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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
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.
Ramsgate to Richmond
Amateur film 1967 12 mins Silent Location: Ramsgate
Join the jolly crew aboard this cabin cruiser as it journeys from Ramsgate to Richmond in John Clague's fascinating maritime epic
Cherrie and Jonty’s Eighteenth Birthday Cake
Home movie 1987 4 mins Silent Location: Hughenden Valley
With the candles all blown, it's down to the river and homespun rafts at the ready for the celebrating Steel twins
Grounded on the Platters: HMS Conway
Home movie 1953 7 mins Silent Location: Anglesey/Ynysmôn
A sorry end to any ship: timings, tide and wind played their part in pushing HMS Conway onto the Platters rocks in the Menai Strait on 14/4/1953.
Exeter Real Ale Festival
News 1975 3 mins Location: Exeter
The wet and warm ale goes down a treat as aficionados gather to celebrate real ale.
Home movie 1955 8 mins Silent Location: Llanddwyn Island/Ynys Llanddwyn
Sea pinks and samphire, lighthouses and church ruins – Llanddwyn’s charms are many and varied.
News 1979 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Experimentation with a coat for two leaves couples with really no escape.
Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music
News 1970 2 mins Location: Shepton Mallet
Progressive gathering of festival goers hits the blues.
Dawson: Lower Penn Show
Home movie 1954 4 mins Silent Location: Lower Penn
Another blustery summer day in the 1950s and it's Lower Penn's carnival parade.