Video: Watch footage of a 1947 family holiday on the Norfolk Broads as new archive compares life in East Anglia and Normandy

Images from films c/o East Anglian Film Archive

Images from films c/o East Anglian Film Archive

Images from films c/o East Anglian Film Archive

A heritage film archive will be launched this week which compares life in East Anglia throughout the 20th century with events captured on camera across the channel in Normandy.

Video Archive: Knowles’ Broads Holiday (1947)

For years the Norfolk Broads were simple a system of waterways for trading vessels, but in the early 1940s it found a new lease of life in the holiday business. Some wherries, formerly cargo carrying boats, were converted to carry passengers and the “pleasure wherry” or “wherry yacht” evolved.

In 1947, the Knowles family enjoyed their first post-war holiday on board “White Moth,” a wherry built in 1915. For 50 pounds, a sizeable sum in the 40s, the Knowles family had a week’s sailing holiday including a crew of skipper and mate.

As the film shows, the weather left much to be desired.

Archive Alive acts as an incredible resource to compare and contrast our lives with those who lived earlier in the 20th century, and this film gives us a fascinating glimpse into how a break on the Broads used to be over 60 years ago. To see more of the archive visit:

The online resource, named Archive Alive, will be brought to life by the Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) on Wednesday.

It showcases a unique timeline including hundreds of digitised archive films from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, along with those recorded in Upper Normandy in France, dating from as far back as 1896 to the 1980s.

The archive preserves a shared social history including all manner of family events, public celebrations, places and people.

Users of the website at will be able to scroll through the dates to transport themselves from one decade to the next and select films by theme, place or year.

To create the archive, Norwich HEART has worked in partnership with two major film archives from both sides of the channel – the East Anglian Film Archive and Pôle Image Haute-Normandie, based in Norwich’s twin city of Rouen. Jane Jarvis, digital heritage project manager at Norwich HEART, hopes the archive will become a “source of enjoyment, education and engagement for all generations”.

She said: “With so many films at the East Anglian Film Archive and in Rouen now digitised, it has been a joy to be able to access them more easily and curate this moving image timeline of our region.

“Archive Alive is showcasing some of the ‘best bits’ of our lives caught on film over the last century providing a unique record of how we lived our lives on both sides of the channel.”

From Wednesday until October 21, visitors to The Forum in Norwich can explore the website on a large interactive touch screen in the Atrium.

And from today until November 3 a selection from Norwich HEART’s digital heritage archive will be displayed on the big screen at Fusion.

The EU-funded digital heritage project is part of the Interreg IVA Channel Programme, which aims to foster “common citizenship” and a sense of belonging to the cross-border area between England and France.

The website at will go online from Wednesday. Five selected videos from the exhibition will also be shown throughout this week on our website.

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