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.
This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.
Life Under Fire
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.
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.
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.
Advert 1943 2 mins
An American G.I. learns how to brew a proper English cuppa in this jolly wartime ad for Maypole tea.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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