This film is part of Free

Disappearing Britain

A lament for a more picturesque Britain; scenic Hertfordshire is threatened by the encroachment of a new motorway, the M1.

Amateur film 1959 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


As a new decade approaches, the landscape in and around Hemel Hempstead is changing forever. The leafy suburbs are being replaced by asphalt as the first section of the M1 motorway opens to the east of the town. This short film depicts a journey along the recently opened M1, filmed by a passenger in a moving car. Conspicuously free of heavy traffic the motorway is a far cry from the M1 witnessed today - there is no speed limit, no central reservation, and no lighting.