Collection Spot Botting
Ernest A. "Spot" Botting was an amateur film-maker who captured rural and village life in pre-World War Two Kent.
|Collection ID||610||Reference code||K 961001|
|Dates||1930s - 1940s|
|Production||Spot Botting (deceased)|
|Access status||Contact Screen Archive South East for details|
The Spot Botting collection comprises over fifteen films made by Ernest A. "Spot" Botting during the 1930s. Spot Botting was a keen amateur film-maker who lived in Egerton, Kent. Several of his films centre around events in the village, such as Egerton May Festivals (1934; 1935; 1936) and The Last Year of Peace (1939 - 1940).
Both films consist of scenes of everyday life in the rural idyll, capturing a community and its individuals enjoying local events and the countryside. The latter film however also contains stark images showing how this idyll was affected during the early stages of the Second World War, with footage of the aftermath of bombing raids. Spot Botting clearly indicate his appreciation of the landscape around him - producing films which show images of Kent in the years preceding the Second World War, in the years before mechanisation drastically altered the agricultural landscape. This is seen, for example, in In England's Garden (1930s), Our Daily Bread (mid-1930s) and his films: The Poetry of Motion; Exquisites of the Insect World; and Old East Sussex [Hop-picking], all dating from the 1930s.
The remainder of the collection is made up of home movie footage and of a couple of fiction films. Overall Spot Botting's film collection offers some fascinating, well-made amateur films, which document rural life in Kent in the decade before this way-of-life was altered so dramatically by world events.
Films in this collection:
Showing 10 results.
The Poetry of Motion. Exquisites of the Insect World. Old East Sussex. [Hop-picking]
A compilation of four films made by an amateur film-maker. The films' subject matters include motion which is both man-made and of nature, butterflies, historic East Sussex locales and hop-picking.
In England’s Garden
This documentary records the manual work done on Kent farms between spring and autumn, namely the harvesting of corn and hops in an era before farming became fully automated.
Our Daily Bread
|Date||[ca. mid 1930s]||ID||1099|
An amateur film with intertitles which chronicles the agricultural year, from ploughing to the sewing seeds, and finally to the harvesting the crops. The film offers a good portrait of farming in Kent in the years preceding mechanization.
Egerton May Festivals
|Date||1934; 1935; 1936||ID||1100|
Amateur film recording events at the Egerton May Festival over the course of three consecutive years in the 1930s.
[Holiday Scenes: Wales and Brugge]
|Date||[ca. late 1930s]||ID||1096|
This amateur film contains images of animals, notably extreme close-ups of caterpillars and their larvae, and of a woman feeding doves. It also has footage of two holidays - the first is a touring holiday of the Welsh countryside, the second a city break to Brugge.
[Holiday Scenes: Tunisia; Portraits of Children]
|Date||[ca. late 1930s]||ID||1097|
Home movie footage which includes images of the Botting children playing in the outdoors, of numerous domesticated animals, of ice-skating on a frozen lake and of a visit to a zoo. The film also contains brief footage of a holiday to Tunisia.
Country Folk in Other Lands
|Date||[ca. late 1930s]||ID||1105|
The first half of this film with intertitles captures images of the Tarn River and of apple harvesting in France. The second half chronicles the Bedouin Arabs of Tunisia, recording aspects of their nomadic lifestyle, including their pottery and food-making skills.
Sunday Afternoon Interlude
|Date||1937 - 1938||ID||1102|
A compilation of short fiction and non-fiction films made by Ernest A. "Spot" Botting, including footage of the 1938 Egerton May Festival.
Presenting Gay, Grim & Graceful
A compilation with intertitles showing a range of activities including displays by Egerton's First Scout Group and by school gymnasts, children enjoying sports day races, deer hunting with hounds, workmen making breeze blocks, wood and coal being prepared for fuel, and women demonstrating aerobic exercises.
The Last Year of Peace
|Date||1939 - 1940||ID||1104|
A compilation by a local amateur cameraman, portraying the passing from peace to wartime. Shot just prior to and during the first year of the Second World War, the film provides a snapshot of everyday life as it continued against the backdrop of the impending war, and signs of the war’s effects around the village.
Showing 10 results.