Film: 461

Road Transport | 1930 | Silent | Colour


A1 in August 1939 - A superb amateur home movie in colour from August 1939, a record of a trip north from London along the A1. Motoring 1930's

Title and date of August 1939. Pan down from sky to show a London main road - Baker Street - with two buses, a number 13 and a 2, as well as other vehicles; a man walks across the road. A horse pulling a cart along the road; traffic lights, and bollards; many pedestrians on the pavement on the left; banner across the road, "ARP Offices" (this was filmed a month before the outbreak of World War Two). Same road: three buses, none of their numbers visible; a man pushes a cart along; black taxi cabs. A barrage balloon in the sky, seen past tall buildings. The balloon and sky.

A wide road, pavement either side lined with trees; a car turns left from a small road on the left side of the screen, and drives up towards a white building the far end; lorries drive towards the camera (near Regent's Park). Black car and motorcycle drive along three lane road, flat grass and street lights either side. The black car parked on the left side of the road, on the same three-lane road in the middle of countryside, a few trees either side, a forest to the right (this is probably Hendon Way at Child's Hill, North London). The car parked at the same place at a different time, more cars going past. The black car parked, flat grass to left and trees and farmland to right, a warning triangle near the camera.

Long straight stretch of road; cars coming from the other way, including a fast red one (MG?); either side, flat grass with a line of trees. The black car parked by the left hand side of the road, next to pavement, a lorry overtaking it; a signal pole on the right side. View from the right side of a road; the black car on the left, large trees either side, fast cars. Black car on left on a sloped road; the road, and green fields, can be seen for a long way, and a town can be seen in the distance.

An RAC road sign "Stevenage", Herrtfordshire, many tall trees and grass. The black car parked by pavement in Stevenage, lone trees on the concrete, a road to the left next to a row of shops; pan right to a car park on the right, shop buildings further on. Cyclist on the left, large area of green plants; the road on the right of the shot. Cars, and a lorry "Danish Bacon", speeding past pavement over a slight slope, farm land visible far into the distance.

A flat, straight stretch of road, grassy bank to the left. A town centre; rows of shops either side of a wide road, a few cars parked either side. RAC sign "Biggleswade" on grass. Biggleswade town centre; a road starts off wide then narrows; rows of shops, and a cyclist. Pan across a row of Tudor style buildings, just by a road junction. A small war memorial on the road island at the junction. Limited view of wide grass area to the right, before panning left over the road to a large pub, with a car park.

RAC sign: "Eaton Socon", in the town. A tea house to the left of the road. The road goes around a corner through countryside, and past wires and a small red brick building. A sheltered stretch of road underneath trees, cars driving both ways along it. RAC sign: "Buckden" and below "Hunts C.C." on grass. A small pub with a red sign; two signs to hotels; a pedestrian crossing. Buildings in the Buckden town centre; a motorbike and two black cars go towards the camera.

A lorry moves down a wide road; to the left, "Brampton Hut Hotel". Long stretch of fairly straight, downwards sloping road, a long area of grass and a town in the distance. RAC sign "Stilton" with distances to Buckden and Stamford. Very light shot of the Stilton town centre, old stone buildings to the right including a pub, and some parked cars. A thin pillar to the left, a road going through countryside. Black car on flat road with huge area of flat farm land to the right, under grey skies.

A road junction, some cottages on the left and some large trees to the right. Bending, sloped road, flat countryside either side and trees in the distance around a village. As seen from just by the river, a stone road bridge going over it, the village including the church spire up ahead; a rabbit seen on the grass the other side of the river; pan right to show the river flowing under the bridge. Cars go over the bridge; grass either side of the river.

Long road, farm land to the right, a smaller road joining on, a slight upwards slope. Forest in the distance, a bus on the right, slight slope, flat fields. RAC sign: "Stamford"; distances to Stilton and Grantham; a large old building on the road corner. Building on right with "Antiques" sign; pan left to a town centre full of old buildings, a church tower in the distance. Cyclists and cars going along the road past the old town buildings. More of the town centre.

Another shot of the Stamford town centre. Light and white buildings in a town; a small road slopes upwards leading to it. RAC sign "Great Casterton", and "Rutland C.C." below it, a tree behind. A main road in daylight; cars proceed along the light road, stone cottages and pavement either side. A very long straight section of road, flat areas of grass either side, and forest behind them, cars driving towards the camera.

RAC road sign: "Grantham", Lincolnshire, also with distances to Stamford and Newark; grass behind the sign, and small wooden supports for young trees. A straight area of road sloping downwards, a town at the bottom, grass bank to the left. Busy town centre, built-up area; several shop signs in a narrow street. A lorry moves down a long straight stretch of road, trees to left, farmland in distance.

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