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Plymouth - The Pre War Years

Plymouth - The Pre War YearsPlymouth - The Pre War Years

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Price: £9.99 Product code: SWFTA-2

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Produced by the South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) and narrated by Angela Rippon, this DVD offers a remarkable glimpse of life in the city of Plymouth before World War Two.

Long before Westward Television and BBC Spotlight, Plymouth’s major events were being captured for posterity - by a group of cine enthusiasts.  They filmed everything from a simple stroll along Plymouth Hoe to the official opening of Plymouth Airport by the Prince of Wales in 1931. 

With no television news model to follow, these amateur cameramen were ahead of their time, filming major news events, festivals and even celebrity arrivals, as well as Plymothians going about their daily business. 

The majority of the DVD was shot by Claude Endicott, a Plymouth wholesale butcher, who had a great nose for a story.  The Endicott collection is much prized by SWFTA as a valuable record of the 1920s and 1930s.

Plymouth - The Pre War Years depicts a city having fun and celebrating its heritage as well as looking to the future.  The film includes shots of Plymouth’s Promenade Pier, flying boats landing in the Sound, the Silver Jubilee Parade of 1935 and the fire that destroyed the Wesley Chapel in 1937. 

It demonstrates the growth of transport from trams and trains to the excitement that greeted the arrival of the R100 airship and the autogyro, a forerunner of today’s helicopter.  Leisure activities feature heavily, including Honicknowle Carnival Queen and her attendants enjoying a pleasure flight, speedway at Pennycross, swimming at Tinside and even a women’s football match. 

NB: This title is not produced by the Media Archive for Central England.

Produced by South West Film and Television Archive, a registered charity dedicated to preserving and providing access to the moving image heritage of the South West of England. For more information contact Jennie Constable – 01752 202650 – 

Written & Produced by Jane Blanchard

Duration: 46 mins

Ratio: 4:3


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