London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
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"Oh to Be in England"
Bluebells, wisteria and snowdrops feature in this lovely colour film showing the effect of nature on the London suburb of Harrow after the war.
Amateur film 1947 13 mins Silent
From the collection of:
One for those with green fingers, this film attempts to demonstrate that an English spring can be every bit as beautiful in the town as it is in the country. It starts with scenes of a snowy Harrow and sledging outside post-war prefabs, before we get extended luxurious shots of flowers, fields and gardens in the spring. It’s wonderfully English – never more so than the wisteria clinging to the front of a mock Tudor semi – and also shows some of the local landmarks and churches.
Around the Village Green
Travelogue 1937 12 mins Location: Finchingfield
Rural life in the Essex villages of Finchingfield and Great Bardfield - and the mixed reactions of older residents to changing times.
Drama 1965 12 mins Location: Highgate Cemy
A bittersweet short about a young girl who spends an afternoon playing in Highgate Cemetery where she discovers what the future may have to offer.
Documentary 1970 17 mins Location: Ilford
To the front line of London's early 1970s' housing crisis in this angry campaign film.
Road to Yesterday
Travelogue 1944 32 mins
Widgey Raphael Newman, the short-lived, extraordinarily-named director of this period piece, has assembled attractive images of Wales but beware the commentary!
The Airy Tomb
Drama 1963 13 mins Location: Pontrhydfendigaid
An isolated life can mean that home is nothing more than an “airy tomb”, as imagined by poet and rural parish priest R S Thomas.
Documentary 1977 1 mins Silent
Not-so-special special effects add the magic touch to this kitsch British Rail commercial.
Protest March to Ruislip via Harrow
Amateur film 1964 1 mins Location: Harrow
A spirited march and large, bombastic banners mark this political protest against the positioning of nuclear arms in Ruislip's USAF base.
Schools in Harrow
School programme and Educational film 1947 20 mins Silent Location: Harrow
State schools in the London borough
Amateur film 1977 6 mins Location: Harrow
Pomp and pageantry reign and St George is resurrected for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in this colourful newsreel from 1977
Amateur film 1971 16 mins Location: Harrow
There's stardust in the air in Harrow and not all is at it seems at a house fire in Northwood – watch to find out why.
Amateur film 1966 14 mins Location: Harrow
Steam trains large and small and summer time fetes and fairs feature in this amateur newsreel from 1966.
Princess Di Wedding and Winter Snow
Amateur film 1982 4 mins Location: Harrow
Everyone's home in Harrow to witness Lady Di's debut as a Royal and a record-breaking winter causes chaos in 1981.
Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Silent
The Victorian great and good mark the passing of a political titan
Parade of Troops with Band and Crowds Following
Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Silent
For Britons during the Boer War, a welcome opportunity to support the troops - and march alongside them
Workers Leaving Work at Vickers
Non-Fiction 1900 1 mins Location: Barrow-In-Furness
Factory gate glimpses at - we think - Barrow-in-Furness
Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Silent Location: Worthing
Worthing waves at us in this mesmerising early film
The Biter Bit
Comedy 1898 1 mins Silent
Film's first joke? A fresh take on an old prank.
Opening of the Kiel Canal
Non-Fiction 1895 0 mins Silent
This was one of a series of actuality films made by the Victorian pioneer Birt Acres during 1895. The film is thought to have been shot on June 20, on the occasion of the opening of the Kiel Canal by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Acres shot other films at the same time, but they have not survived.
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