The IWM Film Archive is the oldest film archive in the UK, holding over 20,000 hours of film, video and digital material and covering the two World Wars and all conflicts involving British or Commonwealth Forces since the start of the Twentieth Century to the present. Our collection also reflects aspects of civilian life in wartime, military life in peacetime, military exercises and operations.
This film is part of Free
A behind the scenes look at civil defence work during and after a Luftwaffe bombing raid on Bristol during the Second World War.
Government sponsored film 1942 23 mins
From the collection of:
The civil defence network grafts tirelessly to combat the mounting casualty lists and bomb damaged streets on Bristol’s home front. Coordinated by a Control Centre, which comes into its own under challenging circumstances. Picking a way through the devastation, ‘Control Room’ offers a different perspective of civil defence work, sometimes overlooked in the retelling of the Blitz experience.
Life Under Fire
Activities Pictured at Littleover First Aid Post
Amateur film 1939 16 mins Silent Location: Littleover
An air raid could come at any moment and Derby had to be ready to deal with the casualties. The people of Littleover were so well prepapred they filmed one of their exercises.
Ibberson Family and VE Day
Home movie 1945 17 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
Whether it’s the height of the war or its aftermath makes no difference to these children enjoying themselves: at the seaside, on V E Day and around the bomb sites of Sheffield.
Welwyn Garden City - The War Years
Amateur film 1939 15 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
A great example of ‘despite war, life continues’, Welwyn Garden City residents continue with annual traditions, festive occasions and celebrations, during wartime.
U.S. And Us
Advert 1943 2 mins
An American G.I. learns how to brew a proper English cuppa in this jolly wartime ad for Maypole tea.
What Is One among So Many?
Documentary 1943 17 mins Silent
"A bomb's cut the gas off. Where can we get a meal?" Look no further than the Friends Relief Service.
Family Album to Entertain
Amateur film 1940 14 mins Silent Location: Broadwater
Life in Broadwater seems unaffected by the war in this film - especially when friends and relations drop by - though a closer look reveals that all is not quite what it seems.
Prince of Wales
Non-Fiction 1928 0 mins Silent Location: Bristol
The future King Edward VIII takes to the waves at Bristol after opening a new dock extension
Documentary 1958 9 mins Silent Location: Bristol
Blitz-scarred Bristol's redevelopment programme was blighted by a succession of disputes, explored in this campaigning film
Scillonian Sister Ship
News 1964 1 mins Silent Location: Bristol
Work on the sister ship to the Scillonian is progressing in Bristol shipyard.
Documentary 1939 21 mins Silent Location: Bristol
Aeroplanes, mops and cigarettes are all produced in "busy Bristol" - as illustrated in this action-packed short film
"Around and About" 1949
Amateur film 1949 25 mins Silent Location: Rumney
A summer of shows – Rumney Horse Show Society's Show, Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show, Usk Farmers' Club Show – and a visit to Bristol Zoo where children ride on an elephant.
Yeovil and Chard - Street Scenes
Amateur film 1931 1 mins Silent Location: Crewkerne
Madcap home movie road trip around south west England - speeding through rural Somerset and Dorset up to Bristol.
What's Missing from this Picture?
Advert 1946 1 mins Silent
Life is looking up! The war is over and the “Corona” Man can visit his “Corona” families once more, door-to-door.
Fun at Rhyl
Advert 1962 0 mins Location: Rhyl
Cinema advertisement for Marine Lake & Ocean Beach, Rhyl, a popular destination for crowds set on a day's fun on free rides.
Local Cinema Advertisements - Blaenau Ffestiniog and Merthyr
Advert 1942 7 mins Silent Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog
Who could deny these advertising claims: "Attractive hair is the ambition of every woman", and "Your family will enjoy Lincoln potatoes"?
Shippam's Three Beans
Advert 1955 1 mins
Operatic chickens, shrimps and salmon sing-a-long with a paste pot chorus in this vibrantly animated advert for Shippam's
Liberty Foundations Commercial
Advert 1956 2 mins Location: Market Harborough
Liberté, égalité and fraternité in corsets, girdles and bras.
Local Trader's Gazette
Advert 1930 9 mins Silent Location: East Sussex
This amazing discovery shows how cinema advertising used to look in Bygone Britain - a truly nostalgic gem of a film for lovers of Britain's past
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location