Summer of '47 - The Boys' Auxiliary at Castlerock: Part One



Castlerock, Guysmere




Footage shot in July, 1947


14min 31sec





black and white, colour


Ingrid Skinner


Ingrid Skinner

Rights Holder

Ingrid Skinner

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Castlerock, next to Portstewart on Northern Ireland’s northern coast, is the ideal location for an adventure. This footage, from the collection of Reverend Harold Allen from Ballyclare, offers some insight into the Boys’ Auxiliary experience. Dating from 1947, this film provides some insight in the day-to-day activities. It wasn’t all fun and games – dishes needed washing, and games needed to be set up. There is some fascinating footage of Castlerock train station and the arrival of the camp’s contingent. There is footage of an awards ceremony with diverse activities and prizes; footage of a football game; frolics around a beach campfire with a mysterious, pipe-toting observer; and some interesting colour footage of a boys’ parody parade comprising of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and an Orange Lodge. Eagle-eyed viewers may spot familiar locations from around Castlerock such as the previously-mentioned Train Station and the old hotel.

Reverend Allen was a Presbyterian minister from Ballyclare who played a role in organising the Boy's Camps. This collection of reels demonstrates his keen eye for detail, skill at framing shots and an innate ability at capturing the playful atmosphere of an adventurous summer. Viewers may be pleased to see a sudden shift from monochrome to full colour. Colour amateur footage of the 1940s is rare, so Reverend Allan's film gives us a glimpse of a vibrant world seemingly run by boys.


Footage shot by Reverend Harold Allen

Film donated by Ingrid Skinner 


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