This film is part of Free

The Traditions of a Surgeon at Christmas

The filmic memoirs in Cambridgeshire of heart surgeon Christopher Parish and his family, beginning with Christmas traditions, and including a royal visit. The year is 1962.

Amateur film 1962 17 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


Scenes captured by heart surgeon Christopher Parish of family occasions, also events at Papworth and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals. Opening with the nurses at Papworth on Christmas Day – it was customary for the surgeon to carve the turkey! A parade of guests at the filmmaker’s home. Winter weather allows for skating at Bury Fen. There’s also a royal visit by Her Majesty the Queen. Despite the wobbly filming, we are assured Christopher had a stable hand when wielding a scalpel!

Heart surgeon Christopher Parish was a keen home movie maker capturing key events in the family calendar every year. He also recorded some of his innovative work in theatre, including of open heart surgery. Here we see, Papworth Hospital - Christopher would often visit on Christmas Day. Ice skating takes place at Bury Fen. The windmill is Cattell’s at Willingham. The pheasant shoot is at Glatton. The horse riding is at Highfield Farm, Swavesey. Cyril Young is the farmer with the carrots. Christopher in fact performed surgery on Cyril, removing one of his lungs, which sealed their lifelong friendship! The Queen visits both Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospitals. The Parish family picnic at Glyndebourne.