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Swan Upping on the Thames
The tricky task of tracking London's swans.
Non-Fiction 1918 1 mins Silent
The third week in July calls for London's annual swan census - an appealing spectacle for the newsreel cameras. The six flag-adorned skiffs carry members of two City livery companies, the Vitners and the Dyers, who share ownership of Britain's swan population with the Crown. Every year they 'mark' newly-born cygnets in a ceremony dating back to the 12th century.
A regular calendar custom, the swan upping ceremony was filmed often by early newsreels, which were always on the lookout for pre-planned or predictable events - the quirkier the better. This Gaumont Graphic edition is a bit more matter-of-fact than Topical Budget's 'Swan Upping Starts' (1930), which appeals to a nostalgic sense of 'ancient custom' and British tradition.
1918 on Film
Topical Budget 378-1
Non-Fiction 1918 5 mins Silent Location: Royal Albert Hall
Topical Budget salutes Britain's top brass in this gleefully patriotic newsreel edition, released just weeks after the First World War was won.
Building and Launch of the "Crepath" at Barnstaple
Non-Fiction 1918 5 mins Silent Location: Barnstaple
Barnstaple's experimental concrete-hulled ship gets a visit from a jolly Italian admiral.
Sport 1918 0 mins Silent Location: Southend-on-Sea
Women munitions workers from the Kynoch and Vickers Maxim factories take to the pitch in Southend during WWI.
Floods at Rhyl, October 1918
Non-Fiction 1918 2 mins Silent Location: Rhyl
Having survived the menace of the First World War, Rhyl is assaulted by the watery forces of nature
The Premier at Neath
Non-Fiction 1918 4 mins Silent Location: Neath/Castell-Nedd
The sun shines down when PM Lloyd George is in town.
Non-Fiction 1918 1 mins Silent Location: Hillingdon
A war shrine is unveiled in Hillingdon by one of Britain’s leading wartime politicians
A Boat trip along the River Thames
Amateur film 1972 8 mins Silent Location: Hampton Court Park
Join Jim Greenyer on a cabin cruiser trip along the Hampton Court section of the River Thames - past islands, bridges, weirs and locks as well as a capsized canoeist
Town and Gown
Documentary 1937 17 mins Location: Oxford
Focusing on each town’s university colleges, main streets, gardens, statues and memorials with a narration of the history of the buildings, notable scholars, and traditions.
Amateur film 1951 8 mins Silent Location: River Thames
Join the happy crew of the Sea Ray as they meander their way along the River Thames in this colourful film from 1951
Documentary 1975 51 mins Location: River Thames
Chubb Horlock, the grand old man of the Thames sailing barge, tells of the tough life of the Essex bargemen in this 1975 documentary.
Tower Pier to Southend Pier and Back
Amateur film 1950 3 mins Silent Location: Southend-on-Sea
The majestic ‘Royal Eagle’ Paddle Steamer transports eager day-trippers from ‘the smoke’ for some fresh air and fun on Southend Pier
Industry sponsored film 1994 12 mins Location: River Thames
Film about the design and building of offshore forts on the Thames Estuary during the second world war.
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.