This film is part of Free

Town of Ampthill

Pluck and placards. A late-sixties demo, this time in Ampthill, with demands for a road bypass. Amateur filmmaker Peter Sykes produces on behalf of the local Rotary Club.

Amateur film 1969 11 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


Filmmaker Peter Sykes captures Ampthill in 1969 when the town's residents protest in the town centre, demanding a road bypass for the town. The high volume of traffic passing through the centre highlights the necessity; although their call for action wouldn’t be answered until 1983 (14 years after this film!) Shop facades, however, are changing at an alarming pace. The market square is featured and so too, its Georgian clock tower; and Church Street.

Shots of the town show the market square, where Ampthill market has been held on Thursdays since its royal charter was announced in 1242 until 1987. Ampthill is a very historic settlement of Anglo-Saxon origin and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, lived at Ampthill Castle from 1531 until their divorce in 1533.