This film is part of Free

Wittering 1938

Join the Giles family and their friends on an idyllic seaside holiday by the Sussex coast - just a few months before the Munich Crisis

Amateur film 1938 18 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This delightful film from Eric Giles starts with the family's departure by car from Surrey. Towing a boat behind them, they drive past Itchenor and arrive at Sunny Brae - their seashore holiday home. The film shows the family and their friends playing on the beach and in the garden - swimming in the sea, building sandcastles and enjoying meals outdoors. A yachting sequence shows the men out at sea before we see a montage of locations and events like the Sailing Club's Regatta.

Eric Leese Giles, born in 1901, was a professional interior designer and artist who worked on, amongst other projects, the Dorchester Hotel’s penthouse suite. He was also trained in automobile design and was a member of the Bugatti Owner’s Club. He designed a chassis for that company as well as the club’s badges and magazine front covers. He became President of the club in 1951. He and his family lived in Surrey for many years and his numerous home-movies feature the children, the family’s pets and the family’s friends. When he retired, Eric and his wife enjoyed caravanning holidays, which he also filmed. He was also an avid fan of motorbikes, and rode in the Pioneer London to Brighton run well into his 80s.