This film is part of Free

Watford Street Scenes

A wintry Watford High Street buzzes with busy shoppers.

Non-Fiction 1925 1 mins


The years fall away in these lovely images of a wintry Watford High Street, given a nostalgic glow by the application of sepia toning. Shot from three different camera positions by an unknown cameraman, the film captures the buzz of busy shoppers and traders on market day. The film was originally dated to the 1930s, but is almost certainly several years earlier: a poster on a wall advertises Isobel Elsom in The Awakening, a French film released in the UK in February 1926.

Typically for the time, the shops are mostly long-gone family businesses, most visibly hardware store J Salmon & Son - but next door to that is a branch of Freeman Hardy and Willis, the shoe shop chain that finally closed its doors in 1996. Thanks to redevelopment (and the Luftwaffe?), few of the buildings seen here still stand today, but the striking home of the National Provincial and Union Bank is now the Que Pasa bar and club.