This film is part of Free
The Smoke Menace
The deadly downside of Britain's industrial might: smog.
Industry sponsored film 1937 11 mins
Smog was the deadly downside of Britain's industrial might, as this powerful and revealing documentary spells out. In 1937, coal was Britain's lifeblood; it fuelled her industry and heated most homes. But coal was wasteful and dirty, and it had an unpleasant, even lethal by-product. Smog wasn't just nasty and disruptive, it took its toll on buildings, the economy, child development and adult health - and it was a killer, claiming scores of lives every year.
By 1937, the battle against smog was already being waged: the film points to processing technology to convert raw coal into oil or smokeless fuel, the increasing use of cleaner energy from gas and electricity, and improved housing. But another 15 years of periodic outbreaks of smog still lay ahead, before London's Great Smog of 1952 finally spurred Parliament into action in the form of the Clean Air Act of 1956.
Travelogue 1937 12 mins Location: Finchingfield
Rural life in the Essex villages of Finchingfield and Great Bardfield - and the mixed reactions of older residents to changing times.
Documentary 1978 49 mins Location: Orkney Islands
Orkney evoked through poetry, the sounds of nature, and the music of Peter Maxwell Davies.
Non-Fiction 1904 3 mins Silent Location: Walton-on-Thames
Midsummer haymaking larks
Industry sponsored film 1951 10 mins Location: Stroud
The Stroud valleys of Gloucestershire in glorious Technicolor - and with a Laurie Lee script.
Documentary 1984 23 mins Location: Newark-on-Trent
From shire horses to the Royal Marines, welcome to the annual Newark Show. A serious business for the farming community, with prizes to win and 800 gallons of beer to be drunk.
Documentary 1944 7 mins Location: Stanion
An extraordinary and unexpected snapshot of rural life in wartime in which a young black girl is crowned Queen of the May.
Amateur film 1937 6 mins Silent Location: Westminster
The streets of Westminster and Camberwell are festooned with bunting and banners in preparation for the Coronation of George VI in this remarkable colour film from A E Ford.
Amateur film 1951 6 mins Location: Westminster
A film-noir unpacking the various self-reflexive thoughts one might fall victim to after committing the ultimate sin, with a twist ending.
Amateur film 1947 3 mins Silent Location: Westminster
Inhabit the unique perspective of an amateur filmmaker in the crowd at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, 1947.
Documentary 1945 2 mins Silent Location: Westminster
This nostalgic and charming window into VJ Day celebrations has its eye on all, from the soldiers and civilians to the local wildlife.
Leeds Jewish ex-Servicemen's and Women's Association at Remembrance Service 1948 Leeds Jewish ex-Servicemen's and Women's Association at Remembrance Service 1948
Amateur film 1948 8 mins Silent Location: Westminster
Members of the Leeds Branch of Jewish Ex-servicemen and women Association travel to London for the annual Remembrance Service.
Amateur film 1976 6 mins Silent Location: Westminster
Southport branch of the Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men & Women join up with other groups in London for the annual Rememberance Parade.
Inside Film 2021 47 mins
Writer and activist So Mayer joins filmmaker and critic Alexandra Hidalgo to discuss the work of acclaimed French director and artist Agnès Varda.
Detective drama 1944 19 mins
You too can solve the case of the stolen boy, courtesy of this film from 1944.
Public Information Filler 1946 3 mins Location: Woodford
Sorry kids – your parents might never let you out of the house again after watching this bleak 1940s road safety film
Interest film 1913 3 mins Silent
This ethnographic film offers a brief overview of the traditional culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in Japan.
Documentary 1905 4 mins
The performance of a masked dancer is followed by a scene from a kendo match, contrasting grace and ferocity.
Travelogue 1907 9 mins Silent
A grand tour of Japan’s major cities, offering scenic views of the streets and daily life.