Fete at Erith
Standard 8mm film Colour Silent 1979 4:10
Summary: A community film of a fete in Erith, Bexley, capturing the spirit of the local area amidst all the delights of a funfair.
Title number: 20431
Description: The sun is shining and a dapperly dressed elderly gentleman sets the scene upon Northend Road in Erith, a charming half-smile on his face as the camera pulls in on the 60s residential flats behind him. We are drawn towards our primary location, Sara House (DA8 3RF). The gentleman looks over his shoulder towards the camera before descending towards the entrance of the building, as if to invite us inside with him.
An apartment within Sara House gives us the perfect view of the fun and frivolities of the fete taking place in the field below. The fete is neatly organised upon an expansive field between Sara House and the Erith Leisure Centre in the background. Tents are pitched, stalls are set up, and a marching band parades between dense crowds of excited onlookers. The camera shifts to reveal the river Thames and the skyline beside it, barges and boats briefly visible in the far distance. The camera fixates upon the Thames once more with the picturesque spire of the distant Christ Church (DA8 3AN) protruding from the rooftops.
The gentleman poses before the camera, a grin on his face, and the streets of Erith are visible through the window behind him. Then, it’s on towards the fete: the gentleman slips a cigarette in his mouth, perched just outside the stall for the Multiple Sclerosis Bexley Branch.
The fete is in full swing: runners race through the athletics track, and acrobats vault in an organised display. The pop-up fairground can be seen in the background. Children and their parents are coasted through the field on an adorable miniature train. Plus, we are treated to a more up-close-and-personal show from the marching band, this time from within the crowd.
Finally, an extraordinary parachute display. Small planes cut across the sky as a sequence of daredevils leap forth towards the crowd below. The window from within Sara House is the perfect vantage point from which to view the show as the daredevils descend, bringing a trail of red smoke as they go. Before the reel comes to a close, the gentleman and another similarly-aged man smile at the camera beneath the sun.
Credits: Potter, George (Filmmaker)
Keywords: community; tower block; Residential flats; local event
Locations: United Kingdom; London; Bexley; Erith
Go to full page map