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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Elephants in Plymouth
Indian Elephants descend at Friary Train Station and walk the streets of Plymouth
News 1963 1 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Six Indian elephants visit Plymouth, getting off at Plymouth’s Friary Station on Beaumont Road. Large crowds gather to watch as the elephants are led one by one through the streets by their handler, an Indian mahout with an ankus or metal hook. The Chipperfield Circus is in town in time for Easter.
The Big Top has seating for 6000 people and by the 50s had a very large number of animals including 16 elephants and 200 horses. Chipperfield’s Circus has been around since 1684 when James Chipperfield first introduced a performing animal act at the Frost Fair on the River Thames. The earliest involvement of animals in a circus was simply a menagerie of animals put on display. It was not long before they joined the circus act. Various family members have been involved within the dynasty including Jimmy Chipperfield who trained animals for film work including the lions which featured in the film Born Free (1966).
Animals on Film
Documentary 1940 12 mins
Fun mixture of natural history and wartime public information.
Comedy 2004 4 mins
Sweet and funny short about a potty-mouthed dog who loves his owner
Non-Fiction 1959 3 mins
Six legged competitors take to the starting blocks as a Midlands pub brings the sport of beetle racing to the world.
News 1971 5 mins Location: St Keverne
Daisy the pet alligator living on the Lizard in Cornwall
Children's 1972 52 mins Director: David Eady
Fun-packed comedy for kids, in which a boy befriends a baby elephant – then teams up with his friends to stop it being sold
Amateur film 1967 14 mins Location: Thompson Common
Should you look hard enough, you’ll be amazed at the antics that creatures get up to, says Dorothy Maxey, amateur filmmaker and naturalist.
Advert 1960 1 mins Location: Plymouth
A charming regional commercial for Plymouth’s best loved department store.
Advert 1960 0 mins Location: Plymouth
Help keep your relationship on track by outsourcing your laundry!
Current affairs 1977 7 mins Location: Plymouth
The skateboard phenomenon is taking off on Plymouth Hoe.
Current affairs 1961 5 mins Location: Plymouth
Cruising into the history books SS Liberté makes its final voyage stopping at Plymouth en route to Le Havre.
Current affairs 1965 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Former shipwright turns his talents to model-making.
Current affairs 1970 3 mins Silent Location: Plymouth
Training centre for film and television engineers shows analogue before digital.
1955 17 mins Location: Brighton
Kids face the closure of their Brighton playground but fight back to reclaim it, with a little help from the iconic Volks Railway
Children's 1954 59 mins Location: Goudhurst
Child actor Mandy Miller shines in this children's adventure set in the traditional hop picking season in Kent.
Short documentary 2020 19 mins
All Andy and Ben want to do is play basketball. When they join the under 16s league the boys and their new teammates take on opponents from around Yorkshire, and the challenges of growing up in inner city Leeds.
Musical 2019 13 mins
Exploring the conversation black people face when communicating their racial experience to white partners through a dynamic fusion of dance and dialogue.
Drama 2021 9 mins
Penny is experiencing post-millennium angst in Manchester. She is on the verge of a mental breakdown. Overweight and on the edge, an ordinary visit to the doctor becomes extraordinary.
Drama 2020 10 mins
A short but poignant piece on what it feels like to lose faith and trust in a friend.
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