The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
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Plymouth's Pram Derby 1923
Get that Kruschen Feeling! Pram race to fundraise for the Palace Theatre
Non-Fiction 1923 3 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Ready, Steady, Roll! The Palace Theatre has organised a Pram Race to raise money for the theatre, an estimated 50,000 have gathered to watch the women take part. The Pram Derby starts at the Palace Theatre on Union Street, is seen going along Mutley Plain back to Stonehouse and Devonport. The women in first, second and third are proudly caught on camera. Beatrice Richards, Gladys Heap and Mrs S. Adams. The race was organised at the request of local patrons.
The Palace Theatre opened in 1898 as a music hall and after a fire reopened on 22 May 1899 as the New Palace Theatre of Varieties. The iconic theatre designed by William Arber of London based Wimperis and Arber, was built together with the Grand Western Hotel on Union Street in Plymouth. The Palace started life as a music hall and became a theatre, a bingo hall and a night club. The theatre building has a Grade II listing and is in the Northern Renaissance style with Art Nouveau details.
South West Silents Playlist
Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent Location: Barnstaple
A 'phantom ride' along a fondly remembered Devon railway, crossing the distinctive Taw Bridge into Barnstaple on the way to Ilfracombe
Non-Fiction 1902 9 mins Silent Location: Portishead
A fine variety of views of the Avon gorge taken from various positions downstream from the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Travelogue 1920 12 mins Silent Location: Porth
Eden before the Project: a magical, whimsical travelogue of Cornish beauty spots.
1921 12 mins Silent Location: Lynton
Could these holidaymakers have imagined the violent potential of an idyllic Devon landscape?
Travelogue 1926 12 mins Silent Location: Glastonbury
Blessed are the cheesemakers of Somerset in this tour of Cheddar and nearby Glastonbury.
Non-Fiction 1926 5 mins Silent Location: Barnstaple
Join the crowds in Barnstaple for fairground attractions
Advert 1960 1 mins Location: Plymouth
A charming regional commercial for Plymouth’s best loved department store.
Advert 1960 0 mins Location: Plymouth
Help keep your relationship on track by outsourcing your laundry!
Current affairs 1977 7 mins Location: Plymouth
The skateboard phenomenon is taking off on Plymouth Hoe.
Current affairs 1961 5 mins Location: Plymouth
Cruising into the history books SS Liberté makes its final voyage stopping at Plymouth en route to Le Havre.
Current affairs 1965 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Former shipwright turns his talents to model-making.
Current affairs 1963 5 mins Location: Plymouth
Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit based in Plymouth covers the South West as a service for unexploded munitions.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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