Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.
This film is part of Free
A Milestone for Crawley
Follow the construction of Crawley's new arts centre, from building site to opening night, in this remarkable and colourful documentary film from 1989.
Amateur film 1989 44 mins
From the collection of:
This remarkable amateur documentary charts the construction of Crawley's Arts Centre - a venue sorely needed by the various cultural groups requiring a permanent home in the town. While construction takes place we see stagehands at work, choirs singing, accordions playing and a visiting musical troupe from Ghana. We see the annual fair as well as singing 'Toy Soldiers', writers and performers at work all leading up to opening night, despite the 1987 hurricane.
Known today as the Hawth Theatre and Arts Complex, Crawley's arts venue finally opened in 1988 after earlier attempts had failed. It remains true to its original remit and provides facilities for local dramatic and operatic societies as well as support for the visual arts like photography, filmmaking and painting. As well as its own dramatic productions, which have been many and varied, the Hawth also plays host to visiting companies like the RSC and ENO. Famous names who have appeared on its stages include Eddie Izzard, Ravi Shankar, Richard Wilson and Nigel Havers as well as Jack Dee and Julian Clary. The word 'Hawth' is said to come from the local pronunciation for the word 'heath'.
Garden Cities & New Towns
Promotional 1952 10 mins Silent Location: Letchworth Garden City
1903 saw the launch of "First Garden City Ltd." and the purchase of development land near Hitchin. 50 years on, in Coronation year, Letchworth was worthy of another celebration.
1956 14 mins Location: Harlow
An insider's guide to 1950s Harlow made for US audiences, with architect Frederick Gibberd interviewed from the top of the Lawn tower block.
Cinemagazine 1973 8 mins Location: Milton Keynes
"The most exciting thing going on in Europe, if not the world": welcome to Milton Keynes circa 1973.
News 1966 3 mins Location: Stevenage
Stevenage is town planning utopia, for it boasts at least 50 - yes 50! - underpasses. Like a pro, the reporter’s enthusiasm enlivens the dry subject matter. Journeying is but a joy!
Amateur film 1957 15 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
Picturesque tour of Welwyn, England's second Garden City. A rural-urban idyll of spacious residential areas and green community spaces. A marvel of town planning design!
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1948 8 mins
Charley says (no, not that one) that Britain’s new towns are great
Amateur film 1980 6 mins Location: Crawley
Crawley is the venue for a great gathering of buses and coaches to celebrate a half-century of Green Line services in this memorable film from Beryl Armstrong
Amateur film 1927 11 mins Silent Location: Crawley
Percy Nightingale captures pipe-puffing old codgers on the bowling green while stout ladies do battle on the tennis courts of 1920s Crawley.
Amateur film 1950 8 mins Silent Location: Crawley
Crawley is about to receive a very special visitor in this film from 1950 and decks itself accordingly with flags and bunting for this special Royal occasion.
Amateur film 1955 16 mins Silent Location: Crawley
A fascinating narrative film about the development of Crawley, from early days to its post-war transformation into a New Town.
Amateur film 1935 32 mins Silent Location: Crawley
The citizens of Crawley pull out all the stops to celebrate George V's Jubilee and two years later they do it all again for the Coronation of George IV.
1962 12 mins Location: Soho
A children’s guide to bustling Soho, with a glimpse of its music industry, architecture and thriving restaurant scene.
Documentary 1969 25 mins
On release from jail, a man recalls the events leading up to his imprisonment.
1968 78 mins
It’s Britain vs USA in this drama by Dennis Potter as mild-mannered George finds himself in thrall to brash American Sam.
Drama 1968 27 mins
Three women seek the truth about love from a crystal ball in an early Fay Weldon play about trust and jealousy.
Action and Adventure 1955 28 mins
Four village schoolchildren encounter a spot of trouble when some crooks take up residence in the woods.
The one where Lindsay Anderson makes a film about fuel efficiency…