Cat no. 6642

The Neale Family

Running time13:56 Black & White Silent 1936-1937

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An edited collection of home movies by Denis Neale.


AmateurHome Movies

Pets play in the backyard as the Neale family prepares for the arrival of relatives for Christmas Day 1936. Editing reveals one woman to be wearing the exact same outfit she had worn in an earlier photograph, and equates an overweight man with an elephant. Backyard tomfoolery is followed by a visit to Whipsnade Zoo, where the family see bears, giraffes, ostriches and chimpanzees.

During a leisurely visit to Hyandri - a house on the Thames near Weybridge - members of the Neale family are shown rowing boats, feeding swans and relaxing on the verandah. Various shots of other family members and pets are followed by another visit to Hyandri, this time filmed in Dufaycolor.

Domestic snow scenes, including snowfall, traffic and a dog enjoying the winter weather is followed by Christmas dinner, complete with carved turkey, pudding and silly hats.

A trick photography sequence is accompanied by title cards reading 'Time marches 1888' to commemorate the Race to the North in which rival locomotives raced from London to Scotland. One of the competitors in that race, an original GNR Stirling Single 4-4-2 steam locomotive, is seen preparing for departure from King's Cross station, providing a link to Neale's next subject - 'From King's a new King' - the coronation of King George VI in May 1937.

London is shown preparing for the coronation, with shots of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square and decorated barges on the Thames. The ubiquitous bunting provides another link, this time to a church garden fete which features fairground games including Bowling for the Goose, quoits and a ring toss, as well as ballet and musical performances. Neale finishes his film with shots of bombers, fighters and biplanes at the 1937 Hendon Air Pageant.

Background Information:

Denis Neale was an Ilford engineer and amateur filmmaker.


Mostly black and white with a brief sequence in Dufaycolor.

Featured Events:

Coronation of King George VI, 1937; Hendon Air Pageant, 1937

Featured Buildings:

King's Cross Railway Station; Westminster Abbey; Houses of Parliament; Trafalgar Square

Denis Neale

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