The Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
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V.E. Day Civic Service, Bradford
A sense of ending is evident among the service personnel and citizens of Bradford as V E Day finally arrives, although it is enough to inspire some jubilant dancing in the streets.
Non-Fiction 1945 12 mins Silent
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Service Personnel marching through the streets of towns had become commonplace during the war, and there is a touch of weariness amongst those seen here in Bradford marking the end of the war in Europe. But at last there is a chance to let one’s hair down, and the relieved folk of Bradford, especially the young women, give a wonderful show of some fancy dancing on the crowded city streets. Just after the celebrations there is also a fascinating cycle race through Bradford.
This film is one of many made from the late 1930s through to the late 1950s by local Bradford councillor Robert Sharp, who had a floor covering business. The inevitable surrender of Germany had been looming for a while when finally V E Day arrived, and the war was still being fought in the Far East, and so this may explain the fairly restrained celebrations. The V E Day celebrations across the country reveal a variety of dance styles, some reflecting the swing era, as can be seen here. Perhaps surprisingly there was a revolution in cycle road racing during the war, in 1942, when Percy Stallard from Wolverhampton organised an open roads race, leading to the formation of the British League of Racing Cyclists.
The Home Front
Instructional film/TV programme 1941 4 mins Silent Location: West Sussex
There's a wrong way and a right way to deal with Nazi spies and fifth-columnists - as you'll see in this this hilarious colour film starring the Home Guard and various Nazi rotters.
Documentary 1943 33 mins Location: Guildford
The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds (1940s-style) at a nursery in Guildford.
Amateur film 1945 14 mins Silent Location: Cardiff/Caerdydd
It’s all over, for Britain at least – the dreaded telegrams, the bombings, the blackouts - and Cardiffians celebrate the end of the war with tea and cake, fancy dress and bonfires.
Amateur film 1945 9 mins Silent Location: Newport/Casnewydd
Beautifully presented production from The Newport and District Amateur Film Society which gives a real flavour of city celebrations on Victory in Europe Day (8th May 1945).
Documentary 1943 10 mins Location: London
Whilst some cultural treasures were stowed away in wartime, there was still an array of objects, artworks and experiences on offer to the public.
Amateur film 1945 5 mins Silent Location: West Wickham
The War might be over but there's work to be done in the Lauste family's garden. So their son, Leslie, now back from active duty, helps his mum with the apples and the hollyhocks.
Advert 2 mins Silent Location: Bradford
Meeting the everyday basic needs of the locals: keeping the family clean, warm and well fed.
Advert 4 mins Silent Location: Bradford
No wearisome overblown advertising for cinema-goers back in 1931, just straightforward advice: don’t risk accidents and “Don’t buy a dud!”
Advert 1 mins Silent Location: Bradford
Without trying to be too clever, these advertisements demonstrate the virtue of the uncomplicated: short, sweet and memorable.
Promotional 1970 16 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Tuning into the biggest consumer market for television advertising in Britain with Trident TV.
Advert 1925 3 mins Silent Location: Bradford
Juno-Junipah, for girls, who “want to be bright, vivacious, attractive and slim”, and Carters Little Liver Pills to rejuvenate the elderly.
Factual TV 1986 28 mins Location: Bradford
Numerous victims of the horrendous 1985 fire at Valley Parade manage to find positive outcomes to their suffering in this poignant film.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.
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