Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.
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Royal visit to Crawley
Crawley is about to receive a very special visitor in this film from 1950 and decks itself accordingly with flags and bunting for this special Royal occasion.
Amateur film 1950 8 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Princess Elizabeth visits Crawley in this amateur compilation from 1950. Starting with trains on Balcombe Viaduct we next see headlines announcing the Royal visit. The Royal entourage arrives at an outdoor service attended by Bishop Bell of Chichester, after which the Princess officially opens the Manor Royal Business Park and visits a new housing estate. Crowds and dignitaries gather in Crawley High Street before we finally see the town centre decked out in bunting.
This film captures that period when the old town of Crawley was about to expand into what was called Crawley New Town - a direct consequence of the 1946 New Towns Act. By 1949, despite court challenges, a plan was made to develop the land between the villages of Crawley, Ifield and Three Bridges. Nine residential neighbourhoods fanned out from its centre while a seperate industrial area, called Manor Royal, was built to the north of the town. It was the official opening of the latter which features in this film. One can see that the new town's roads had been laid out and constructed before any buildings actually existed on those sites and this was a feature of such planned developments.
Garden Cities & New Towns
Promotional 1952 10 mins Silent Location: Letchworth Garden City
1903 saw the launch of "First Garden City Ltd." and the purchase of development land near Hitchin. 50 years on, in Coronation year, Letchworth was worthy of another celebration.
1956 14 mins Location: Harlow
An insider's guide to 1950s Harlow made for US audiences, with architect Frederick Gibberd interviewed from the top of the Lawn tower block.
Cinemagazine 1973 8 mins Location: Milton Keynes
"The most exciting thing going on in Europe, if not the world": welcome to Milton Keynes circa 1973.
News 1966 3 mins Location: Stevenage
Stevenage is town planning utopia, for it boasts at least 50 - yes 50! - underpasses. Like a pro, the reporter’s enthusiasm enlivens the dry subject matter. Journeying is but a joy!
Amateur film 1957 15 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
Picturesque tour of Welwyn, England's second Garden City. A rural-urban idyll of spacious residential areas and green community spaces. A marvel of town planning design!
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1948 8 mins
Charley says (no, not that one) that Britain’s new towns are great
Amateur film 1980 6 mins Location: Crawley
Crawley is the venue for a great gathering of buses and coaches to celebrate a half-century of Green Line services in this memorable film from Beryl Armstrong
Amateur film 1927 11 mins Silent Location: Crawley
Percy Nightingale captures pipe-puffing old codgers on the bowling green while stout ladies do battle on the tennis courts of 1920s Crawley.
Amateur film 1989 44 mins Location: Crawley
Follow the construction of Crawley's new arts centre, from building site to opening night, in this remarkable and colourful documentary film from 1989.
Amateur film 1955 16 mins Silent Location: Crawley
A fascinating narrative film about the development of Crawley, from early days to its post-war transformation into a New Town.
Amateur film 1935 32 mins Silent Location: Crawley
The citizens of Crawley pull out all the stops to celebrate George V's Jubilee and two years later they do it all again for the Coronation of George IV.
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