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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Flying boats visit Plymouth
Plymouth Sound serves as an aquatic airport for the RAF Far East Flight and its four Supermarine seaplanes en route to Australia and Singapore.
Non-Fiction 1927 5 mins Silent
From the collection of:
You can almost hear the propellers, smell the fuel and feel the spray whilst watching this title. Seaplanes landing and taking off in Plymouth Sound is the main event of this thrilling film. This includes a spectacular flyby of Plymouth Hoe and a glimpse of the historic pier which was subsequently bombed into oblivion during the Blitz.
This film shows the first leg of the RAF Far East Flight landing in Plymouth from Felixstowe before taking off three days later to undertake the first long distance exploratory flight to Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong culminating in the setting up of 205 Squadron in Singapore, the first RAF unit to be permanently based there. Pilots and planes shown are: S1152 Group Captain H.M. Cave-Brown-Cave, S1151 Flight Lieutenant C.G. Wrigglesworth, S1150 Flight Lieutenant D.V. Carnegie and S1149 Squadron Leader G.E. Livock.
South West Silents Playlist
View from an Engine Front - Barnstaple
Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent Location: Barnstaple
A 'phantom ride' along a fondly remembered Devon railway, crossing the distinctive Taw Bridge into Barnstaple on the way to Ilfracombe
Panorama of the River Avon to Portishead (1902)
Non-Fiction 1902 9 mins Silent Location: Portishead
A fine variety of views of the Avon gorge taken from various positions downstream from the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Plymouth's Pram Derby 1923
Non-Fiction 1923 3 mins Silent Location: Plymouth
Get that Kruschen Feeling! Pram race to fundraise for the Palace Theatre
Coves & Caves
Travelogue 1920 12 mins Silent Location: Porth
Eden before the Project: a magical, whimsical travelogue of Cornish beauty spots.
Lynton and Lynmouth
1921 12 mins Silent Location: Lynton
Could these holidaymakers have imagined the violent potential of an idyllic Devon landscape?
Where the Cheese Comes From
Travelogue 1926 12 mins Silent Location: Glastonbury
Blessed are the cheesemakers of Somerset in this tour of Cheddar and nearby Glastonbury.
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.
Model Clipper Sailor
Current affairs 1965 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Former shipwright turns his talents to model-making.
Current affairs 1977 7 mins Location: Plymouth
The skateboard phenomenon is taking off on Plymouth Hoe.
Current affairs 1970 3 mins Silent Location: Plymouth
Training centre for film and television engineers shows analogue before digital.
Current affairs 1984 1 mins Location: Plymouth
Reporter tests the theory of caviar heightening libido.
Current affairs 1963 5 mins Location: Plymouth
Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit based in Plymouth covers the South West as a service for unexploded munitions.
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.
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