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.
This film is part of Free
Old People, Croydon and Covent Garden
From Croydon centenarians to widows in Warwickshire, this absorbing film celebrates the works of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution in the 1950s.
From the collection of:
This film provides an extensive overview of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution as they shifted operations from Croydon to Hove. It’s a thorough affair, even covering the admin system used by clerks at the grand temple in Great Queen Street to ensure Masonic dependents receive their annuity. We travel to Warwickshire to meet a widow, and also a centenarian at Croydon’s Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Decayed Freemasons, opened in 1850. We then tour the new home in Hove.
The film assures viewers that those receiving funds from the Masons will do see in strictest privacy, and is careful to never use the world charity. It’s a well-made affair, travelling across the country to meet case studies – often widows – as well as offering a good look at the old Victorian care home in Croydon – we meet a 101-year-old resident – and the new building, Harewood Court, opened in 1955, in Hove, which provides “elegance of a different kind”. Concludes with an appeal for support, informing brothers that the RMBI is “dependent on the generosity of every member of the craft”.