Heathwood Studios

DVD's From the Heathwood Studios Library:

Swimming or Challenging The English Channel
Time Marches On
Hop Pickers Holiday
Hop Picking Memories

Please scroll below for more information.

Swimming or Challenging The English Channel

For thousands of years the English Channel has been seen as a challenge.
Napoleon described it as a ‘mere ditch’
but for centuries men and women have tried many different ways to cross.

From the world’s oldest seagoing vessel to planes and trains; from barrels and balloons, cars and tractors to swimmers and hovercraft this DVD contains unique footage capturing for the first time many of the different attempts.

Find out how one swimmer feasted on beans on toast while still at sea; hear the story of one of the earliest air travel ‘cons’ and discover how the first rail crossing was above rather than below the waves.

See how the golden age of rail travel led to the first mass crossings;
learn the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ if you fancy swimming across;
hear about some of the more bizarre crossing attempts including an inflatable kangaroo and a giant gin bottle,
and see how the development of the ferries and the hovercraft transformed Dover.

If you are thinking of crossing the English Channel by swimming or otherwise then watch this DVD.

Time Marches On:

Royal Marines at the Deal Barracks from the 1950’s

Rarely seen Archive Footage gives viewers a unique insight into the world famous
Royal Marines’ links with Deal and Walmer.
Deal Barracks was the home of the internationally renowned Royal Marine School of Music, the barracks themselves dating back to shortly after the outbreak of the French revolution.

In recent times units stationed there were trained for many highly specialized duties, including a siege regiment for manning the coastal defence guns, the immortal Fourth battalion of Zeebrugge Raid fame,
the Marines commando team which raided Dieppe in 1942,
and some of those engaged in the Falklands campaign of 1982.

Unique Footage on this DVD also shows the lighter side to life in the barracks
– in 1947 the sergeants’ mess decided to hold an annual pantomime in the barracks’ Globe Theatre to raise money for charities around the country, and to pay for an annual Christmas treat for local children.
But its real fame started in the early 1950s when the band service, which was an arm of the Royal Marines, officially moved to Deal.

Its darkest hour was on September 22nd 1989 when 11 young musicians were massacred by an IRA bomb.
More than twenty others were injured.
But just one week later the band played on, the Royal Marines marched proudly through the town to show they would not be defeated and thousands of local people took to the streets to show their support.

Hop Pickers Holiday:

Travel Back In Time and Watch Fascinating Footage of Hop Picking from the 1950’s

Includes rare and previously unseen footage!

In the Garden of England,
in bygone times, entire communities relied on hops for their survival, the hop pickers.
But this sprawling industry also depended on huge numbers of itinerant workers for the few short weeks during harvest time.

Thousands of Londoners boarded trains heading south to the hop fields of Kent
for a working holiday of hop picking– a hop picker’s holiday.
This film tells their story, and that of a once proud industry, via interviews and newly discovered archive film from the heyday of hops.

The remarkable footage, in colour and black and white, stretches from the 1920’s to the 1950’s
and whisks us back to another world and a different way of life;
one before lager, themed pubs, intensive farming and the decline of the countryside.

The running time:
26 mins.

Hop Picking Memories:

This is an intriguing film which takes you on a journey through the past, showing what it was like to work in the hop gardens.
We hear from the hop pickers as they explain what it was it like living in a hop hut and cooking over an open fire;
how they got on with the locals and what they did for entertainment when the sun went down.

We hear how how Londoners were treated in the local pubs, why village shops erected fencing around their counters and why hop pickers children looked forward to Friday’s’.
The pickers explain some of the tricks they used to try to increase the measure when the Tallyman came round to check what they had picked.

It’s an amazing story, using unique footage, that brings to life how hop pickers lived and worked, explaining why they were so vital to farming in Kent and Sussex.

The running time:
25 mins.