This film is part of Free

Year Round

A growing community, factory life, and nesting House Martins represent the Garden City ethos, the perfect marriage of city and nature, captured by amateur filmmaker John Chear.

Amateur film 1939 24 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


Welwyn Garden City in its earliest days, through the seasons, as seen through the eyes of Hertfordshire filmmaker John Chear. Witness a developing settlement, with new houses being built for its new community and new factories for its working inhabitants. The garden city ethos of providing a foundation for an effective urban life through the integration of city and nature is evident. A keen naturalist, Chear shows the seasonal abundance of flora and birdlife.

Many cine film enthusiasts captured Welwyn Garden City, in its earlier days as a new settlement, including keen amateur cinematographer John Chear. Chear was a member of the Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council, becoming Chairman in 1950. Between 1955 and 1958 he was Welwyn's local representative for Hertfordshire County Council. His passions were photography, filmmaking, and wildlife.