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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Rockabilly racers rev up to do the illegal ton on the road.
News 1962 8 mins
From the collection of:
Rockabilly bikers are gathered by a transport café on the A38 Exeter to Plymouth road. They are the ton-up boys taking off into the night. British biker subculture originates in the 1950s and is influenced by American pop culture and the rock and roll music of Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry. 1960s rockers portray a rebellious image emulating the cool moody actor James Dean with white t-shirt and socks, jeans and crepe shoes, leather jacket, quiff and motorbike.
The ton-up boys create a lifestyle out of motorbike racing. The aim is to reach the speed of one hundred miles an hour in other words do the ton. The transport café is the starting and finishing post for races and games such as buzzing or chicken are played. Chicken is putting a record on the jukebox and running to your bike and doing the ton and returning before the song finishes. Chicken is also doing a u-turn lean where the outer edges of the tyre touches the road used to measure a rider’s skill. Look at Life - Behind the Ton-up Boys (1964) is a film produced by the 59 Club led by Reverend John Oates. Father William Shergold held a church service for motorcyclists in 1962 and biker culture hit the mainstream.
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.
News 1971 5 mins Location: Glastonbury
Glastonbury ley lines for iconic pyramid stage to heighten a festival-goer’s experience
Promotional 2016 1 mins
Anarchy in the UK… This rare footage presents a short blast of the punk energy that took over the streets of Britain in the late 1970s.
News 1968 2 mins Location: Truro
The Women’s Liberation movement’s burn your bra campaign hits Truro.
Drama 1979 24 mins Location: London
Nerdy teenage mummy's boy David dreams of wowing the girls with his disco dance moves - but alas he was born with two left feet.
Amateur film 1929 8 mins Silent Location: Ham Spray Ho
The wilder fringes of the Bloomsbury Group are exposed in this dark amateur film starring Dora Carrington.
Advert 1960 1 mins Location: Plymouth
A charming regional commercial for Plymouth’s best loved department store.
Advert 1960 0 mins Location: Plymouth
Help keep your relationship on track by outsourcing your laundry!
Current affairs 1977 7 mins Location: Plymouth
The skateboard phenomenon is taking off on Plymouth Hoe.
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.
Current affairs 1965 2 mins Location: Plymouth
Former shipwright turns his talents to model-making.
Current affairs 1970 3 mins Silent Location: Plymouth
Training centre for film and television engineers shows analogue before digital.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1936 8 mins
Spoiler alert! The fox is always going to outsmart the hounds in this delightful, balletic cartoon that heads from the countryside into 1930s suburbia.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1936 9 mins
Carmen get your cartoon opera fix in this (very!) loose version of Bizet’s classic tale of romance and treachery.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1909 4 mins
Toy Story meets Fatal Attraction in this tale of an Edwardian childhood romance scuppered by poor finances and a stalking dolly
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1940 8 mins
Who does he think he’s kidding? This parodic day-in-the-life portrait of Mr Hitler is one of the very few British examples of comic cartoon propaganda from WW2.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1919 10 mins Silent
Remember when Charlie Chaplin went into space? Reality is no obstacle in this endlessly inventive silent cinema cartoon of the 'Little Tramp'
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1925 6 mins
1920s canine icon Bonzo the Dog tests the Entente Cordiale to the limit in this silent British cartoon
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