Cat no. 380

Past Positive

Running time30:48 Black & White Sound 1979 East Anglia

Highlights from the collection of the East Anglian Film Archive.



Norwich, Norfolk. Tramway Ride Through Principal Streets, 1902. This film was taken from the upper storey of a moving tram in 1902. The film shows the following areas of the City: Dereham Road is filmed from Heigham Road travelling towards the City and ending just over the Grapes Hill / Barn Road cross-roads; Charing Cross showing the Free Library on the left of the picture by Duke Street; Bank Plain showing the Royal Hotel on the left and the Agricultural Hall and the Post Office on the right. The tram continues down Prince of Wales Road, towards Thorpe Station; Back up towards Castle Meadow; Castle Meadow to Orford Place; St. Benedicts. A rear view this time, as the tram enters St. Benedicts.

Norwich, Norfolk. Norwich And District Film Review, 1922. A policeman directs traffic at the bottom of Guildhall Hill.

Suffolk. Wheatlands Of East Anglia, 1936. At the Cattle Market in Norwich on its site below Norwich Castle. Shire Hall can be seen.

Norwich, Norfolk. Norwich And District Film Review, 1922. A location shot of Bond's original drapers shop on Ber Street followed by shots of the window displays and of a young assistant. Inside the store, the ladies dress department. There is an overhead view of the glove counter, with two women seated, trying on gloves, attended by an assistant. Women are modelling a variety of hats available at the store. Further exterior shots, this time of the All Saints Past Positive Green side of the store, showing the Thatched Cinema next door. Close ups of the advertisements for Ginger Mick and The Girl From Nowhere.

Norwich, Norfolk. Funeral of Nurse Edith Cavell, 1919. Interview with George Swain by the grave of Edith Cavell at Norwich Cathedral. Mr. Swain demonstrates a hand cranked 35mm camera. The film of the funeral of Edith Cavell was shot for a local cinema. The shots were taken as the procession passed the Erpingham Gate. The procession includes V.A.D.s, nurses, nuns and soldiers some of them on horseback. The coffin is horse drawn. The film stops to show Mr. Swain's father come out of the crowd to take a photograph as the coffin is lifted down. George Swain explains how the hand cranked camera worked and how important it was to ensure that the handle was turned at two turns per second.

Norwich, Norfolk. Norwich And District Film Review, 1922; Norwich, Norfolk. The World's Largest Monoplane, 1927; Norwich, Norfolk, 1927, Norwich - An Airport? This sequence mixes shots from three of the Archive's films. A 'Pathe Super Gazette' news reel item showing the Monoplane Beardmore Inflexible, J7557 - 9, the largest plane of its time, taxiing and taking off at Mousehold Aerodrome. Bolton and Paul's P15, an all steel aeroplane is featured. Women are sewing on canvas. The plane is rolled onto the field at Mousehold aerodrome. The test pilot, in a leather helmet, stands in front of the plane. There are stills from the Paris Air Show of 1919 showing early Boulton and Paul aeroplanes. Charlie Brown, a Flight Engineer with Boulton and Paul, explains how the rudder worked. He is filmed with this in the Courtyard of the Strangers' Hall Museum. The final shot in this sequence shows the Lord Mayor being fitted with flying gear and then filmed at the controls of a Boulton and Paul aeroplane, G - EAWS.

Cardington, Bedfordshire. The R101 Story, 1930. The theme of air flight continues by showing the R101, built at Boulton and Paul's. Close up and distant pictures of the R101 at its mooring mast. The engines are working underneath. The captain and the crew are in uniform, in front of the R101 and entering the lift. The next scene shows the burnt out, tangled mass of iron after the R101 crashed near Beauvais in France, a few hours after taking off on her maiden flight to India. The wreckage is inspected by French officials.

Leiston, Suffolk. Farming in Autumn, 1935. The next theme of the film is farming. Most of the scenes in this sequence are taken from a quartet of films made in 1935 by Mary Field. Interview with Basil Chaplin, a farm worker, who remembers his life on the land. Basil left school at 12 1/2 to work for 12/- per week. The Archive film shows teams of horse and man at work on the land. There are shots of lifting sugar beet which Mr. Chaplin remembers as a back breaking job ... hands perished to cold. There are scenes from the wheat harvest showing ploughing, (this shot appears to come from a ploughing match) rolling, harrowing and drilling. Two men scythe a path into the wheat to allow in a horse drawn reaper. Stooks are built by other workers. Scenes from an agricultural show showing events in the arena. Mr. Chaplin concludes the sequence by asserting that he'd do it all over again.

Lowestoft, Suffolk. North Sea Herring Harvest, 1930. Yarmouth, Norfolk, Scotch Fisher Girls At Yarmouth, 1935. There are stills of the quay at Lowestoft. Vernil Tuck recalls the fishing industry during the 1920s when one could walk across the harbour on the drifters. Steam drifters are shown leaving Lowestoft Harbour. The camera is aboard one of the vessels and as the boat leaves harbour there are shots of other boats steaming alongside. At sea, the hauling of the nets and the fish being shaken out. The boat steams back to harbour. Lowestoft Quay is filmed as the drifter docks, ready to land its catch. Vernil Tuck describes the practice of sale by sample. This sequence ends with a shot of the fisher girls at Yarmouth cleaning the fish.

Norwich, Norfolk. Norwich And District Film Review, 1922. To introduce a sequence on leisure time spent on the water in East Anglia, there is a brief shot of bathing costumes sold in Bonds.

Horning, Norfolk. Yachting on the Norfolk Broads - The Horning Regatta, 1908. This film shows sailing boats rounding a buoy in light winds. A heavily laden steam screw driven pleasure boat cuts through the middle of the Regatta. The final scenes show the prize giving.

Waldringfield, Suffolk. Waldringfield Regatta. Friday and Saturday, August 17th and 18th, 1934. The film begins at the Waldringfield Regatta, 1934. There is a swimming race and a 'Greasy Pole Event' whereby a pole is placed over the river from the harbour wall. People try to walk along as far as possible before falling into the water.

Manningtree, Essex. Manningtree Celebrations, 1937. Celebrations for the Coronation of George VI. The parade of floats is seen arriving at the Parade Ground. The floats assemble and there are close-up of many of the floats and the competitors followed by a display of country dancing.

Norwich, Norfolk. Their Majesties At Norwich, 1938. A newsreel record of the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Norwich in 1938, primarily to open the new City Hall. The King and Queen arrive at the Guildhall where they meet the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Mr. Charles Watling. The Royal party walk solemnly to the War Memorial and the King lays a wreath of poppies. Accompanied by the Lord Mayor, the King and Queen mount the dais to open the City Hall. The King reads his speech in reply to the loyal address. The King and Queen leave in an open car. The Queen visits the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to open the Geoffrey Colman Memorial, a maternity wing at the hospital. She is received by Dr. Cleveland, Chairman of the Board of Management, and opens the wing with a key presented to her by a schoolboy. The King visits Carrow Road to see Norwich City play Millwall. This made history as it was the first time a reigning monarch had witnessed a second division league match. Afterwards the King and Queen visited the Norwich Lads' Club together.

Norwich, Norfolk. Alderman A.W. Riley Chairman A.R.P. Would Like A Word With You, 1939. Alderman Riley, Chairman of the ARP Committee, speaks directly to the camera, whilst sitting at his desk. As Alderman Riley speaks of the dangers posed by Norwich's geographical position there are scenes of a display of firefighting and of men dealing with casualties. This is mixed with everyday Norwich scenes. Workers leave Caley Mackintosh's factory and there is a view along Earlham Road towards the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Whilst Alderman Riley talks of the needs for men and women to volunteer, policemen leave the Bethel Street police station and there is another display of firefighting at the fire station next door. Alderman Riley impersonates Kitchener, pointing to the camera saying, Will you Help? The sequence finishes with instructions of how to 'sign up.'

Background Information:

These films were chosen for the film by the Archivist and were considered to be the prime films in the Archive's collection.The Funeral of Edith Cavell was the first film that George Swain shot, then aged 16. He turned the camera handle too quickly so that he film came out too slow - too many frames per second. he recalls that he was told off by his father a the time, but it doesn't appear to show now.The background information on these films and credits can be found in their separate catalogue entries.

Featured People:

George Swain, photographer and film maker; Lord Mayor of Norwich, 1927; Charlie Brown, flight engineer, Boulton and Paul; Basil Chaplin, farm worker; Vernil Tuck, fisherman; HM King George VI; HM Queen Elizabeth; Charles Watling, Lord Mayor of Norwich, 1938; Dr. Cleveland, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, 1938; Alderman A.W. Riley Chairman A.R.P.

Featured Organisations:

R.H. Bonds, department store; Boulton and Paul; The Strangers' Hall Museum, Norwich; The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital; Norwich City FC; Millwall FC; Caley Mackintosh

Featured Events:

The Funeral of Edith Cavell, 1919; The flight and crash of the R101, October 4th and 5th, 1930; The Horning Regatta. 1908.The Waldringfield Regatta, August 17th and 18th, 1934.Manningtree Celebrations for the Coronation of George VI, May 12th, 1937; The visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Norwich on October 29th, 1938,; Past Positive.

Featured Buildings:

The Free LibraryThe Thatched Cinema; The Royal Hotel Norwich Cathedral; The Agricultural Hall City Hall; The Post Office The Norfolk And Norwich Hospital; The Guildhall The Norwich Lads' Club; Norwich Castle Bethel Street Police Station; Shire Hall The Roman Catholic Cathedral Of St. John The Baptist; Bonds

David Cleveland

Andy Murrow

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