This film is part of Free

Storm Over Britain

After WWII, was Britain a place of peace and prosperity, or disillusionment and destitution?

Documentary 1947 18 mins


Blitzed buildings along London's Oxford Street are among the grim sights in this report. Long after peace was declared, in 1947 Britain was facing up to national debt, food rationing, labour and fuel shortages – and, to cap it all off, a bleak midwinter. But there are occasional touches of (dark) humour here, including a scene of impoverished civilians looking around a model homes exhibition.

While March of Time newsreels had initially presented a few different stories, often with a final item about Britain to keep audiences there interested, in its later years it generally opted for single, in-depth reports that highlighted an important issue. And the uneasy economic situation in Britain clearly qualified. The new Labour government had to resolve what one speaker calls "the years of mismanagement which put us in this hole". But there is at least a final message of hope.