Cat no. 405

Faces of Harlow

Running time30:17 Colour Sound 1964 Harlow, Essex

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The new town of Harlow.


DocumentaryPortrait of a PlacePromotional

The film opens with colour shots of Harlow with the theme of urban congestion. Black and white film of London and an animated map sequence illustrate the growth of London. There are stills of old town plans and a shot of a scale model of Harlow. Black and white stills show the damage caused to London by the blitz. There are colour countryside shots and then shots of the New Town. Contrasting the old way of life with the new, scenes of surveyors at work in woodland merge into scenes of beaters at work at a pheasant shoot. There are shots of the construction of Harlow and some interior scenes of the new houses. The film highlights early problems in infrastructure. There were few buses for example.

The next sequence shows some of these facilities. Interior factory shots show workers, male and female, in different industries. These include printing, electronics and cosmetics. There are aerial shots of the town and then a sequence showing women and children at the mother and baby clinic at the Nuffield House Health Centre. The commentary claims that pooling primary health care resources in this manner is one of the successes of Harlow. In an attempt to build a village feeling, there are shots of the Moot House Community Centre, an open air cafe and the interior of a grocer’s shop. The Alberni String Quartet, a professional string quartet, rehearses. Old people tend their gardens and young people are shown at school.

At a primary school a recorder session features and a ‘broadcast’ along with general school shots. Lesley Palmer is one of the children filmed here. at secondary school, we see woodwork and chemistry lessons as well as an art class. This interesting sequence shows a class of children painting on glass and is shot through the glass. The commentary states that the staying on rate for further education is high in Harlow. There are further aerial views of the town, showing the market and The High Street. Interiors of shops shown along with the library and the post office. Girls train as hairdressers, described as a glamorous job, and at the Technical College lathe instruction and a typing class are covered. Shots of the Town Hall precede a meeting of the Harlow Development Corporation.

Leisure time in Harlow is illustrated by shots of the orchestra in rehearsal, pony riding and streets. This is intercut with photographs, some colour, some black and white, showing activities in Harlow. At a youth centre, young people arrive on Lambrettas, inside the teenagers dance. A few shots of a play production precede a sequence showing the market, an open-air concert, the swimming pool, the sports arena and an indoor sports and scenes of a wedding. The film finishes with long shots of Harlow.

Featured People:

Lesley Palmer, schoolgirl

Featured Organisations:

Alberni String Quartet; Harlow Development Corporation

Featured Buildings:

Nuffield House Health Centre; Moor House Community Centre; Harlow Public Library; Harlow Post Office; Harlow Technical College; Harlow Town Hall

Knight Films

Harlow Development Corporation

Derrick Knight

David Muir; Ian MacMillan (assistant camera)

Derrick Knight

Ian Gladwell

Allan Jallen

Bob Allen; Ted Ball; Peter Hoyle

Alan Dobie

John Cross

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