London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
This film is part of Free
Women's Thames Swim
Braving a mucky looking Thames, London’s finest women swimmers line up for a long-distance race between Kew and Putney.
Non-Fiction 1921 1 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Several dozen women take part in this race between Kew and Putney, waving at the camera before diving into the Thames – and it’s not the cleanest looking river, it has to be said. The race was won by Miss Phyllis Scott, an 18-year-old, who is cheered by crowds while looking absolutely shattered.
London's Bridges on Film
Documentary 1935 17 mins Location: Thames Head
Swans, boats and bridges are celebrated by lyrical commentary and fine images in this delightful tour of the Thames from “trivial” beginnings to torrential end.
Non-Fiction 1926 1 mins Silent Location: Kingston Upon Thames
A mermaid, a fat man in a barrel and water-bound jockeys all appear in this brilliant short showing Londoners taking part in the Molesey Regatta.
Non-Fiction 1930 1 mins Silent Location: River Thames
A ceremonial swan census takes place on the river Thames.
Documentary 1939 9 mins Silent
A nostalgic pre-war voyage down the mighty Thames, shot by Technicolor maestro Jack Cardiff.
Thames River Scenery - Panorama of the Crowded River Thames River Scenery - Panorama of the Crowded River
Non-Fiction 1899 1 mins Silent Location: Henley-on-Thames
Don your straw boater and join Victorians at play as you potter down the river at Henley-on-Thames
1935 16 mins
A rare glimpse of 1930s London in colour: the Thames has never looked lovelier.
Amateur film 1972 8 mins Silent Location: Hampton Court Park
Join Jim Greenyer on a cabin cruiser trip along the Hampton Court section of the River Thames - past islands, bridges, weirs and locks as well as a capsized canoeist
Documentary 1937 17 mins Location: Oxford
Focusing on each town’s university colleges, main streets, gardens, statues and memorials with a narration of the history of the buildings, notable scholars, and traditions.
Amateur film 1951 8 mins Silent Location: River Thames
Join the happy crew of the Sea Ray as they meander their way along the River Thames in this colourful film from 1951
Documentary 1975 51 mins Location: River Thames
Chubb Horlock, the grand old man of the Thames sailing barge, tells of the tough life of the Essex bargemen in this 1975 documentary.
Amateur film 1950 3 mins Silent Location: Southend-on-Sea
The majestic ‘Royal Eagle’ Paddle Steamer transports eager day-trippers from ‘the smoke’ for some fresh air and fun on Southend Pier
Industry sponsored film 1994 12 mins Location: River Thames
Film about the design and building of offshore forts on the Thames Estuary during the second world war.
Drama 2020 21 mins
A young Palestinian woman crosses the Israeli border illegally to find her long-lost brother, who she hopes will be her ticket to a new life.
Charity appeal 2020 2 mins
Beautiful NHS fundraiser, setting Michael Rosen’s poem to powerful archive images.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location