Bomb damage and Home Guard

Archive: Wessex Film & Sound Archive
ID No.: AV374/1
Title: Bomb damage and Home Guard
Date: 1940
Film-maker: Hubert Scott-Paine
Colour: Black & White
Sound: Silent
Duration of complete item: 15 min.
Themes: Civil Defence – Home Guard


Amateur film taken on behalf of Hubert Scott-Paine in 1940, showing war bomb damage to British Powerboat Co. and Imperial Airways factories at Hythe (Hampshire), and Home Guard activities in the area.


The film shows bomb damage to the Imperial Airways shed and men clearing up the debris. At the British Powerboat Company, vessels and vehicles are uncovered. At a military parade, an inspection takes place. Members of the Home Guard and nurses, are shown in Hythe. Home Guard exercises take place there. This is followed by scenes of women exercising, a mock display with gun firing and men dressed up.


This is one of 15 reels of film taken or commissioned by Hubert Scott-Paine during the 1930s and 1940s, of British Powerboat Co. activities in Hythe, Canada and the USA, plus family scenes, deposited by his daughter-in-law Mrs E Ridgway. They added to another 15 reels received earlier from Southampton City Museums, of the same subjects. Hubert was the owner of the firm, situated next to the Imperial Airways hangars on the Hythe waterfront near Southampton. He took most of the films himself and included family scenes but, during the War, he went to North America to develop motor torpedo boats for the US Navy, amongst other projects, leaving the filming in this country to his chauffeur Bill Sheaff.

Scott-Paine was a designer of aircraft, chiefly seaplanes, who then went on to make military powerboats at his own company. He supplied the RAF with tenders and the Royal Navy with motor torpedo boats, and also designed and built ‘Miss Britain III’, a speedboat which won races and set speed records in the 1930s. During the War, he filmed his activities in colour at places like Greenwich, Connecticut, whilst Bill Sheaff used up his remaining black and white stock filming the British Powerboat Co. workforce at Hythe. This included the training centre at nearby Marchwood Park, where mainly women workers learnt boat building in a matter of months, for the War effort.

Following the heavy Blitz in November/December 1940, Bill filmed the bomb damage at the factory and showed the local Home Guard parading and taking part in a display on the village Common. These films were later sent to Hubert in the USA to show how things were in Hythe. After the War, the firm diversified into prefab house construction, producing ‘Scottwood’ houses. A local carpet factory owner and friend, Mr G Preen, filmed the assembly and inspection of one of the houses in 1946 (AV687/38).

Bomb damage and Home Guard (1940)

Bomb damage and Home Guard (1940)

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