle joined the Civil Defence and organised the ARP officers. One of the realities of war preparation was the issue of gas masks which they can be seen trying on for size outside Shire Hall, Cambridge.