View Full Version : Great Britain in the 1940s

7th May 2012, 11:08
The British Council has digitised and put online it's library of films from the 1940s. A pictorial history of a country and a culture which no longer exists.

It's an old but true saying that the past is a distant country - they do things differently there....

London River (http://film.britishcouncil.org/london-river1)

British Council Film Collection (http://film.britishcouncil.org/british-council-film-collection?p=1&)

7th May 2012, 11:42
I suspect that the London River film was shot before Adolf got a bit stroppy.

There's a wonderful moment at 3.34 where one of the blokes in the barge/lighter is about to get an almighty clonk on the head from set of planks that the other bloke is swinging around. The film is cut before the "Cor blimey, me ol' sparrer. Carncha wotch what yer doin" - or words to that effect are uttered.


British Council Film: We of the West Riding (http://film.britishcouncil.org/we-of-the-west-riding)

Small stone house? You were lucky....etc

green granite
7th May 2012, 12:59
Loved the London film, will explore the rest later, thanks for the links. :ok:

Lon More
7th May 2012, 13:21
Thanks for the link.
There's a programme on tv this evening about these films and others.

tony draper
7th May 2012, 13:51
Good stuff Mr ORAC Thanks.:ok:

7th May 2012, 14:39
Thanks. Very interesting. I really like Technicolour.

7th May 2012, 14:55
Thank goodness I was born in Lancashire.
WE had the cotton mills. Much more refined.

7th May 2012, 15:20
Nah. In Nottinghamshire we had the oilfield at Eakring.

THAT was refined.

Loose rivets
9th May 2012, 07:21
This was interesting - until it came to making a thermometer. Then it was astonishing. Talk about Blackpool rock.

British Council Film: Looking Through Glass (http://film.britishcouncil.org/looking-through-glass)

9th May 2012, 09:15
Thanks ORAC, twas especially poignant for me, as my grandfather was a lighterman on the Thames at the time. :D

9th May 2012, 10:31
Hmm, a digression. Are French Lightermen Onion Bargees?

I'll get my coat....

9th May 2012, 11:50
No, but they work to a strict timetable. You can tell 'cos they keep saying "A l'eau! C'est l'heure."

I think I'll join you.

Loose rivets
9th May 2012, 12:30
"Oh, I wish I was a man of the world like you." Said in a Milligan voice.

tony draper
9th May 2012, 13:12
This is a gudun,I can relate to this,did a trip just like it in the sixties,general cargo all over the Medi,couple of days ashore each one,final port Port Said then home, nice three months trip,not bloody likely, off yer go through the Canal and points beyond,didn't see home again for over two years,we was shanghied alright.
British Council Film: Cargoes (http://film.britishcouncil.org/cargoes)

9th May 2012, 23:45
"A l'eau! C'est l'heure."

Courtesy Kenneth Williams in Round The Horn - tho' he might not have been the first, just first time I heard it, he reckoned it was the motto of the French Navy.


10th May 2012, 09:10
Lovely, ORAC, thanks.

What strikes me is how similar the pronunciation in the first clip is to the South African english of today! Witness 'Efrica' at 06:51, 'Yuhs' at 07:24, and 'Benks' at 07:41, to mention just a few. Goes a long way toward explaining how regional dialects develop from essentially the same foundation.

10th May 2012, 15:32
I may have had a biased view at the time, only being about 4' 3'',
but was the winter of 1947 the worst in living memory?

10th May 2012, 17:40
Possibly. But living memory is getting shorter nowadays. In a few years time it won't be but 1962/63 might be.

10th May 2012, 17:50
Winter of 1947 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1946%E2%80%931947_in_the_United_Kingdom).

I remember my older (10 years old) brother being dropped out of a window so that he could dig out our back door as when we opened it is was completely blocked by snow right to the top!

Later, my father took me out in the car where we saw snowdrifts that were as high as the telephone wires!

Winter of 1962-3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1962%E2%80%931963_in_the_United_Kingdom).

I remember in 1963 the gas pressure being so low that there was no gas fire in my apartment. No other form of heating either. I slept in my clothes and my sheepskin coat . . .

10th May 2012, 17:56
A ha! Mind you I didn't enter this world until the end of April!

The winter as a whole was less cold than the winter of 1963 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1963) but more snow was recorded

The winter of 19621963 (also known as The Big Freeze of 1963) was one of the coldest winters on record in the United Kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom).[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_1962%E2%80%931963_in_the_United_Kingdom#cite_note-bbc-0) Temperatures plummeted and lakes and rivers began to freeze over. In the Central England Temperature (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_England_temperature) (CET) record, extending back to 1659, only the winter (defined as the months of December, January and February) of 168384 has been significantly colder, with 173940 being slightly colder than 196263.

All I know is that trying to do a morning paper round, an afternoon local paper round and an evening paper round on one of those days left me not far short of severe hypothermia and frostbite.

10th May 2012, 18:57

It's an old but true saying that the past is a distant country - they do things differently there....

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there"

First line of the prologue to "The Go-Between" by L.P Hartley, published in 1953 and made into a film in the early 70's starring Alan Bates and Julie Christie.