Social History | 1980 | Sound | Colour
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A film promoting the work of The National Heritage Memorial Fund, and ending on an advertisement for an exhibition taking place at the British Museum 1980's
Red toned b/w still archive photos of English coastal resort - pier, children in sea, promenade. Same colour but now footage of family walking down the pier. Supposed to be archive, but is not. They pause by a kinetescope (like peep-show machine). The young girl looks in and sees, a stately home, boxes with dolls inside, a sculpture, and a painting. The boy looks into the machine: a four poster bed, ornate chairs and a small table, and cogs in a clocktower. Man looks into the machine: a tank, a submarine, a small aeroplane, a car attempting the land speed record, a deep sea diver, and various works of art.
Intertitle: A Future For The Past.
The colour returns and the narrator (Anna Walker) walks down the pier past the retreating family. Walker's hands putting a coin into the slot of the machine. Inside we see the stately home first seen at the beginning of the film, the soundtrack winds down and the message, "your money has run out" appears. Walker speaks to the camera about the causes of private collections being sold abroad or lost. Archive clip of burning building supposedly in World War Two. Old manuscript, "Sotheby's, MENTMORE" and an illustration. Newspaper headline, "Britain's Lost Bargain at Mentmore". Pamphlet, "Save Mentmore for Britain". Archive of Sotheby's, valuers and dealers looking at paintings and smaller items. Sotheby's - collectors looking at stacks of crockery. Auctioneer at podium. Two ornaments in cabinet in front of him. Large painting. Coat of Arms of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Inaugural scroll of fund. Anna Walker on promenade - sea behind her. Pan around buildings of coast. Different people interviewed on street to give opinions on what constitutes English Heritage. A number of replies are stated. Cut back to Walker on the pier.
Shot of an old loom and a man working it. Old people stand around watching him. Metal frame of a Wellington Bomber which is in the process of being dredged up from Loch Ness. Bomber on the back of a truck being taken to Surrey for restoration. Members of original Wellington Ground Crew look at the bomber. One is interviewed by Walker, next to a rusty turret. He explains how the aeroplane will be preserved. Second member of crew lifts up a piece of metal. Medals. George cross. Archive of building collapsing, again intended to be from the Second World War. Still illustrations of scenes from the Blitz. Archive film extract of Shakespeare's Henry V ("once more into the breach…") spoken by a man on a horse. Sculpted bust of Shakespeare. Archive footage of soldiers in trenches in World War One. Letter written from the front line by Siegfried Sassoon in 1916. Footage of soldiers going over the top. Portrait photograph of Siegfried Sassoon.
Osprey catches fish - shown in slow motion. Osprey nest and young. First submarine. Outside and inside - now used for display only. Photo (b/w) of submarine when it was grounded. Still photos of different items that the Fund has provided money to save or restore. Chinese Ji-Jing Porcelain Bowl. 1830 Samuel Palmer Watercolour. Bronze Age Gold Bracelet. Painshill Park, 18th century. 17th century clock by Thomas Tompian. Still of lost Richard Dadd (he killed his dad, you know) painting that was discovered on TV's The Antiques Roadshow. Clip of the show and an expert giving his verdict. Dadd picture. Restored clock. Restored painting.
Walker outside an old church. Reveals a baroque interior - painted walls and ceiling in the manner of the Cistine Chapel. Restorer examining old plaster on the walls. Plaster being fixed and painting restored. Outside innocuous building. Camera focuses on large, rusty metal object on floor.
Walker links it to the long and successful tradition of industry in the UK. Waterwheel of late 18th century in operation. Wheels and cogs. Waterwheel restorer speaks to the camera. Walker outside motor museum. Room of preserved machines. Violin. Stately home. Four poster bed. Rolling fields. Butterfly. Flowers. Archive newsreel of WW1 images. Horse from Victorian merry-go-round, ornate but quite ugly.
Flags of Britain and Australia on a Bluebird (the car built by the Campbell family in their land speed record attempts). Still photos of father and son. Archive footage of record attempt. Son's attempt twenty years later (newsreel footage). Walker inside the Bluebird. Walker on the pier. Stately home. Child's toy horse. Painting. Bust of Shakespeare. Rolling plain. Butterfly. Waterwheel. Osprey. Bluebird. Charter of fund.
Film changes (including voice-over) to become an advertisement for an exhibition taking place at the British Museum. See façade of the museum. Still photos of the exhibits, including things already seen, and some different attractions (such as items rescued from the Mary Rose). Caption: Treasures for the Nation Exhibition. 27th October to 26th February. End credits over blue screen.
To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 5831.