The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
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Helping to Buy Beverley's Spitfire
The Battle of Britain may be over but the war over the skies continues, and so the people of Beverly crowd the Market Square and dig deep to buy one of Britain’s greatest war assets.
1941 4 mins Silent
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With the country still in the throes of the blitz in 1941, and with a shortage of fighters to help combat German bombers, Beverley joins the first national public fund raising event with a specific target: Ј5,000 to buy a Supermarine Spitfire. The band strikes up, with the Lord Mayor leading the singing, as women come around with their collecting tins, backed up by placard-wearing children.
This is one of many wartime films made by local filmmakers Debenhams. The idea of public fund raising to buy armaments originated in the First World War and was resurrected again with the National Savings Week of June 1940, followed by War Weapons Week (1941) and Warships Week (1942). Raising money for Spitfires occurred across the country from late 1940 – not to be confused with Wings for Victory Weeks of 1943, raising funds for bombers. A sum of Ј5,000 was needed for each Spitfire, which had greater kudos than the Hurricane. Spitfires were regularly upgraded, and it was the only Allied fighter plane that remained in production throughout the war. Film courtesy of East Riding of Yorkshire Council Archives.
Keep the Wheels Turning
Industry sponsored film 1940 8 mins
An enticing government call for men to retrain as skilled engineers to help with the war effort.
Non-Fiction 1943 3 mins Location: Cardiff Bay
The Lord Mayor of Cardiff speaks to camera, exhorting all good citizens to support the war-time Wings for Victory Week by saving and thereby lending money to the government.
Government sponsored film 1943 9 mins
Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.
The Marchwood Park Training Centre and power boats The Marchwood Park Training Centre and power boats
Amateur film 1939 13 mins Silent Location: Hythe
Women train for war work at Marchwood Park House in this remarkable film which features camouflaged factories, barrage balloons, gas masks and a netball match.
Government sponsored film 1945 11 mins Silent Location: Hackney
A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.
Government sponsored film 1941 5 mins
An appeal for citizens to give up their old bed frames and garden tools, as part of a government drive to salvage resources for the war effort.
Amateur film 1975 7 mins Silent Location: Beverley
An atmospheric film of a dry dock, the welding of the hull, primitively held by timber supports, before the ship plunges sideways into a river.
Historical Pageant Procession, Beverley through the Ages; July 10th 1 Historical Pageant Procession, Beverley through the Ages; July 10th 1
Documentary 1937 24 mins Silent Location: Beverley
An elaborate vision of Beverley, in Yorkshire's East Riding, from ancient times through to the 1930s.
Non-Fiction 1942 3 mins Silent Location: Beverley
New young recruits are seen here showing their colours at the height of the war, marching through the town of Beverley, preparing for the battles ahead.
Non-Fiction 1944 2 mins Silent Location: Beverley
Lines of children laden with books deliver them to bespectacled gentlemen granted the right to select those to be sent to forces abroad, and those to be pulped for recycling.
Training film/TV programme 1942 15 mins Silent Location: Beverley
Doubtless civilians would have been re-assured in 1942 had they seen this training film for the Home Guard, learning fieldcraft, positioning and close quarters combat.
Training film/TV programme 1942 10 mins Silent Location: Beverley
A fascinating glimpse into the training of the Home Guard –learning how to hide from enemy invaders – showing that they were far from being the farcical shambles of Dad’s Army.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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