Film: 3381

London | 1940 | Silent | B/W


The post war reconstruction of the East End of London 1940's

Boy in shorts with his hands in his pockets running across a road. Drew Road. Children (approximately ten years old) in classroom, sitting studiously at desks. Boy takes hard back book from desk, takes it to the female teacher who is sitting at desk in front of class. She explains something to the boy. Boy looking through fence over docks. Female teacher takes map of Borough of West Ham, London off the wall of the classroom and replaces it with a less detailed map of the same area. West Ham is shown in relation to Bromley and East Ham. Stratford, Plaistow and West Ham are shown on the map. Slowly the white areas of the map are filled in by marks that represent houses and roads. The children in the classroom look on attentively. The teacher writes 'Education Act 1870' on the blackboard. Shots of derelict factories; back yards of terraced houses; solitary people walking down streets; children playing in street. Children in classroom are now crowded around the teacher and map of Borough. Teacher shows children a population graph for the area: rises from 1840 to 1914, falls during World War One and then drops significantly during World War Two. Children leave classroom, the boy in shorts remains to look at map. Three boys sitting on wall; factory at end of street. Tree lined roads; crescent of terraced housing; close up of terraced housing's bay windows; rows of chimney pots; aerial view of housing (grid iron pattern). More terraced housing. Houses being demolished. Nissen huts. Prefabricated houses / bungalows. Men in white coats in drawing office. Map of the London Borough of West Ham: certain areas are outlined and blocks appear on the map. Nursery school: children outside, one is pushing a pram, another kicking a ball, others stand around in groups. Sign above building, 'School Clinic'. Draughtsman with plans under his arm. Shot of pub sign, 'The Golden Horse'. Miniature model of planned housing development. A few men in suits and two women look and point at model. Map of West Ham. Secretary sitting with planner in office with large map of London on wall behind them. Secretary gets up and picks up file 'The Greater London Plan'. The man opens file; dials on telephone; man in drawing office answers telephone; the two discuss plans; planner puts phone down and holds up map of the Borough. Lines are drawn on the map; areas are numbered; camera focuses on area Number 15. Draughtsman in drawing office. Back to map of area 15. Piles of materials needed for construction of houses: pipes, bricks, tiles, wood, chimney pots. Church without roof. New houses under construction. Man with cement mixer on building site; man without shirt pushing wheel barrow. House foundations. Barrow load of cement poured and then shovelled into hole. Bricklayer laying bricks while smoking pipe; hod carriers; numerous brickies; hod carriers takes bricks up ladder; half built houses with wooden frames for roofs; hod carrier takes the bricks up to the roof, along scaffolding to where chimneys are being constructed. The pipe smoking bricky; carpenters on roof; roof being tiled. Views of building site. Planner in office talking about plans with another man. Construction of new power station: exterior of factory; large crane; drawing of power station. Large black official car draws up in front of crowds. Crowds being addressed by man in suit outside newly built houses. The crowd are then addressed by a woman (probably the official opening). Shots of the building site. Removal van / lorry outside new house. Removal men taking cabinet and chairs out of the lorry. Boys standing on up-turned wheel barrow. They chase each other. New and occupied terraced houses with gardens. Pram outside front door of house, mother comes to door and looks into pram. Boy in peddle car. Children playing. Shot of old school and model of the new school. Construction of the new school: two men with wheel barrow on building site; girders; lifting planks of wood by pulley; scaffolding. Boy climbing a pile of bricks. He is joined by another boy. They sit and talk.

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