This film is part of Free
London from the Air 1 (Fun Palace outtakes)
London in 1963 was a city in flux, as this spectacular aerial footage shows.
With memories of the Blitz receding, London in 1963 was rapidly rebuilding itself, and the capital of the future was beginning to take shape. This helicopter-shot footage shows the remnants of the major port London once was alongside the new high-rise buildings already transforming the skyline. The Post Office Tower, opened in 1964, can be seen under construction, while Battersea Park funfair, built for the 1951 Festival of Britain, was still going strong (a tragic rollercoaster accident led to it closing forever in 1974).
This footage was shot for a film to support theatre director and filmmaker Joan Littlewood's idea for a 'Fun Palace' - a huge movable construction that would house education and entertainment attractions. In 1963 Littlewood shot 60 reels of 16mm rushes around London to show what people currently did for leisure and to demonstrate that something else was needed. The film was finished but is now lost, and sadly Joan's Fun Palace never got built. However, the rushes paint a fantastic picture of the period, with many expertly filmed by cameraman Walter Lassally, who also shot We are the Lambeth Boys and A Taste of Honey. Digitisation supported by the London Topographical Society.
Non-Fiction 1910 1 mins Silent Location: Trafalgar Square
Spot the changes and continuities in this majestic Edwardian panorama of Trafalgar Square.
Non-Fiction 1910 0 mins Silent Location: Woolwich
Woolwich candidates face the voters in the first of 1910's two general elections.
Non-Fiction 1913 2 mins Silent Location: Bloomsbury
The funeral procession of suffragette Emily Davison - fatally injured at the Epsom Derby - passes through London to her final resting place in Morpeth.
Non-Fiction 1914 1 mins Silent Location: Eltham
Magnificent artillery horses and their youthful riders parade the streets of Eltham as rapt locals look on.
Non-Fiction 1914 1 mins Location: Hendon
Spectacular feats of early aviation at Hendon Aerodrome, North London.
Non-Fiction 1914 6 mins Silent Location: Westminster
A revealing tour of London's notable buildings - some now lost for ever - which uncovers their intriguing histories.
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.
Comedy 2023 2 mins
En-route to her hen weekend, bride-to-be Faye kills the vibe with a bombshell confession.
Documentary 2023 2 mins
An insight into Daytimers, the South Asian DJ collective that are breaking new ground in Britain.