London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
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General Strike Off
Smithfield Market is barricaded and Hyde Park turned into a milk depot, as London tries to cope with the 1926 General Strike.
Non-Fiction 1926 3 mins Silent
From the collection of:
The 1926 General Strike saw workers all over Britain withhold labour in support of the miners. Railwaymen, drivers, dockers and printers went on strike, with London heavily affected. This film shows the final day of the strike – 12 May 1926 – and features a close-up of a letter posted outside the Trade Union Congress HQ in Eccleston Square announcing the end of strike action. It also shows figures such as Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and JH Thomas, a Labour minister.
The film, which is slightly damaged in places and may have a small section missing, focuses on the role of volunteers and soldiers, who helped kept London functioning. We see a barricaded Smithfield Market, Soldiers in armoured cars are parked outside a barricaded Smithfield Market, while drivers collect milk from a depot created in Hyde Park. Later, volunteers unload food at Albert Dock and volunteer bus drivers are seen sleeping and eating at Chiswick bus depot, where they were ‘living in’.
Coal on Film
Documentary 1950 36 mins Silent Location: Featherstone
Absorbing overview of coalmining in the early years of nationalisation.
Durham Miners Gala
Non-Fiction 1930 2 mins Silent Location: Durham
Billowing banners and copious crowds throng Durham for the annual Miners' Gala.
Current affairs 1984 6 mins Location: Stafford
With a crowd of over 2,000 and a pop star like reception for Arthur Scargill, the NUM conference in Sheffield is a rallying cry from the striking miners.
Romance of a Lump of Coal
Documentary 1935 5 mins
A filmic speed date with the multifaceted rock celebrates its talents and virtues in the days before its shortcomings soured the relationship.
Lle Triga’r Caneri
Documentary 1989 46 mins Location: Loughor
From Tenerife to Treorchy: Jack Bellamy’s tribute to the canary, the little yellow songster that saved so many miners’ lives.
Tidy Is Safe
Documentary 1975 14 mins
A neat coalition between the Keep Britain Tidy Group and the National Coal Board aims to inspire colliery cleanliness.
Drama-documentary 1937 26 mins Silent Location: London
And… Action! Workers become filmmakers in this realist drama steeped in period detail.
Pa Puts His Foot Down
Advert 1934 16 mins Location: London
Romance blossoms over a discussion of fluid flywheels in this cinema ad for BSA cars directed by Zoltan Korda.
Havant By-Pass construction, Langstone and Pook Lane
Amateur film 1964 4 mins Silent Location: Havant
Watch as the countryside around Havant disappears under the tarmac of the future M27 - with nostaligic shots of Langstone Harbour and a very leafy Pook Lane
Unveiling Eros and West End cinemas
Amateur film 1985 3 mins Location: London
Relive the 1980s in this nostalgic film from Alan Stingemore - featuring a variety of flagship cinemas, the relocation of Eros as well as a few cinemas that have since disappeared
Brighton Seaside - Airshow & Silver Jubilee in Bromley
Amateur film 1977 11 mins Silent Location: Brighton
Tony Mitchell captures a variety of events during Jubilee year - including day trips to Brighton and a bunting covered London as well as an accident at an airshow
St Faith's go to Kew for tea
Amateur film 1936 20 mins Silent Location: Brentford
Enjoy a nostalgic trip down river with members of the St Faith community - with tea at Kew, feeding penguins at London Zoo and lots of chatter - all in sign language!
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.