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Holidays at Home 1945

Wartime fair providing holiday entertainment for local people

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Scenes from a "Holiday at Home" event organised at Douglas Park, Hamilton in 1945. The film includes various events, stalls and crowd scenes. Featured in the film are the Boy's Brigade band; sports events including girls skipping, boys somersaulting and a 'physical fitness display'; 'Gypsy Leonora's' fortune-telling stall; shying balls at a tower of cans; a rolling the penny game; demonstration of first aid; horse and car and donkey rides; children on a roundabout; a prize giving ceremony; a girl performing a comic Russian "Cossack" dance; comedy routines and amateur dramatics; event organisers with yellow arm bands dancing; and couples (mostly women together) dancing/waltzing to a jazz band.

Questions & Activities


  • Why were the holidays spent at home?
  • Why is the event so well attended?
  • Why are the women dancing together?
  • What do you think of the prizes for the different stalls?
  • Why do you think this film was shot in colour?
  • What do you see the men doing and what are the women doing?
  • Were children more active sixty years ago than they are today?
  • Which activities are regarded as girls' activities and which are boys' activities? Does this still happen today?
  • What reasons do you think the men in the film were not called to the front?
  • What might have been the reason for the girl doing a Russian Dance?
  • Why was it important to hold events like these?
  • How did it help to keep up morale?


Expressive Arts: Research and learn some of the the dances of the day and film your own dance competition.

Expressive Arts / Art and Design: Discuss how clothing styles have changed since the 1940s. You may also wish to view the film 'A Question of Taste' and discuss ideas around gender differences as expressed through clothing.

Social Studies / Enterprise: Plan your own moral boosting WWII fete and dress up appropriately for the occasion. Make a film of your event for posterity.

Social Studies / History / Expressive Arts / Art and Design: Create a poster advertising the event depicting the activities that are going to be there.

Social Studies / Expressive Arts / Art and Design: Design your own austerity game.

Literacy / English: During the war, many children did not see their fathers for several years. Write a story from the perspective of a child who has not seen their father for five years.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-415-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of South Lanarkshire Council
Project Ref 5585
Date 1945
Genre Amateur, Sponsored, Documentary
School Subject Health and Wellbeing, Social Studies, English, History, Expressive Arts, Art and Design
Subject Matter Literacy, Citizenship, World War 2, Fashion, Games
Who Hamilton Town Council (sponsor), William Stewart (filmmaker)
Where Hamilton
Event World War II
Attributes Colour, Silent
Clip Length 8:59
Film Length 08:59