The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
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Solomon the guard puma - put your paws up!
News 1976 3 mins
From the collection of:
This film reveals the lengths a local butcher has gone to discourage theft at his shop ‘John May Meats’ in Ilfracombe. After falling victim to eight burglaries in 20 months, John May explains to Westward TV reporter Stephen Matthews why the six-month puma Solomon is such a cool cat to have in his shop to guard the produce. The exotic pet trade exploded in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Exotic species which are not native to Britain and which require a high level of specialist care led to some being released or given up quickly once the novelty had worn off. Sightings of wild cats in particular continue although no concrete proof has ever been found that they exist in the British countryside. The Dangerous Wild Animal Act of 1976 put an end to the practice and regulated the ownership of wild animals in the UK. The exotic pet trade continues.
Around the Village Green
Travelogue 1937 12 mins Location: Finchingfield
Rural life in the Essex villages of Finchingfield and Great Bardfield - and the mixed reactions of older residents to changing times.
Drama 1965 12 mins Location: Highgate Cemy
A bittersweet short about a young girl who spends an afternoon playing in Highgate Cemetery where she discovers what the future may have to offer.
Documentary 1970 17 mins Location: Ilford
To the front line of London's early 1970s' housing crisis in this angry campaign film.
Road to Yesterday
Travelogue 1944 32 mins
Widgey Raphael Newman, the short-lived, extraordinarily-named director of this period piece, has assembled attractive images of Wales but beware the commentary!
The Airy Tomb
Drama 1963 13 mins Location: Pontrhydfendigaid
An isolated life can mean that home is nothing more than an “airy tomb”, as imagined by poet and rural parish priest R S Thomas.
Documentary 1977 1 mins Silent
Not-so-special special effects add the magic touch to this kitsch British Rail commercial.
Travelogue 1939 18 mins Location: Exeter
The cream of Devon painted in an unfamiliar palette in this Dufaycolor travelogue
On Glorious Devon's Ocean Coast
Amateur film 1955 20 mins Location: Ilfracombe
The Ilfracombe is the perfect destination according to its Chamber of Commerce.
Amateur film 1960 31 mins Location: Ilfracombe
A promotional film shows the famous holiday destination of Ilfracombe.
News 1983 26 mins Location: Ilfracombe
TV presenter and broadcaster Robert Robinson illustrates the transformation from off to on season in Ilfracombe.
Devon/Fishing Net Industry
1911 14 mins Silent Location: Ilfracombe
Recreation rules the day at Ilfracombe, while work continues on Hastings beaches
Baer: VE Day
Home movie 1945 19 mins Silent Location: Littleover
At Littleover in Derby the end of war in Europe is marked by Britannia leading a fancy dress parade. And, after nearly six years of war, it's finally time for a street party!
Hovis: Boy on the Bike
Advert 1974 1 mins Location: Shaftesbury
A classic slice of British advertising history, though that hill's not as Northern as it looks...
Workforce of Parkgate Iron and Steel Co., Rotherham (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 3 mins Silent Location: Rotherham
Edwardian workers react to the camera at one of Rotherham's major employers.
Workforce of Ormerod's Mill, Great Moor Street, Bolton (1900)
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Silent Location: Great Moor St, Bolton
Eager youngsters burst out of the gates of a Victorian cotton mill.
The Henley Regatta
Sport 1901 1 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
It's the first weekend of July 1901, and high society are on the Thames
Advert 1898 1 mins Silent Location: St Pancras
An unusual farewell in this charming early film
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins
The magic of a real solar eclipse filmed by a famous magician
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