This film is part of Free
This fascinating 60s tour catches London's South Bank in the middle of a cultural metamorphosis.
Thirteen years after the Festival of Britain, it's all change once again on London's South Bank. With the sci-fi saucer that was the Dome of Discovery long gone, this gentle boat tour along the Thames takes in County Hall, Royal Dutch Shell's imposing new HQ, and the building site next to the Royal Festival Hall that would blossom into the Hayward Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Rooms.
The film's final minutes offer a compelling glimpse inside the National Film Theatre, as filmgoers emerge from the latest Jean-Luc Godard offering and Jeanne Moreau, one of the brightest stars of the 'nouvelle vague', sparkles down from the poster board: a touch of continuity in an area that was evolving into London's most vibrant cultural quarter. Intriguingly, the commentary suggests the new National Theatre was to be built in front of the Shell building, rather than on the other side of Waterloo Bridge, where it eventually opened in 1976.
Documentary 1935 17 mins Location: Thames Head
Swans, boats and bridges are celebrated by lyrical commentary and fine images in this delightful tour of the Thames from “trivial” beginnings to torrential end.
Non-Fiction 1926 1 mins Silent Location: Kingston Upon Thames
A mermaid, a fat man in a barrel and water-bound jockeys all appear in this brilliant short showing Londoners taking part in the Molesey Regatta.
Non-Fiction 1930 1 mins Silent Location: River Thames
A ceremonial swan census takes place on the river Thames.
Documentary 1939 9 mins Silent
A nostalgic pre-war voyage down the mighty Thames, shot by Technicolor maestro Jack Cardiff.
Thames River Scenery - Panorama of the Crowded River Thames River Scenery - Panorama of the Crowded River
Non-Fiction 1899 1 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
Don your straw boater and join Victorians at play as you potter down the river at Henley-on-Thames
1935 16 mins
A rare glimpse of 1930s London in colour: the Thames has never looked lovelier.
Amateur film 1977 3 mins Silent Location: Waterloo Sta
Acrobats, actors, musicians, human statues: nothing is off-the-table in South Bank for this extravagant exhibition of excellent talents.
All Seasons - the story of Bournemouth as a resort All Seasons - the story of Bournemouth as a resort
Promotional 1930 14 mins Silent Location: Waterloo Sta
Ride the Bournemouth Belle to this famous southern seaside resort – in a film featuring golfers, skaters and the Municipal Symphony Orchestra
Non-Fiction 1922 1 mins Location: Waterloo Sta
Her Majesty Queen Mary officially opens the much rebuilt Waterloo station for the London and South Western Railway, 21 March 1922.
Documentary 1961 35 mins Location: Waterloo Sta
The daily rhythms and dramas of Waterloo station are captured in John Schlesinger’s influential early film.
Musical 1986 16 mins Location: Waterloo Sta
Sally Potter's lively dance film about spies and government intrigue.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.
Comedy 2023 2 mins
En-route to her hen weekend, bride-to-be Faye kills the vibe with a bombshell confession.
Documentary 2023 2 mins
An insight into Daytimers, the South Asian DJ collective that are breaking new ground in Britain.