Screen Archive South East – Eastbourne on Film

Posted on 14/08/2020

We’re pleased to launch a new partnership with Screen Archive South East to offer our readers a glimpse into their collection. In each upcoming month we’ll bring you one of the films from the archive, all filmed right here in Eastbourne.

Tennis at Devonshire Park (1928)

First up is Tennis at Devonshire Park from 1928. Mixed-doubles grass court tennis is played out in long-trousers, Suzanne Lenglen style drop-waisted tennis dresses and cloche hats at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club in 1928. Filmed by Florence Nightingale Payne of the well-known Crawley-based philanthropic family. Watch the full film here.

Sussex People’s March of History (1939)


This month, we bring you Sussex People’s March of History from 1939. Late August 1939, just before the outbreak of WWII, the ‘Sussex People’s March of History’ made its way through the crowd-lined streets of Eastbourne towards the seafront. The film culminates in rousing and passionate speeches from local Communist Party members including the filmmaker Ernie Trory. Watch the full film here.

Eastbourne Beach (1946)


Escape the winter cold for a moment and come with us for a trip to Eastbourne seafront in 1946. Despite the continuation of rationing and austerity in post-war Britain the holiday-makers in this film enjoy the beautiful sunshine.  With Eastbourne pier only re-opening in the summer of 1946, and barbed-wire defences still in place along stretches of the coast, the elegant resort was early to remove its beach defences in September 1944. Watch the full film here.

Eastbourne 1966

Eastbourne’s entertainment facilities are highlighted in this publicity film made to promote the pleasures and delights of the seaside town and its surroundings. Filmed on a beautiful sunny day, Eastbourne is described as the ‘Sun trap of the South’, with the coffee house having “an atmosphere that is almost continental’ and the flowered ‘carpet’ gardens on Grand Parade being a ‘magnificent centrepiece’. Watch the full film here.

Eastbourne Electric Tramway (1969)

Here we see one of the last trips of the Eastbourne miniature tram that used to run between Princes Park and the Crumbles on a two foot gauge.  These purpose-built half-size trams were built by Claude Lane, a manufacturer of battery electric vehicles, and operated from 1956 to 1969 before moving to Seaton in Devon. Other miniature trains and towns are captured in this delightful film made by a 10 year old budding filmmaker. Watch the full film here.

Screen Archive South East is a publicly-funded regional film archive serving the South East of England and its six local authorities: Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, Kent, Medway, Surrey and West Sussex. Established in 1992 by the University of Brighton, the British Film Institute and a consortium of local authorities, SASE is dedicated to collecting, preserving, digitising, cataloguing and providing public and commercial access to its screen collection of films, videotapes, lantern slides and digital files. Its collection of over 25,000 items documents the rise of screen culture in the region and the nation and represents primarily the changing nature of life in the South East from the late 19th century to the present day.  

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