Sunday, October 09, 2011
Trams and model boats on film
This is a truly fantastic film. Leytonstone in 1938. You don't see many general street scenes from this era on film and very few taken in colour. Mr Redburn was a member of a cine club in London and had contacts in the trade to give him access to the very earliest UK 8mm Kodachrome colour films which he used in a Keystone Camera. Standard 8 was intruced in 1932 in America and presumably arrived on our shores a few years later.
The obvious excitement is that there are trams in the street scenes along with loads of lovely old cars. The streets look completely different too. The shops have awnings, the signage is much more subtle. Adverts are hand painted rather than printed and there are the sort of building sized permanent displays you don't see any more. There used to be a Bass beer one in south Leamington which has only recently disappeared.
Towards the end of the film, there's a lot of model boating, a hobby that has almost completely changed now. Councils rarely provide suitable lakes, sailors don't don wellies and walk through the wet stuff, yachts rarely get pointed into the wind and left to guide themselves and no-one is that smartly dressed.
It's quite a poignant scene too. The lingering shot of the war memorial reminds the modern viewer that in a couple of years there would be another great conflict to add to the list of those being remembered.
Hat tip to the Wood End and beyond blog for this one.