This film is part of Free

Westgate Holidays

Join the Newmans on their holidays to the Kent coast in the late 30s - complete with paddle steamers, model boats and a special visitor from India

Amateur film 1936 13 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This holiday compilation, filmed over three years, begins at Westgate-on-Sea where Mum and Muriel visit the beach for a swim. We see them on the boating lake at Margate, before boarding the paddle steamer Royal Eagle. A year later we see the family on the same vessel in the Pool of London and later at a boating pool where Muriel launches a model boat. In the final year we see more swimming, grandparents and Jagat Mehta, from India, at an outdoor picnic and a model boat competition.

From the intertitles one could suppose that the Newman family lived in Wellingborough and travelled to the Kent coast onboard the paddle steamer, Royal Eagle, which they would have boarded at London's Tower Pier. The Royal Eagle, built in 1932 by Cammel Laird of Birkenhead, was owned by the General Steam Navigation Company for services from London to Margate and Ramsgate. She was much larger than similar paddle steamers and was luxuriously appointed with bars, saloons and private salons. During WW2, now renamed HMS Royal Eagle, she served as an Auxiliary Anti-Aircraft (Coastal) Vessel, returning to her former duties when the war was over. The Royal Eagle was eventually scrapped in 1954.