This film is part of Free
New Towns for Old
Sheffield stands in as 'Smokedale', an industrial Everytown, in this stirring call for "new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new life", after WWII.
Documentary 1942 6 mins
This wartime public information film combines impressive shots of industrial poverty with inspiring words scripted by Dylan Thomas, proffering new housing and better lives after the war. The film was produced by Strand Films, a leading producer of documentaries for the Ministry of Information during World War II, and was intended to boost wartime morale.
Dylan Thomas tries his hand at Yorkshire dialogue in his script for the film. Rather than using a conventional voiceover, he devises a conversation between two young men - with one impressing upon the other (and on the viewer), the urgent need for town planning as they stroll through Smokedale. Thomas later became famous for his 'play for voices', Under Milk Wood, completed in 1953.
Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble
Out of the Rubble
Short documentary 2015 18 mins
Visionary filmmaker Penny Woolcock explores half a century of British urban life using films digitised for Britain on Film, the archive project from BFI and its partner archives.
Non-Fiction 1965 7 mins Location: Ladywood
The tattered wallpaper of part demolished housing contrasts with gleaming new tower blocks. Ladywood in Birmingham may be on the up but what about the forgotten people?
A City Reborn
Documentary 1945 22 mins Location: Coventry
Coventry prepares to rise from the ashes of WWII in this docu-drama written by Dylan Thomas.
Rotherham up to Date
Promotional 1961 39 mins Location: Rotherham
An absorbing picture of council services at the beginning of the 1960s, with babies getting polio jabs and girls having braces fitted, while Roots is playing at the Civic Theatre.
Bull Ring Shopping Centre
Documentary 1965 25 mins Silent Location: Birmingham
A bright and breezy promotional tour of Brum's original mega-mall.
Housing Makes History
Campaigning film 1953 18 mins Location: Barnet
Residents of Barnet and Stockton-on-Tees are the lucky beneficiaries of a government scheme to remedy Britain’s housing problem.
Factual TV 1988 5 mins Location: Sheffield
Sheffield professional sportsmen train determined disabled adults to compete at the Special Olympics in this heart-warming short film. (
Take Care of Your Teeth
Amateur film 1958 7 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
Children from Sheffield enjoy becoming amateur dentists for the day in this informative educational film from the late 1950s.
Bus Strike Traffic
Sponsored film 1959 9 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
A Sheffield bus strike causes traffic congestion in this film that shows the significant local impact that a workplace dispute can have.
Women and Leisure
Current affairs 1988 11 mins Location: Leeds
This film sees Sheffield Council reform and modernise their approach to female leisure activities for their diverse and busy community.
Wartime Events in Sheffield
Amateur film 1942 19 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
Military men and women from Sheffield put on a show from 1942-1947 in this patriotic compilation film.
Sheffield Peace March
Non-Fiction 1936 7 mins Silent Location: Sheffield
As the rise of fascism casts a shadow over Europe, the people of Sheffield take to the streets to deliver a powerful message.
Grounded on the Platters: HMS Conway
Home movie 1953 7 mins Silent Location: Anglesey/Ynysmôn
A sorry end to any ship: timings, tide and wind played their part in pushing HMS Conway onto the Platters rocks in the Menai Strait on 14/4/1953.
Exeter Real Ale Festival
News 1975 3 mins Location: Exeter
The wet and warm ale goes down a treat as aficionados gather to celebrate real ale.
Home movie 1955 8 mins Silent Location: Llanddwyn Island/Ynys Llanddwyn
Sea pinks and samphire, lighthouses and church ruins – Llanddwyn’s charms are many and varied.
News 1979 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Experimentation with a coat for two leaves couples with really no escape.
Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music
News 1970 2 mins Location: Shepton Mallet
Progressive gathering of festival goers hits the blues.
Dawson: Lower Penn Show
Home movie 1954 4 mins Silent Location: Lower Penn
Another blustery summer day in the 1950s and it's Lower Penn's carnival parade.