Film: 422

London | 1950 | Silent | B/W


This film provides a very sketchy 'feel' of London in the late 1940s or perhaps early 1950s before it became an international tourist destination.

Series title screen, probably late 1940s/early 1950s illustrations of Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament and the guards at Buckingham Palace.

Intertitle "After the wettest winter for 80 years" over man who walks down an urban street with parked cars. Intertitle "Spring is in the air" over an aerial pan across London park, probably St James' Park.

Intertitle "London Street Characters with a contemporary illustration of a figure standing in a hut by a burning brazier. An old man in a cloth cap and jacket kneels and draws in chalk on the pavement. Close up, the old man draws the outlines of thatched cottages in a rural landscape. Pan from kneeling man drawing to a pile of chalks on a cloth and a second thatched cottage pavement drawing with a royal crest.

A man dressed in a knitted pullover and old suit, smokes as he weighs out fruit at his stall with pre-decimal price labels, by some railings and a litter bin labelled "For Litter". Close up, a policeman stands near Green Park, with passers-by.

Intertitle "Green Park and St James' Park offer beauty and relaxation" and an illustration of a couple picnicking in a park. A view across the park of double decker busses and traffic, possibly along Piccadilly. Bunting and flags hang outside Buckingham Palace. A father with two girls in early 1950s suit and frock coat stroll by a pond, probably in St James' Park. A view over the pond, people sit on benches by a high brick wall. CU a duck preens itself by the water's edge.

Intertitle "Hyde Park with Speakers Corner and the Serpentine" and an illustration of a young couple in a boat, the man punts. A speaker in a felt hat and overcoat at Speakers Corner speaks and gestures to the crowd who wear contemporary winter clothes. A speaker in an overcoat holds a placard saying "Hyde Park Conservative Meeting", he addresses his listeners who wear hats and coats, they laugh at his joke. Wide view of an arched road bridge over the Serpentine and rowing boats on the water. CU a son rows his father in a rowing boat, they both wear knitted waistcoats.

Intertitle "Regent's Park and the Zoological Gardens" and an illustration of penguins. A view across the water, families in contemporary dress, the women with carriage prams, stand and chat. A man rows on the canal. A flower bed full of flowers with a sign "Private Grounds". CU tulips among border plants. CU deer in its pen through wire netting at London Zoo. Similar deer. CU llama stands in its pen, seen through wire netting. CU llama's face. The llama walks away across its pen. CU behind wire netting in Pets Corner, a lamb stands. A goat in its concrete pen, looking away. Similar goat crosses its pen, seen through wire netting.

Intertitle "Kew Botanical Gardens provide last glimses of Springtime" (not glimpses). A wide view of fruit trees in blossom and one of the glass houses in Kew Gardens, possibly the Palm House. CU tree in blossom. Pan across a view of a formal spring border with tulips in Kew Gardens. Two women in tailored frock coats inspect the blossom on a tree, pan to pathway.

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