This film is part of Free
Thames River Scenery - Panorama of the Crowded River
Don your straw boater and join Victorians at play as you potter down the river at Henley-on-Thames
Filmed from the front of a steam launch in a late Victorian summer, this film offers a glimpse of our 19th century ancestors enjoying their leisure time. The River Thames is crowded with pleasure boats as we glide under Henley Bridge. Ladies in white lace dresses recline under parasols as gentlemen with impressive moustaches take the oars. But even in this antiquated idyllic scene, advertising hoardings on the riverbank try to persuade the moneyed classes to part with their cash.
The technique of placing the camera on a moving vehicle, here a boat, was one of the most popular film effects in the very early cinema period. The waterside panorama method employed here was particularly popular for travelogues. Cecil Hepworth, who made this film, was convinced at the time that the cinema would prove to be used mostly for news reporting, but said that work such as this "showed some slight perception of scenic value". That makes this almost an early art film.
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.
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
1935 16 mins
A rare glimpse of 1930s London in colour: the Thames has never looked lovelier.
Sport 1901 1 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
It's the first weekend of July 1901, and high society are on the Thames
Arrival of Train-load of Visitors at Henley Station Arrival of Train-load of Visitors at Henley Station
Non-Fiction 1899 1 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
Jolly boating weather as the hordes descend on Henley for the Regatta.
Documentary 1934 12 mins Silent Location: London
Hunger marchers demonstrate and the London season opens: the contrast between rich and poor in 1930s Britain
1974 3 mins Location: Henley-on-Thames
Visit the 1974 Royal Regatta in this film from the Central Office of Information
Travelogue 1929 11 mins Silent Location: Lewes
From Lewes to York, Pathe Pictorial takes a whistlestop tour of the picturesque sights of England
Amateur film 1933 9 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
An interwar outing on the River Thames with a reminder of the Great Western Railway's influence in Birmingham.
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
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.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.