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.
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Pincurls, pools and a paralytic priest – a housewife’s win on the pools leads to a mix-up with the gin and amusing results
Amateur film 1956 11 mins
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A fantastic example of an amateur comedy with a professional touch about a housewife who discovers she has won the pools. Slapstick ensues as she celebrates her win with a tipple before mistaking the gin for milk and adding a little kick to her Birds sponge mix. When the sweet-toothed vicar comes to call he soon feels the effects of the boozy dessert, collapsing under his bike on the way home.
The postwar period saw significant growth in the field of amateur filmmaking. This short fiction film is a great example of an aspirational amateur production made by ‘the Ladies’ of a cine society whose use of slapstick, titles and end credits, establishing shots and continuity editing show an attempt to adopt features of professional filmmaking. The film will appeal to lovers of all things vintage with authentic pin-curl hairstyles, floral pinafores and a 1950s kitchen complete with pantry! The film was made by the Pinner Cine Society; set up in 1951 it is now the Harrow Film Makers.
Drama 1949 22 mins
Prize-winning amateur film about the fleeting affair between a housewife and a young man on a summer day.
Science Fiction 1982 16 mins Location: Ballymagowan
Alien overlords, a giant robot and cavemen… welcome to the feverish imagination of Roy Spence.
Sponsored film 1950 9 mins Location: Cambridge
A delightful road safety film set on the streets of Cambridge featuring an escaped horse with a respect for the Highway Code.
Toys Will Be Toys
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1988 5 mins Location: South Shields
Barbie dolls in pink battle khaki killing machines in a Christmas animation that cocks a snook at the “Disney Doctrine”.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1986 10 mins Location: North Tyneside
An exuberant animated short celebrates writer Sid Chaplins short story about the defiant spirit of an old miner who finds his beloved pigeon loft is under threat.
Boy and the Cat
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1976 10 mins Location: South Shields
A boy and his cat make mischief in the snow at South Shields in this captivating hand-drawn childrens animation created by Sheila Graber.
Schools in Harrow
School programme and Educational film 1947 20 mins Location: Harrow
State schools in the London borough
Amateur film 1977 6 mins Location: Harrow
Pomp and pageantry reign and St George is resurrected for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in this colourful newsreel from 1977
Amateur film 1971 16 mins Location: Harrow
There's stardust in the air in Harrow and not all is at it seems at a house fire in Northwood – watch to find out why.
Amateur film 1966 14 mins Location: Harrow
Steam trains large and small and summer time fetes and fairs feature in this amateur newsreel from 1966.
Princess Di Wedding and Winter Snow
Amateur film 1982 4 mins Location: Harrow
Everyone's home in Harrow to witness Lady Di's debut as a Royal and a record-breaking winter causes chaos in 1981.
"Oh to Be in England"
Amateur film 1947 13 mins Location: Harrow
Bluebells, wisteria and snowdrops feature in this lovely colour film showing the effect of nature on the London suburb of Harrow after the war.
Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting Q&A for Shakespeare Lives in 2016
Inside Film 2016 31 mins
The stars of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet are reunited on stage for the first time since 1968 as part of the BFI and British Council’s Shakespeare on Film.
Morecambe and Wise - Be Wise Don't Drink and Drive
Public Information Filler 1963 1 mins
Ernie tells Eric to ‘be wise’ and not drive home after their Christmas party
Somercotes Parish Church Sunday School Procession 1953
Home movie 1953 5 mins Location: Somercotes
The Sunday school in their Sunday best taking their message into the community.
Malltraeth: birds observed
Home movie 1955 3 mins Location: Malltraeth
Anglesey-based artist Charles Tunnicliffe swaps brushes for a camera and offers us the chance to look a cormorant in its emerald-green eye.
Chalk Down Farming
News 1965 5 mins Location: Ogbourne St George
Life on a Wiltshire farm.
Pram Derby at Tewkesbury
News 1957 1 mins Location: Tewkesbury
Warning: contains images of men wearing nappies!