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As I Was Walking Down Bristol Street

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Summary information

About this archive
Date 1983
Duration 00:26:59
Film type Colour / Sound
Production Professional
Genre Documentary
Company Central Television

Central Television production number 1250/82.

Title details

Summary The Birmingham group of writers of the 1930s presented by David Lodge.
Description We see b/w stills of Birmingham Snow Hill railway station and then David Lodge standing on the platform of the now derelict station (Snow Hill to Paddington was the main route to London prior to the electrification of the New Street to Euston route in 1966). We also see b/w archive of the interior of Snow Hill station (ATV news). Throughout the programme there are several stills showing Birmingham circa 1930s and Birmingham University. Lodge is a writer and lecturer at Birmingham University presents the film which examines the Birmingham literary scene of the 1930s. A group of writers, many with connections to the university, worked away from the literary world of London. The so called Birmingham Group are discussed and illustrated with b/w stills: Walter Allen (1911 - 1995); John Hampson (1901 - 1955); Leslie Halward (1905 - 1976), Walter Brierley (1900 - 1967); and Peter Chamberlain (? - ?). Also referred to is the poet W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973); the poet and lecturer Louis MacNeice (1907 - 1963) as well as the lecturers E. R. Dodd and Philip Sergeant Florence. We see the exterior of Birmingham Central Library which is the former site of the Faculty of Arts of Birmingham University. Lodge interviews Walter Allen who reminisces about the Birmingham literary scene of the 1930s and R. D. Smith (Reggie Smith - a former BBC radio producer who died in 1985) who was a contemporary of the Birmingham Group. We see Angelsey Street and Wills Street in the Lozells area of Birmingham where both Allen and Smith were born. A reader (Michael Cadman) recites poetry written by MacNeice; a section of a Halward novel; and a poem written by Auden beginning with the lines "As I walked out one evening walking down Bristol Street" which supplies this film with a title. We also see the exterior and interior of Highfields, a house at Selly Park owned by Philip Sergeant Florence where MacNeice lodged.
Credits The Producer wishes to thank:<br /> Andy Croft<br /> Barbara Florence<br /> Mrs. Margaret Glassey<br /> Derek Harrison<br /> Mrs. Mavis Walker<br /> British Rail Property Board<br /> George Allen & Unwin<br /> Oxford University Press<br /> The University of Birmingham<br /> Weidenfield & Nicholson<br /> The John Whybrow Collection<br />Reader - Michael Cadman<br />Camera - Tim Johnson, Noel Smart, Peter Salkeld, Kevin Latimer<br />Sound - Tim Hodge, Mel Marr, Murray Clarke, John Marshall<br />Production Assistants - Kay Bolt, Christine Turner, Patsy Wood<br />Film Editor - Mycal Miller<br />Director - Richie Stewart<br />Producer - J. B. J. Berrow (Jim Berrow)
Tags Authors, History

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