The East Anglian Film Archive, the first and largest Regional Film Archive in England, was established in 1976. Since 1984, EAFA has been owned and operated by the University of East Anglia, Norwich (UEA), to support research and work to preserve our moving image heritage. More than 250 hours are freely available online as examples of the wide range of film which attracts interest the world over.
This film is part of Free
The Best Place Under the Sun
The eloquent voice-over, lively music and fifties fashions set the scene in this promotional film for the holiday resort of Southend-on-Sea.
From the collection of:
In this locally produced film we see holidaymakers enjoying the ‘longest pier in the world’ with its electric railway, pier orchestra and cafes. From Cliff Gardens we move to the crowded beaches with rows of beach huts and sailing boats. At the Westcliff open air pool there is a 'water ballet', and the 'Miss Lovely' beauty competition. Southend Carnival scenes are followed by bowls, putting, tennis, cricket and finally a night sequence of the town's illuminations.
Richard Pike was not a commercial filmmaker but he did produce semi-professional films for various organisations and made family and personal films, many of which are preserved at the East Anglian Film Archive. Frank Phillips, credited as the narrator, worked at the BBC as a newsreader between 1935 and 1963 and would have been well known to the Germans as he was the first BBC presenter to announce his name before reading the news during wartime. The Kursaal (a German word that translates literally as ‘Cure Hall’) opened in 1901 and was the largest fairground in the south of England. Many of the traditional rides have now gone, but the building remains a major centre for entertainment and leisure in the town.