Campbell Family Collection

A collection of cine films by John Dermot Campbell

This collection of more than 80 early home movie reels from the Campbell family depict scenes of peaceful Northern Irish and family life from 1929 - 1956. The rare footage provides a snapshot not just of Northern Ireland at the time, but of the life of a wealthy and prominent family of the era. The Campbell family were responsible for Campbell College in Belfast and also played a role in the building of City Hall. They owned one of the leading linen factories in Ireland, Mossley Mill, which also features in some of the films.

Most of the footage was shot by John Dermot Campbell, Ulster Unionist MP for Antrim South, Wartime Flax Controller for Northern Ireland and a wealthy linen industrialist, in the company of his partner and later wife Josephine Patricia Campbell, better known as Pat. John Dermot died in 1945 at the age of 47, missing, presumed dead in a plane crash during World War II. Later footage appears to have been shot by his older son Godfrey Garrett Campbell. 

As can be seen in the showreel below, these vibrant clips capture a glimpse of the life of young happy and carefree well-to-do people of Northern Ireland in the interwar period and their family life after the Second World War. Many of the reels feature fun leisure activities such as skiing, tennis, fishing, swimming as well as gliding and road races.

Collection Media

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