This remarkable film shows the terrible effects of Luftwaffe bombs on the British Powerboat Company in Hythe, near Southampton. Despite camouflage and barrage balloons, the buildings may be shattered but the cheery workforce still raise a smile. Houses close to the works are also terribly damaged and the clear up is in full swing. We then see the local Home Guard parade for a naval visitor before displaying their fighting skills in a local park.
The Hythe based British Power Boat Company, set up by Hubert Scott-Paine, was one of many likely targets for the Luftwaffe in the Southampton area. At the time of this film, the company was manufacturing fast motor-torpedo boats, often used for rescuing downed pilots in the Channel. The Americans also used the company’s designs to build their own high-performance PT Boats. Other targets included the Supermarine Works at Woolston, where RAF Spitfires were manufactured, and the industrial and shipping facilities that lined the Solent. The damaged aircraft seen in the film was a retired Imperial Airways Sea Eagle flying boat, which had been used on services from Southampton to Guernsey until October 1928.
At Wessex Film and Sound Archive you can see and hear history, from late Victorian times to the present day, through moving images and sound recordings. The Archive contains over 36,000 film and sound recordings relating to Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, including film and tapes of local TV and radio.