Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

The Oxted & District History Society made history at last Tuesday’s meeting with its first presentation using moving film, showing pictures of Surrey community life in Peace & War, by Matthew Piggott, who works at Surrey County Council’s Archives Centre.  The footage included a mixture of professional propaganda films and amateur cine-camera films.  Specially composed music accompanied the silent films.

The coverage started before the First World War in 1911, with a procession of army and civilians in Godalming.

Reigate’s carnival in 1926 included a huge wooden Trojan Horse, complete with fighting Greeks and Trojans in the procession.  There was attractive amateur footage between the wars of the Gowland and Emberton families at home.

Pictures were shown of World War II processions in Reigate, including the women of the Red Cross and a propaganda film of how women could help the war effort by working as Land Girls.  There was film shot in 1945 of flags flying to celebrate the end of the war and a family gleefully getting rid of their black-out window screens.

The programme finished with Horley cricket club’s fete to commemorate the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.  The programme provided a fascinating insight into our local social history.


Surrey, a community in Peace & War a talk by Matthew Piggott,