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Trip to Greenwich - Whitsun

Prominent London landmarks and the docks feature in this charming amateur record of a day out on Whitsun to Greenwich.

Amateur film 1966 2 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


Shot in 1966, this delightful short film documents a sunny day out to Greenwich and surrounds, including scenes of Cutty Sark and the Old Royal Naval College. From aboard a launch on the Thames, the filmmaker captures glimpses of Greenwich Pier before passing the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. There are also fleeting views of cargo ships and the docks at a time of major change for the local shipping industry.

This 8mm cine film shot by an amateur filmmaker on a day out shows how the modest home movie can become a historic record of social change. Here both the docklands and the Whitsun celebrations are captured. The 1960s marked a period of transformation for the London docks as the shipping industry adopted the new container system of cargo transportation. The docks were unable to accommodate the larger container ships and by 1980 all of the docks were closed. Whitsun was followed by a Bank Holiday Monday until it was replaced in 1978 with the Spring Bank Holiday in late May. This film is from the collection of Redbridge Museum, Local Studies and Archives, a member of the London's Screen Archives Network.