Cat no. 1158

East Dereham Scrapbook

Running time37:57 Black & White Silent 1936-1937 East Dereham, Norfolk

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Scenes from East Dereham in the first of two film scrapbooks.


AmateurPortrait of a Place

The first of these films shows the garden fete of the Cowper Congregational Church in 1936. This section of the film shows signs of decomposition. A gentleman gives a speech from a dais on which sit officials of some sort. A lady is presented with flowers by a small girl. The audience sits beneath them and applauds. There are shots of small children eating ice creams and of side stalls. This section shows good mid-1930s fashions for a social occasion, particularly for women.

The next sequence shows scenes from Market Day. There are brief shots of a livestock market with men inspecting chickens and the auctioneer standing on a platform. Most of the scenes show the general trading market with women and other shoppers looking around the stalls. High-angle shots show people on bicycles and in wheelchairs. The street traders are shown.

The next short sequence is not captioned and it is not clear what is occurring. The streets are decorated. An elderly man walks along the street playing a ukulele. Another man sits with his dog in front of the Church railings, holding out his cap. However, he doesn't look like a beggar. A band parade along a street followed by horse-drawn carriages. This may be a funeral cortege.The fire brigade are seen in action at a training exercise or demonstration. Onlookers watch as the firemen pump water on the flames. There are shots of twins, some toddling and some in prams.

The next lengthy sequence shows the dedication of a new ambulance. The band gathers and plays in the Market Square in front of the King's Arms Hotel. Also gathered are nurses and choirboys. The sermon is given by the Vicar in the square, standing in front of the new ambulance. The choir sings.

The next sequence is a little muddled. After four frames of the Market Day title, there are further shots of the Market, showing clothing and fruit and vegetable stalls. The next scenes may be further shots from the service for the dedication of the new ambulance. A group of (mainly) men gather outside a building with a Matron. They pose for the camera. There are further shots of a crowd arriving and entering a building.

Dereham Celebrates the Coronation. This is preceded by shots from the Coronation of HM King George VI, showing Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, placing the crown on the King's head. Dereham's celebrations include decorating the streets and there are shots of this. A bonfire is built by young boys and there are shots of the decorated streets and of the Market Place.

The band assembles in front of the Exchange Cinema, formerly the Corn Hall, for the Parade for the Thanksgiving Service. They are joined by soldiers. The parade marches to St. Nicholas' Church. At the Church the viewer sees others, including civilians and girl guides, entering the Church. The next scenes show the heavy rains that washed out large parts of the celebrations. The Torchlight Procession takes place but the pictures show very little. They give an idea of fireworks and of a bonfire.

The final event is the Hospital Sunday. Again there is a parade of bands, the Mayor, Boy Scouts and fire engines and ambulances. At a park or field children sit on the grass presumably waiting for the procession. In the town centre there are shots of the Trail of Pennies. The amounts are marked in chalk at intervals.

Background Information:

See also Cat 1665 East Dereham Scrapbook 1938 - 1939

We have no Quads or Quins but here is a splendid selection of twins. This may be a reference to the St. Neots Quads who were born on 29th November, 1935.Before the National Health Service, hospitals were supported by subscriptions and by donations from the public. Hospital Sunday was an annual event, held on a Sunday in July. At 2pm the procession would assemble in the Station yard. The band could be the British Legion band, the Town Band or the Salvation Army Band. They were joined by any troops in the district. Friendly Societies were represented, usually wearing brightly coloured sashes and carrying banners. Red Cross nurses and the St. John's Ambulance brigade joined and in later years Scouts and guides joined also. The fire engine here was known as the old Steamer. The parade marched to Vicarage Meadow, where the Vicar and Free Church Ministers conducted a service. The procession reformed and marched to the market place where the band gave a concert. It appears to be the Market Place scenes that we have in this film.The Coronation Celebrations were a complete wash out. It rained so hard only 3 cars and a few bedraggled children in fancy dress turned up at the assembly point at the Cherry Tree. One car was decorated as a huge crown; the jewels were made from jelly! (See: M. Cook and T. Davy, Memories of Dereham. Published by Nostalgia Publications. 1984.)

Featured People:

HM King George VI; Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury

Featured Organisations:

The Cowper Congregational Church

Featured Events:

Cowper Congregational Church Garden Fete, 1936.Dedication of a new Ambulance, c. 1936.Dereham Celebrates the Coronation, May, 1937.Hospital Sunday, 1937

Featured Buildings:

St. Nicholas' Church; King's Arms Hotel; The Exchange Cinema

Mr Starling

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