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Christmas at Stevenage and Knebworth park visit

This post features a vintage home movie which was shot at Stevenage in Hertfordshire on Christmas day 1973, and then at a day out at Knebworth House which is quite close to Stevenage.

The film is a standard 8, Agfa film which is properly labelled to say exactly what the contents of the film is, so there was no need to do any internet searches or detective work to find out what is shown.

Christmas at Stevenage film

The first half of this short film was taken inside a house in Stevenage on Christmas morning in 1973. It shows a typical family scene, with everyone gathered round the Christmas Tree and presents being handed out and opened.

A still image from a vintage home movie showing a family Christmas at a house in Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Christmas Morning

I think the most interesting part of vintage Christmas films is to contrast the presents with typical presents that would be given today.

The things I noticed from this unfortunately rather poorly lit scene were the small boy who had a new Parka coat and, oddly seemed to be quite enjoying wearing it1. I also noticed that the father in the family received a slide viewer, so presumably he was an avid amateur photographer.

In the children’s presents I noticed a toy garage and make up mirror being unwrapped, and laying on the coffee table I think I saw a 110 format camera which would have been a big ‘technology’ present in 1973.

Visit to Knebworth house

The family Christmas film is followed by a trip to Knebworth park, which is very close to Stevenage and is a popular place to go in the town.

A still image from a vintage home movie showing Knebworth House in Hertfordshire
Knebworth House

In fact the labelling which I referred to in the previous section doesn’t mention Knebworth House but as soon as I saw this section of the film I recognised it. We have visited there ourselves many times since we live in Stevenage and I’ve taken several photos of the house myself.

I don’t know if the visit to Knebworth was just after the Christmas film or later in the year although I noticed that many of the people shown are wearing winter coats so it could easily have been in the Xmas holiday season, or even on Christmas day itself if the family went for a walk around to walk off their dinner.

More about Vintage Home Movies

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If you see anything in the film which you recognise or you think gives clues to the location or date, please let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this post with your friends if you think they may be able to help locate scene in this film.

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About

A software developer by profession and an amateur photographer by hobby I've been interested in all things photographic since I was a teenager some 40 years ago. Many of my interests centre around vintage film photography and cinematography.

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