Showing posts with label 8mm film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 8mm film. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2016

8mm Films of Grand Falls-Windsor Families, C.L.B, and Community

The following four films are the final batch of reels I have digitized for the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society. They show various aspects of life in the area, with a mix of spliced together clips alternating colour film with black and white. The children and families shown in the reels are likely relatives of the photographer, Albert Hillier who had 4 siblings, and 19 nieces and nephews. I also wonder if his wife Enid is in the footage. Hopefully those who knew Albert will be able to identify some of these people in his life.

This first film starts by showing one of the Church Lads Brigade camps. Like one of our previous C.L.B reels, it shows some sort of silly parade with the adult C.L.B. members marching while wearing paper hats and carrying a flag made from a pair of white pants. Again, I am wonder if this was a tradition C.L.B. camps in general, or was it specific to this camp. The reel then changes to black and white (the scenes have been spliced together) and we see two women, a baby, and a young boy on a beach, and then in the back seat of a car. The next scene shows the young boy, and another older boy eating bread while sitting on the rocky beach, they are joined by a man who poses with the boy in front of the camera.

The next reel is a similar mix of colour film and black and white, what looks to be from different years. It starts showing a group of shirtless men outside drinking from a jug. Do you recognize the house in the background? We then see one of these men holding a puppy. The reel cuts to a game of football in front of the same house, likely with the same group of men. Then there is a scene showing a C.L.B event near a church. This clip is not very clear but you can see some of the buildings in the area. The reel then changes to colour, and appears to be much later footage. A young girl with brunette braids is on a boat and sticks her tongue out to the camera. Is she one of Hillier's nieces? The film cuts again to a man outside carrying a sack and a truck carries lumber in the background. A baby in a yellow beret sits in a pram looking at the camera. The last scene is black and white, very briefly showing a man standing next to a tripod setup, and what looks like a large pot over a fire.

Next is a short 30 second reel that shows men in a grassy area surrounded by trees, playing football and tackling each other. The same house that was in the background of the last film, can be seen in this one.

The final film of this collection, begins with a child in a red coat playing in the snow. In the background there is writing in the snow, most of which I cannot read but I do see the date 1945. The same child is then seen being walked in a stroller along a paved road. The reel cuts to a dark scene indoors, possibly with the same child, along with some adults. The child looks like they maybe playing with a camera. The reel then shows men outside in the winter, and various scenes of the Grand Falls-Windsor Mill and the dam.

Whether or not you have connections with the area, I hope you have enjoyed viewing these films. If you recognize any of the locations or people in these films, please email

Friday, December 23, 2016

Grand Falls-Windsor House Parties - 8mm Film Reels

When I started to work on digitizing the 8mm reels from the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society, I expected to see formal community events and home videos with families and children. Among the mix of Church Lads Brigade reels and other footage from the Grand Falls-Windsor area, were four films that showed house parties were people were drinking alcohol, laughing, and playing pranks. These four films show a wonderful side of the personalities of these people and a relaxed party atmosphere that you usually do not see.

When I first set up the projector, the first reel that I played was black and white footage from the late 1940's showing a house full of people sitting around drinking and joking with the camera. After watching all the reels, this is still my favorite. Two men performed some sort of ritual alternating between bowing to a crate of liquor bottles and taking sips from their drinking glasses. A man in a hat and an Anglican clerical collar reads from a book. He is later seen asleep with his arms crossed and a sign reading "not dead but interred" laid on his chest. Another man wearing round glasses, a hat, and a fake beard, sticks out his stomach to portray a character. The photographer, Albert Hillier, was a member of the Northcliffe Drama Club for 52 years, and while they are not performing in the footage, you can clearly see that his group of friends had a theatrical persuasion. I am curious to know if the man dressed as an Anglican priest, was an actual priest or was he in costume.

This reel also contained scenes apart from the house party. We see young boys playing outside with a toy car and a set of wheels. There is a woman in an apron looking out a window and making gestures to the camera. Two men are outside with a car and truck with a logo on the drivers side door. Another woman joins the men and they dance before the reel ends. Do you recognize the houses in this area?

The next film is very dark, but there is a lot of laughter in there. The footage starts upside down, which may be a hint that this was filmed towards the end of a party. While it is dark and out of focus in parts, there are some good shots of peoples faces, so some may be recognizable.

In the last set of reels I shared, there was one film that showed title cards relating to the footage he shot, some of which we have. The next film has eight title cards, though some words are out of frame. One title, that we don't have the relating film, reads "Guilty: Sergt. LeMoine Sews Lieut. Lane's Coat Sleeve." Another, which may help identify one of the individuals says "A Corner Brook Photographer." These title cards are followed by a short clip showing a small gathering. The party takes place in the same house as some of the other reels, and a man pours the guests drinks from a jug.

The final reel in this set once again shows a house party with people sitting around talking and drinking, while a man is playing guitar. We then see a sleeping guest with a doll laid next to him, and another man stands over him reading from a book. I would love to hear what he is reading, maybe funeral or marriage rites? We then see three men in standing in front of the camera. The man in the center holds a funnel to his mouth while the other two pour in liquid. The guests pass around a balance toy and joke with each other. The camera returns to the sleeping man, who now has the balance toy stood up on his chest. The camera pans down to his feet and he is now wearing women's shoes. Next the camera shows a women setting down plates on a table full of food and desserts. The camera pans around the room to show the guests standing around eating, drinking, and having a good time. Although the footage is dark, in this film and the previous, there appears to be a projector set up on one of the tables, which makes me think that this may be Albert Hillier's home. 

I hope you enjoyed this look at house parties in the late 1940's. Do you recognize any of the individuals or locations in these films? Contact me by email

- Kelly

Friday, December 16, 2016

8mm Films of Church Lads Brigade Camps in the Grand Falls-Windsor Area

In October, I began working on digitizing Nineteen 8mm film reels from the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society. Without labels or a way to view the reels, the contents of the films was a mystery to the Society so they sent them along to us to have digitized. The films are now ready to be shared and I hope with your help we will be able to identify some of the individuals or locations in the films. The films have a variety of topics, but the bulk of the collection show formal events and camps of the Church Lads Brigade. The Church Lads Brigade has had a major presence all over the province, and while these reels are of the Western Division, they are a good example of the activities of the C.L.B as a whole. The films are interesting not just for those connected with the C.L.B, but for anyone who was involved in other groups that went on similar camping trips.

This first film was previously posted, but I was able to record a clearer copy so I decided to share it again. The reel shows a C.L.B. Parade with band that march towards an Anglican church. At the church there is an inside service as well as an outdoor event with many people in attendance. This is one of the few C.L.B. reels which showed a formal event.

Next we see what looks to be an open air church service conducted by the cadets of the C.L.B camp. Their families look on, visiting the camp for the day. This reel also shows some other camp activities, as well as title cards. There are fourteen titles, created by the filmmaker Albert Hillier, that may relate to this reel or others in the collection. They identify that at least some of the camps had taken place in South Brook, and one was identified as filmed in 1947.

Another reel that was previously posted shows various C.L.B scenes. I was able to reattach a broken section adding 4 minutes on to the film, as well as improving the quality. The reel showed various camp activities including swimming and sports as well as local events at the Grand Falls War Memorial and the railway station.

Unfortunately none of these films have sound, and in the following film the sound would be an important part of the event. The footage is dark, filmed at dusk while a music group with a female lead is playing for the camp. The campers can be seen dancing between the tents, having fun with a night of music.

The next film identifies the camping group as the Church Lads Brigade Western Division, and at least this particular camping trip took place in South Brook in 1947. It shows a formal event and some footage of the camp grounds including a C.L.B crest with the division, location, and year laid out in white stones. I hope this information will help to identify some of the people in the films.

While the image of the C.L.B is often thought of as uniforms and parades, this film shows some foolish behavior by the adults at the camp, starting with some sort of silly march where they all pull up one pant leg and march around the campsite. I am curious to know if this was a unique event or some tradition at the camps. Next is a meal scene, with all adults and a priest sitting at the head of the table. The mood is jovial, with members making faces at each other and the camera, and one man wearing a fake nose. We then see an informal wrestling match, and the boys line up to go swimming. The last scene in this reel shows the adults joking around and hitting each other with a strap.

The adults at camp can also be seen in the following film playing baseball and getting ready for a swim. They pose in front of a sign that reads "Our Summer Resort" and lists rules for the camp site. I believe this is also located in South Brook. We also see a female camp visitor laughing and joking with the men. This visitor seems to be in some connection with a inspection and parade that takes place at the camp and ends the reel.

The next film is a good example of everyday camp life. It shows the serious side with a camp inspection, there are various clips involving food and eating, We see how the campers bathed, and some recreation activities like baseball and boxing.

The campers also had to deal with the elements, in this case rain and the flooded camp. We can see that the tents have been raised off the ground and both the men and boys are working in a line to bail out puddles of water. It is not just necessary work, but they can be seen having fun as well, throwing a bucket of water towards the camera and tossing the bucket in the air back to the beginning of the line. 

The final film in this set is a short clip showing the more serious side of the Church Lads Brigade, with all members in uniform and lined up for an inspection

I hope you enjoyed viewing these films, I look forward to posting the remaining nine soon. If you recognize any locations or people in these films, please contact 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Folklore Photo: Can you identify these Grand Falls-Windsor Boys?

Here is a great still from the Grand Falls-Windsor 8mm film reels, showing two boys having fun with the camera. The shot was taken from a scene showing a group of C.L.B kids playing on a beach, likely filmed by Albert Hillier. Check out the previous blog post 8mm Film Reels from the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society to watch the films and see if you recognize anyone!

Friday, October 28, 2016

8mm Film Reels from the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society

For the past week I have been working on digitizing 18 reels of 8mm film from the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society. Working with 8mm has been a learning experience for me, but it is wonderful to see the content of the reels that were previously unknown to the society. The films were created by Albert Hillier (1916-2004) in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Hillier was a commercial artist, photographer, and was a cartoonist who worked for the Grand Falls Advertiser for 40 years, producing the editorial page strip Our Town.

The footage involves public community events as well as home videos from Hillier's personal life. In the reels I have viewed so far, the activities of the Church Lads Brigade(C.L.B)  have been prominent, including parades and camp activities.

This first film shows a C.L.B parade, as well as activities at a church.

The second reel features various scenes of the C.L.B including swimming, camping, target shooting, sports, and other camp activities. You can also see footage of the boat Miss Newfoundland.

The third film begins by showing a road banner "Welcome To Their Excellencies." This reel was faintly labeled "Visit by Lt. Gov." Can you identify these visitors?

Do you recognize any locations or individuals in these films? Please contact Kelly at 1-888-739-1892 or email

~ Kelly