At Wessex Film and Sound Archive you can see and hear history, from late Victorian times to the present day, through moving images and sound recordings. The Archive contains over 36,000 film and sound recordings relating to Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, including film and tapes of local TV and radio.
This film is part of Free
History of Portsmouth
This gem of a film shows pre-war Portsmouth and Southsea, in colour, before the Blitz and features its historic streets and buildings and holiday-makers on Southsea's beaches.
Amateur film 1937 24 mins Silent
From the collection of:
This amazing colour record of pre-war Portsmouth shows many of the city's popular features including the Hilsea Lido, Southsea's rock gardens, trolley-buses and the Cenotaph. We visit Langstone Harbour and tour historic sites in Old Portsmouth including the Cathedral and the scene of an assassination. After a look at Dickens' house and the Sally Port, we visit HMS Victory and the City Walls. Finally, we visit Portchester Castle at the northern end of Portsmouth Harbour.
Most Popular Free 2015
Cinemagazine 1973 8 mins Location: Milton Keynes
"The most exciting thing going on in Europe, if not the world": welcome to Milton Keynes circa 1973.
Amateur film 1977 6 mins Silent Location: Portsmouth
The colourful bustle of Portsmouth's oldest street market features in this 1977 film – where traders and shoppers mix under the brooding presence of the infamous Tricorn Centre.
School programme and Educational film 1977 9 mins Location: Telford
Six Shropshire villages combine and the new town of Telford is born.
Documentary 1970 20 mins Location: Wolverhampton
Bricks and mortar makes way for concrete and reinforced steel as Wolverhampton sweeps the past aside in a modernist town planning utopia.
Amateur film 1962 7 mins Silent Location: Chichester
A fascinating film showing the cathedral city of Chichester before the arrival of its ringroad and the pedestrianisation of its Roman streets.
Non-Fiction 1901 5 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A rare glimpse of early Edwardian Manchester when the horse-drawn tram still reigned supreme.
St Barbara's Royal Garrison Church and Hilsea Barracks St Barbara's Royal Garrison Church and Hilsea Barracks
Amateur film 1963 6 mins Silent Location: Hilsea
Witness that last years of Hilsea Barracks in this short and wintry film from F Howard - featuring a community of buildings that have vanished from the map
Amateur film 1961 4 mins Silent Location: Old Portsmouth
Summer in the early 60s is captured in this short film by F Howard which features divers at Hilsea Lido, Portsmouth's Garrison Church and numerous Isle of Wight ferries
Amateur film 1958 15 mins Silent Location: Portsmouth
Travel back to the Portsmouth of open markets, period shops, bomb sites, congested car parks, workers on bicycles and holiday crowds - all in glorious black & white
Amateur film 1964 1 mins Silent Location: Hilsea
Hilsea Lido is the venue for this amazing short film from 1964 - where crowds of kids splash about, swim, slide and jump from high boards while parents look calmly on
The Building of the Eastern Road flyover on the M27 The Building of the Eastern Road flyover on the M27
Amateur film 1970 7 mins Silent Location: Hilsea
The roads around Portsmouth are about to be transformed with concrete and steel in this 1970 film from W J Evans.
Amateur film 1949 18 mins Silent Location: Hilsea
You can almost smell the chlorine in this delightful film about Hilsea's Lido in the late 1940s - which today is one of the last of its kind in the UK that is still open to the public.
Drama 2020 21 mins
A young Palestinian woman crosses the Israeli border illegally to find her long-lost brother, who she hopes will be her ticket to a new life.
Charity appeal 2020 2 mins
Beautiful NHS fundraiser, setting Michael Rosen’s poem to powerful archive images.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
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