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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Glastonbury Festival and the First Pyramid Stage
Glastonbury ley lines for iconic pyramid stage to heighten a festival-goer’s experience
From the collection of:
TV reporter John Doyle joins the beginnings of the Glastonbury Fayre which is in its second year and very much rooted in the hippie culture of peace and love. It is the vision of Michael Eavis who owns Worthy Farm in Pilton and who was inspired by a Led Zeppelin concert he saw in Bath in 1969. Glastonbury is near Stonehenge and steeped in myth and legend and the festival changes days to join with the pagan summer solstice of June 20 in an attempt to harness positive energy.
Andrew Kerr and Arabella Churchill plan this original festival envisaged as a freer and less traditional gathering. Theatre designer Bill Harkin designs the very first pyramid stage and builds it above the Glastonbury Abbey and Stonehenge ley line, believed by some to give the whole festival a positive energy or vibe. The Pyramid Stage is a scaled down version of one of the giant pyramids at Giza in Egypt. Every decade the now iconic Pyramid Stage is revamped into a larger more powerful structure with an ever-increasing eclectic mix of music groups and stars that have performed on it. One thing is for sure, when you make it there on the Pyramid Stage, you have reached a career capstone!
Performance 1966 45 mins Location: Kingston upon Hull
This "musical profile of the Watersons" is a precious document of the British folk revival, much of it shot in their hometown, Hull.
News 1972 22 mins
Fly your freak flag high with this far-out film shot at the Great Western Express Festival in muddy May 1972.
1969 13 mins
The Bonzo Dog Band freak out at the farm and strange sounds abound in this cheery, charmingly childlike stream-of-consciousness music short.
1973 7 mins
Prepare to be freaked out big time by a thoroughly theatrical 1970s psych-prog-folk-rock fairy tale from English eccentrics Jethro Tull.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1971 34 mins
Communal life is idiosyncratically portrayed through a series of theatrical happenings.
News 1974 2 mins Location: Byker
Two musicians lament the changes taking place as part of the Byker Estate re-development in Newcastle.
Amateur film 1930 7 mins Silent Location: Glastonbury
Join the Blighs on their homeward journey through the Southern counties - calling at Glastonbury and various ancient landmarks east
Travelogue 1947 17 mins Silent Location: Cheddar Gorge
Hitchcock went the wrong way! Head south by southwest with this travelogue from Bath to Cornwall.
Travelogue 1916 1 mins Silent Location: Cheddar Gorge
Pure tranquillity in rural Somerset, a world away from the war raging on the continent.
Amateur film 1930 20 mins Silent Location: Harewood
There are some visual rarities in this fascinating compilation spanning three decades - featuring air raid shelter antics, switchback rollercoasters and aerials over Oxford.
Travelogue 1926 12 mins Silent Location: Glastonbury
Blessed are the cheesemakers of Somerset in this tour of Cheddar and nearby Glastonbury.
News 1980 4 mins Silent Location: Glastonbury
David Young visits Glastonbury famous for its festival and its legends of King Arthur, the Holy Grail and Joseph of Arimathea
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.