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.
This film is part of Free
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
View from an Engine Front - Barnstaple
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
Panorama of the River Avon to Portishead (1902)
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.
Coves & Caves
Travelogue 1920 12 mins Silent Location: Porth
Eden before the Project: a magical, whimsical travelogue of Cornish beauty spots.
Lynton and Lynmouth
1921 12 mins Silent Location: Lynton
Could these holidaymakers have imagined the violent potential of an idyllic Devon landscape?
Where the Cheese Comes From
Travelogue 1926 12 mins Silent Location: Glastonbury
Blessed are the cheesemakers of Somerset in this tour of Cheddar and nearby Glastonbury.
Barnstaple Fair in the 1920s
Non-Fiction 1926 5 mins Silent Location: Barnstaple
Join the crowds in Barnstaple for fairground attractions
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.
Model Clipper Sailor
Current affairs 1965 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Former shipwright turns his talents to model-making.
Current affairs 1977 7 mins Location: Plymouth
The skateboard phenomenon is taking off on Plymouth Hoe.
Current affairs 1970 3 mins Silent Location: Plymouth
Training centre for film and television engineers shows analogue before digital.
Current affairs 1984 1 mins Location: Plymouth
Reporter tests the theory of caviar heightening libido.
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.
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.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location