London | 1980 | Sound | Colour + B/W
London Transport related by worker. Mixture of archive and new (1980's) film. A look at architecture. 1930's archival tube material. People in underground in blitz. Festival of London 1951. End of trams. Aldenham repair shop for RT buses. Green line buses, electrical bus monitoring. Building the Underground on the Victoria Line in 1969. Jubilee Line 1979.
Title rolls by on electronic indicator board. Retired London Transport worker Walter Harriss joins queue at ticket office. He is the seen descending stairs of Earl's Court underground station. He sits on bench in front of station sign and reads his paper and smokes his pipe. He observes the platform opposite packed with morning commuters. Long shot of crowded platform. Shot from inside ticket office over the shoulder of a clerk serving. Long high shot of routemaster buses moving along Oxford Street. Cut to commuters ascending escalator at an underground station. Another shot from the bottom of the escalator. Harriss is then shown boarding a one man bus and passing the driver. Back to busy platform shot of Earls Court. Next neon signs hover on black background, L.C.C. Trams, General, Tramways, and Metropolitan Railway. These all merge into London Transport logo. Cut out of chairman, Lord Ashfield, and painting of his deputy, Frank Pick, shown. External London Transport sign, then 1950's shot of entrance to Marble Arch tube station. Shot of exterior sign for Piccadilly Circus tube station, followed by outside of Green Park station. Then Hyde Park Corner, Wanstead, Arnos Grove, St. John's Wood, Southgate, and finally a bus stop sign advertising 701, 702, 704, 705, 714, 715, 716A, and 717 coaches. Door of tube train shuts as another train hurtles by on adjacent track. Shot of woman sitting alone on tube train from 1950's. Cut to man reading paper on tube train. Shot from trackside of two tube trains passing each other in opposite directions. Passengers standing inside tube carriage holding handles. Probably a District Line train from the late 50's, early sixties. Women shown making their way through crowded carriage. Shot from platform of tube train arriving at District Line station. Shot of statue of male archer outside East Finchley station. Then Sudbury Hill tube station followed by the waiting room on Dollis Hill platform.
Outside of Southgate station before cutting to blazing building from blitz in Second World War. Fireman shown scaling ladder to top of a building as flames continue. Move to people taking shelter on a platform of a tube station. Camera pans along platform as people in blankets try to sleep. One woman is shown knitting before we see women distributing refreshments as tube train moves off. Back to a blazing building and a number of shots of the flaming blocks. Ground shot of helmeted firemen hosing the flames. Next fire personnel moving debris from street amid blaze. Shot of church tower among smoke before St. Paul's emerges through the haze. Aerial colour shot of devastated buildings and minimal ruins. Colour shot of taxi and red bus, number 15 to Ladbroke Grove, passing runs of building. Number 6 bus shown passing heavily scaffolded building. Shot of crowded platform just after the war as steam train arrives. Shot of wall sign depicting arrow, bow, and ball. Then looped diagram showing Leytonstone, Woodford, and line moving to Newbury Park, for extensions to the Central Line. Front of tube train going to Newbury Park, then shot of inside where chairman sits with a woman on the first train along that line. Picture of Walter Harris getting up from platform seat with newspaper.
Colour shot of poster for 1951 Festival of Britain. Shot of map depicting site for festival on the South Bank. Exterior shot of girdered building on the South Bank. People shown walking by building. Shot of outdoor café and customers on South Bank. More colour shots of people crowding around at the festival and descending stairs. One black man in a hat reads a programme as he walks. Red and blue balloons are released into the air from the South Bank. Shot of Festival Hall from on top of a bus travelling across the embankment to the other side of the Thames. Two elderly people shown seated on bus. Conductor is shown ascending stairs to collect fares. The white- capped conductor issues tickets to the couple. Head on shot of number 36 tram approaching, as another passes in the opposite direction to Abbey Wood. Shot of conductor downstairs on bus collecting fares from passengers. Number 33 tram shown going down an underpass. Head- on shot of number 38 tram at night with headlights on. Number 19 bus shown from 1950s before high shot of buses in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Inside of maintenance depot for buses at Aldenham. Rows of buses can be seen as overhead fixed crane structure moves wheel less bus above rows. It is then shown being lowered into one of the vacant bays. A green bus is then shown being turned onto its side by a mechanical style platform. The operator is seen pressing the button to facilitate the movement. Another worker is shown spraying the underside of the bus with water. A man is seen removing a transfer from the side of a red bus that displays the words 'London Transport'. A red bus is then shown driving out of the depot as employees watch from inside their canteen.
Fountain and seated pedestrians in a shopping mall. Small boy sails small model boat in water. Shoppers shown outside butcher's in mall. Scottie dog seen with lead attached to post. Green number 801 bus arriving at mall that is probably Stevenage. Young lady in pink dress and white high heels hops off the bus with her shopping basket. Another Green Line bus, number 727 to Luton, is shown arriving at a bus stop. Passengers board this 'pay as you enter' bus. The express going to Luton, Heathrow Airport, and Crawley, departs. Tube train shown moving along track through country scenery. Horse riders are shown galloping on the hillsides. Head- on shot of aluminium tube train on tracks speeding along. Two are shown passing each other on parallel tracks. Sign of the trolleybus then shot of the 604 trolleybus going to Wimbledon. It negotiates a roundabout and we see a man on a motorcycle. Evening shot of 665 trolleybus moving along a busy street. Head- on shot of number of buses and taxis moving off from traffic lights at the junction of the Strand and Waterloo Bridge. Two number 9's can be seen going to Mortlake Garage. These buses are routemasters. Shot from driver's cab of bus approaching stop in the Strand moving towards Trafalgar Square. Close- up of commuters walking along the Strand. Inside shot of crowded bus, before switching back to bus stop in the Strand. Frustrated driver shown sticking next to bus in a jam. Long shot of double row of traffic before switching to office where a number of men are seated at a console. Shot of electronic board denoting areas along bus routes. Number 33 bus shown passing by as electronic outdoor scanner is seen. The eye at the top of a column tells the control room where the bus is once it has passed. Driver of bus shown in radio contact with control room. More shots from inside the control room and a computer that is linked to the buses. Then we see electronic message inside driver's cab. Driver of bus shown in bus lane in Piccadilly, number 38 to Victoria. Red Arrow bus shown arriving at stop outside station. Number 500 stops and driver 13 is shown speaking into his microphone. Aluminium tube train shown speeding along track. Passengers shown seated inside reading and smoking. Man shown at a bank of television screens. This is closed circuit television showing passengers on station's platform. Tube train doors shown opening on arrival at station and horde of passengers exit onto platform. Workers shown underground digging the new Victoria Line. Concrete slabs for the walls are shown being put into position. Shot of logo of Queen Victoria on tiles at Victoria tube station platform. Queen Elizabeth shown arriving at top of escalator to formally open the line. She unveils stone to commemorate the opening of the line on 7 March 1969. Passengers shown using ticket gates at station. Couple shown holding hands on Victoria Line train. Driver shown in the cab of his tube train. Camera in cab shows tunnel as train proceeds on journey. Shot of Westminster and Houses of Parliament from the Thames.
Map of London appears with outer areas in green and inner areas in red. London transport (took) control of the red buses and underground. Shot of County Hall facing the Thames. Aeroplane taking off from Heathrow Airport over busy roads, flyovers and underpasses. 285 bus shown arriving at airport. Likewise tube train at Heathrow Station on Piccadilly Line. Passengers shown leaving train. Express Air Bus shown speeding along motorway. Then shown arriving in London at Cromwell Road. Passengers shown disembarking with luggage. Advert poster shown for Jubilee Line opened in 1979. Driver in tube train cab shown leaving Cannons Park Station. Shot of buses arriving at stops outside station. 186 bus to Edgware station, then 79A to same destination. Walter Harriss shown on upper deck of bus. Bond Street tube station platform and passengers leaving train. Shown going up and down escalators. Long shot of bus travelling on outskirts of London, with Post Office Tower visible in background. Back to Harriss on tube train on the District Line as it arrives at St James's Park station. 78 bus shown speeding across Tower Bridge, then high shot of buses travelling along busy Oxford Street. Bus crossing Waterloo Bridge with ST. Paul's Cathedral in background, before shot of moored HMS Belfast. Back to Oxford Street and then credits on electronic notice board on platform of St. James' Park Station.
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