Cat no. 397

Members One of Another 1

Running time11:51 Black & White Silent 1948 Harlow, Essex

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The development of Harlow, a new town

Genre:

Documentary

The Minister responsible for the New Town scheme, Mr. Silkin, poses with members and officials of the Development Corporation. There is a shot of the original offices in Grosvenor Square. This is followed by shots of the appropriate area of north west Essex before the New Town was built. There are shots of Harlow Village. The first of these are taken on a Sunday, with very few people about. These are contrasted with shots taken on Saturday showing the Village to be slightly busier. Scenes include the Church of St. John the Baptist and All Saints as well as timbered and thatched cottages and a main road. The village of Tye Green shows some modern buildings. The railway gates and station at Burnt Mill are shown. The greenhouses and flower beds of Great Parndon feature, followed by the Churches of St. Mary's at Little Parndon and St. Mary the Virgin at Great Parndon. The film ends with shots of picturesque dwellings in the area and of the countryside.

Background Information:

Harlow New Town. The New Towns Act 1946 was introduced by Rt. Hon Lewis Silkin, MP, Minister of Town and Country Planning. The Harlow Development Corporation was created on 16th May 1947 after Frederick Gibberd had carried out a feasibility study of the proposed site. The Board were appointed by the Minister and were all proved experts in the fields of housing, local government, town planning and social welfare. Funding came directly from the treasury. Initially the allotment was for 6, 320 acres which would have a rateable value of ?26,509 and a population of 4,500. Under Gibberd's plan, the population of Harlow would by 60,000 people, rising to 80,000. in 1967 this was extended to 90,000.Local resistance was encountered, mainly from local landowners. The Harlow and District Defence Association was founded but was soon wound up. Leading landowners played an active part in the new town and Harlow was the only new town that didn't attract court action.Formal assent for building to begin was given on 15th March, 1949. The first tenants received their keys on 4th August, 1949. By December people were moving into Chippingfield.Frederick Gibberd. Sir Frederick's Work included the terminal buildings at London Heathrow Airport, The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool, the Regents Park Mosque and the Areundel Estate development in the Strand. He gained two Festival Of Britain awards. As well as being involved in the Harlow New Town project, he designed the Civic Centres at Doncaster, Leamington Spa, St. Albans and Nuneaton. He held five civic trust awards.Members One Of Another 1.Lewis Silkin. Lewis Silkin was Labour M.P. for Peckham from 1936 until 1950. He was a solicitor by profession and had a political background in Housing and Public Health, gained as a member of London County Council. He was Minister for Town And Country Planning from 1945 until 1950. He was created Baron Silkin in 1950 and was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords from 1955 until 1964.

Featured People:

Rt. Hon. Lewis Silkin, C.H. Minister of Town And Country Planning

Featured Organisations:

The Harlow Development Corporation

Featured Buildings:

The Church of St. John The Baptist and All Saints, Harlow Village; St. Mary's Church, Little Parndon; The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Great Parndon; The Railway Station, Burnt Mill; The Headquarters of the Harlow Development Corporation, Grosvenor Square

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