Films in this programme
Machynlleth (In the Heart of Cambria) | Dir:
unknown | UK | 1929 | 2 mins
This glorious Pathécolor film of the ancient capital of Wales pops with the beauty of rural life. The vibrancy of the hand stencilled images of this charming town’s streams, woodlands and livestock make this a genuine bucolic treat.
O’er Hill and Dale | Dir: Basil Charles Wright | UK |
1932 | 18 mins
The first sound documentary
produced in the UK, this is an affectionate and at points humorous account of
a Scottish shepherd's daily life in the Cheviot Hills.
Great Hucklow Jubilee | Dir: L. du Garde Peach | UK | 1935 | 9 mins
These gorgeous scenes of Great
Hucklow capture the Derbyshire village's preparations for the celebration of
King George V's Silver Jubilee, presenting a charming portrait of life and
laughter in the Pennine village.
The ‘Dry Village’ | Dir: Unknown | UK | 1964 | 5 mins
A cautionary tale of the ‘dry
village’ of Bessbrook, Co. Armagh, whose founder believed that the absence of a pub would
remove the need for both the police and pawn brokers. But are the beautiful
surroundings compensation enough for the lack of drink?
The Village Pet | Dir: Unknown | UK | 1931
| 1 min
After Billy the seal was caught
in the Wash and rehoused in the village pond, this heart-warming newsreel
item shows him tentatively accepting a fish supper from his adoptive family -
the good folks of Warham in Norfolk.
West of England | Dir: Humphrey Swingler | UK | 1951 |
Glorious Technicolor casts a
dreamlike spell over Gloucestershire's Stroud valleys in this gorgeous short
film. Author Laurie Lee contributes to the script for a narration which
accompanies painterly images of evergreen scenery, people and industry.
Cold War Villages | Dir: Unknown| UK | 1981 | 3 min
In 1981, with no end to the Cold
War in sight, plans are afoot in the Midlands to prepare for nuclear attack.
These include a bunker for 400 people in a Rutland village with a population
of 300, while in Derbyshire a local landlord takes responsibility for the
somewhat simplistic advance warning system.
Any Man’s Kingdom | Dir: Tony Thompson | UK | 1956 |
5 mins (extract)
A standout from the British
Transport Films collection of travelogues – this one highlighting the
attractions of Northumberland, the northernmost part of England. In this
extract people travel from far and wide to enjoy the delights of Bellingham
Fair, which includes traditional Cumberland wrestling.
The Blacksmith | Dir: Peter Baylis | UK | 1941 | 5 mins
‘Things aren't what they used to
be': Mr Bosley, village blacksmith at Corfe, near Taunton, is the subject of
this nostalgic study of ancient craftsmanship. As his commentary talks us
through the process of shoeing a horse, the patiently composed images gracefully
evoke an ageless sunlit Somerset day.
Eardisland Village | Dir: Unknown | UK | 1978 | 5 mins
The residents of Eardisland, a
picture postcard Herefordshire village, are unhappy about their impending
conservation status which would curtail new development. How can a village
continue to thrive with an ever ageing population and no new blood?
Day in the Hayfields | Dir: Cecil M. Hepworth | UK |
1904 | 3 mins
Enchantingly beautiful, Cecil Hepworth's modest interest film captures the essence of an English midsummer
and the harvest in a time before tractors with men cutting hay using a
horse-powered reaper. Less productive but very charming are the local
babies and toddlers playing in the cut grass.
Skating on Lough Neagh | Dir: Unknown | UK | 1963 | 2
As the Big Freeze plays havoc
with the working life of Northern Ireland, there is plenty of time for play.
The frozen lough is a call to the adventurous and the ridiculous as dogs,
dancers and even drivers take to the ice.
Total running time: 75 minutes.
Films courtesy of BFI National Film & Television Archive, Media Archive for Central England at the University of Lincoln and Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive and UTV.