Seven Streets, Two Markets and a Wedding: Glimpses of Lost London 1930 - 1980

Dir: various various




A feature-length programme of archive films curated by London’s Screen ArchivesSeven Streets, Two Markets and a Wedding is a collection of 10 rare films offering glimpses of lost London from 1930 to 1980.

Largely unseen for generations, these snapshots of London life provide a unique insight into the continuities and changes in the capital across the twentieth century.

Viewers will travel from Brent to Southwark via Hackney and Hampstead Heath in this heritage showcase. Highlights include the original Lambeth Walk, dray horses in ’60s Marylebone and an East End parade.

Seven Streets, Two Markets and a Wedding is the inaugural programme of Made in London, a Film Hub London initiative. Exhibitors based in London will need to be Hub members to book the programme – for more information click here.

Speakers are available for this programme on request.

Booking Information


Independent Cinema Office (ICO)

Release Date

23 May 2014

About the films

Taken From East Lane Bridge (1932)

16mm, b/w, silent | Production company: A&B John Productions | Courtesy of Brent Archives

Rush hour on a bright June day in thirties Wembley: cows graze, people rush along the road towards North Wembley Underground Station, the odd car dodges around them…

These Can Be Yours (1949) (excerpt)

16mm, b/w, sound | Sponsor: Wembley Road Safety Council | Courtesy of Brent Archives

Part of a great tradition of public information films on road safety, These Can Be Yours mixes its warnings of the perils of the road with some rather black humour and lovely footage of post-war Brent, including the old Wembley Stadium. Look out for Speedway champion Tommy Price who appears briefly near the beginning of this extract: having begun his career with the Wembley Lions, Price went on to win the Speedway World Championship in 1949 (the first to be held after the Second World War), the year of this film’s production. His appearance here is an unusual guest turn from a real local hero.

Wedding of Frances Burgess and Charles Holmes at St Andrew’s Church, Kingsbury, 8 July 1944

16mm, b/w, silent | Filmmaker unknown | Brent Archives

Featuring perhaps one of the most charming on-screen kisses of all time, this beautifully captured film of a wedding party is given especial poignancy by its wartime context. Charles Ronald Holmes married Edith Frances Burgess on the 8th July, 1944 at St Andrew’s Church in Kingsbury, Brent; the groom was from Harlesden and the bride from Wembley. Charles was in the training department of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, which made training films, and it seems likely that one of his colleagues is behind the camera – especially as this seems very much a ‘works do’, with nearly all the guests in uniform.

All On A Winter’s Day (1952) (excerpt)

16mm film, colour, silent | Filmmaker: Alderman A E Reneson Coucher OBE | Courtesy of the Keen Family

With thanks to the St Marylebone Society 

A beautiful film tour of the old London borough of Marylebone shot by semi-professional filmmaker Alderman A E Reneson Coucher, Founder President of the St Marylebone Society. Through a light winter snow, we see the borough bomb-damaged but still studded with Georgian splendours and the marks of passing ways of life – dry horses, a chimney cleaning shop – amidst the modern or timeless pleasures of coffee houses, smart shops and the BBC.

Green Islands (1954) (excerpt)

16mm, colour, sound | Director: Cecil Musk | London Metropolitan Archives

This glorious colour film was commissioned by London County Council to celebrate the many ways in which London’s parks could be enjoyed. Although the tone is light-hearted, there’s a very clear message here: Londoners must protect their green spaces. As the cheery-voiced narrator puts it, “Most of us have to live in towns, but deep within us there is a feeling that this is not quite right… a wise town provides the means of escape.” The 12 square miles of open space available in London – 8 square miles less than 1944’s ‘Abercrombie Plan’ for London suggested were essential – are a vital resource for stressed-out city dwellers. It is likely that this would have been shown to cinema audiences as the short film preceding a ‘B’ movie (low-budget film) and a main feature.

Various Views: Hackney Housing (c1950) (excerpt)

16mm, colour, silent | Filmmaker unknown | Courtesy of Hackney Archives

We know nothing about who made this film, or why, but it has perfectly preserved the awe and wonder that these gleaming post-war housing estates must have produced in a local community accustomed to rubble and slums. The newness of everything, the clean blank walls and often empty streets, make it seem almost unreal and there is a lovely poetic quality to this wander around a brave new world. 

Lambeth Walk (1960s)

8mm film, colour, silent | Filmmaker: Frederick Meiklejohn | Lambeth Archives

Amateur filmmaker Frederick Meiklejohn owned the toy shop at 189 Lambeth Walk and was actively involved in the Traders Association that ran the annual festivals there. Five films of his are preserved by Lambeth Archives, chiefly focusing on Lambeth Walk (the street in Kennington, not the song or the dance routine). This film is precious not just for the remembered joy of being a child in a toyshop, but because it preserves a rare view of the last days of this street market and busy community before wholesale redevelopment of the area by the Greater London Council lead to their demise.

Walworth Road (1960)

Original format unknown, colour, silent | Filmmakers: Patricia and Stanley Davis | Courtesy of Southwark Local History Library

A regular day on a regular SE17 street, and one not so very much changed in the fifty-plus years since this was shot. What is striking about this film is how close the camera gets to its subjects – look out for the mother and daughter pair in the middle of a row!

S.E. 18: Impressions of a London Suburb (1964) (excerpt)

16mm film, b/w, sound | Director: Alan G. Bell | Greenwich Heritage Centre

‘I’ll give you two boxes of biscuits and an arctic roll…’ London’s street markets are alive and well in this fiercely proud documentary of the life and times of Woolwich. Taking in the arsenal, football, new affluence and abiding poverty, this tour of SE18 offers a masterclass in the concerns of the area from a filmmaker with a remarkable ability to capture the unique energy of local residents.

Tower Hamlets Carnival (1979) (excerpt)

Super 8mm, colour, sound | Director: R. Taylor | Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives

Starting at Victoria Park, the Tower Hamlets carnival parades many of the East End’s famous splendours, from girl drummers to Truman beer. Grove Road, Roman Road and Bethnal Green Road all feature, and at one point the filmmaker looks back along Mile End Road, allowing some of the taller buildings of the City of London to be seen in the background.

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