This enjoyably oddball public information film features good location footage from Blackburn, Norwich and Oxford. A dry, if important, subject (local government policies for making small improvements to urban areas) is presented in rather eccentric style. 'Fly-on-the-wall' scenes are unconvincing, and the use of folk singing unintentionally hilarious - but rather beautifully cut to the images.
There’s method in the madness: the charming, homespun patchwork feel of the film suggests a humility and sense of human scale in the new policy of General Improvement Areas, compared to the comprehensive redevelopment that dominated post-war town planning. The film was mainly screened in meetings between council planners, architects and residents. Despite (or because) of its sillier trappings, it exudes a truly likeable decency, making it an honourable minor entry in the civic-minded tradition of films like the documentary classic Housing Problems (1935).
This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.