This film is part of Free

The Opening of Ricemans Store in Canterbury and a Trip to Dover Castle

Canterbury's newest department store opens to a colourful fanfare as this film from Peter Mills shows - along with an historical pageant, a Marine band and a trip to Dover Castle.

Amateur film 1962 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


We start with members of a film club loading a car with tripods and cameras. Next, we're at Canterbury's Westgate waiting for the historical pageant which features moments in the city's long history. Mr Riceman is seen giving a speech and the store is opened. On a terrace Mr Riceman is joined by the Lord Mayor, Clive Parr, and his wife. After a visit to the grounds of Kearsney Abbey we move to Dover where we see the castle, the harbour and the Chain Home Link’s radar masts.

Following the fanfare surrounding the official opening of Riceman's department store in September 1962, disaster struck the following March. Flames were seen coming from the roof of the building by two boys walking along St George Street. This was where the rooftop restaurant was located. The fire was brought under control and work started on restoring the building. A second 'official opening' took place the following September, performed by David Jacobs, the popular DJ and presenter of BBC TV's Juke Box Jury. Becoming part of the Fenwick group, Riceman's continued trading until 2003 when the building was demolished as part of a major re-development of the Whitefriars Shopping Centre.