London | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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Picturesque Soho , London
Opening sequence of people sitting on park benches in a square in London. A mixture of men and women. They all read newspapers close up on copy of the Evening News dated March 9th 1959. The article concentrates on St Ethelburga, the smallest church in the City. View of London street with traffic and pedestrians, panning shot across street, close up on Saint Ethelburga church which is situated between commercial buildingson Bishopsgate, City OF London. We see the notice on the door stating the name of the vicar (Reverend Small) and the church wardens. Views of details of the church - a window, an arched door. People and cars pass in front of the building. London's smallest church it also exists in London's smallest parish. Historical details of the Church going back to 1250 when the church was surrounded by open fields. A pointer shows routes on a world map as the narrator gives details of the navigator Henry Hudson who attended the last service of his crew before sailing on a doomed trip to discover the North West passage, an imagined short cut to China and the South Seas. Portrait of Hudson with son having been cast adrift. His name now more closely identified with Hudson bay, which was named after him.
(2.38) We look at a different newspaper article about "King Theodore of Soho". Medium shot of the church of St Anne's in Soho, famous as the place where King Theodore of Corsica died in 1756. Only the tower is left after bomb damage in the second world war. Panning shot of front of St Anne's. Burial place and epitaph of Theodore.
(4.22) Back to the newspaper readers in the square. A newspaper article has a picture of a girl painting. Views of the town which is apparently her subject. It is in fact a "Lilliput" town with horses, pub, church, jetty, rolling countryside. A man mows the lawn. This model village is of Bekonscot at Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
(7.30) Close up of ancient chess set juxtaposed with more contemporary pieces. The first piece is from an English 13th century Norse ivory chess set. Portrait of King Canute. Close up of first book printed in England by William Caxton which concerned itself with chess. Close up of chess board, historical derivation for the chancellor of the exchequer. Chinese chess set, hand painted in Canton over 150 years ago. Austrian chess set carved from pearwood (?) depicting the holy wars. Kings, rooks and queens of a Kashmir chess set, carved in green and natural ivory with a delicacy of craftsmanship. Ball mounted Cantonese chess set. Explanation of how the game works.
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