The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
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The Ton-up Boys at Plymouth Speedway
Plymouth Speedway opens its track to the ton-up boys.
News 1962 7 mins
From the collection of:
Plymouth Speedway promoter Bernard Curtiss offers the ton-up boys the chance to ride motorbikes at the track instead of on the roads where they have attracted complaints. The ton-up boys are speed merchants gaining a thrill from driving at speeds of one hundred miles an hour or a ton. The bikers who also become known as rockers and greasers like a tarmacked straight road and gather for leisure but to some they are a dangerous nuisance.
The ton-up boys express genuine passion and thrill for the danger of doing the ton. They represent a generation of disaffected youth and help create a lifestyle out of motorbike racing only to become perceived by society as loutish outcasts. Bernard Curtiss is an advertising executive who has just taken over as promoter at the Pennycross Speedway Stadium and this invitation to the ton-up boys is at the start of the 1962 season so perhaps he is looking to recruit new Speedway riders. To the ton-up boys, it is not as easy as it looks! Their mothers however have every confidence in them.
Good Strong Coffee
Advert 1968 2 mins Silent
Far-out guys and groovy gals drop doses of good strong coffee in this psychedelic 1968 ad for the hot black stuff.
Music video 1980 24 mins Location: Great Yarmouth
Four rowdy teen punks tussle with the girls they fancy in this energetic pop music film shot on the seafront at Great Yarmouth.
Tribe of the Sun
Documentary 1972 24 mins
The ill-fated dreams of Sid Rawls’ band of ‘ultra hippies’ attempting a self-sufficient communal life on John Lennon’s ‘Beatle Island’.
First Purpose-built Traveller's Site in Britain
News 1975 2 mins Location: Wisbech
Does staying on a permanent site interfere with travellers' traditions? Travellers who live in caravans on a site in Wisbech speak to Anglia TV
Truro Carnival Week
News 1932 4 mins Silent Location: Truro
Trurorians enjoy street carnival celebrations
News 1967 1 mins Silent Location: Haytor Rocks
Hippies gather in Flower Power Love-in on Dartmoor’s Haytor
Current affairs 1961 5 mins Location: Plymouth
Cruising into the history books SS Liberté makes its final voyage stopping at Plymouth en route to Le Havre.
Model Clipper Sailor
Current affairs 1965 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Former shipwright turns his talents to model-making.
Current affairs 1977 7 mins Location: Plymouth
The skateboard phenomenon is taking off on Plymouth Hoe.
Current affairs 1970 3 mins Silent Location: Plymouth
Training centre for film and television engineers shows analogue before digital.
Current affairs 1984 1 mins Location: Plymouth
Reporter tests the theory of caviar heightening libido.
Current affairs 1963 5 mins Location: Plymouth
Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit based in Plymouth covers the South West as a service for unexploded munitions.
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.
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