The travelogue continues in today’s television series like ‘Coast’, and originated with short films for cinema or small film show audiences. Some were sponsored by companies seeking an association with place and heritage for their products and services. As with guidebooks and picture postcards, there is a tendency for the same subjects to receive repeated attention, but chance encounters and going off the beaten track add variety and reflect the subtle ways in which places have changed over time.

Cat no. 630

De Stad Norwich

Running time11:48 Black & White Silent c.1929 Norwich, Norfolk

A Dutch film of the sights of Norwich, including the working port and a weaving business.

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Cat no. 774

Charted Waters

Running time16:57 Black & White Sound 1944 The Fens

Widgey Newman made short cinema films shown as part of the ‘full supporting programme’ for the main feature. Here a boat trip through the Fens of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire is accompanied by wry humour delivered at speed.

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Cat no. 1682

The Queen of He(a)rts

Running time30:58 Black & White Sound c.1946 Hertfordshire

Another film by Widgey Newman, director of ‘cinema shorts’, with his characteristic wry commentary. This includes scenes of one of the county’s film studios at Elstree, and also captures the mood as the war ended.

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Cat no. 220

Through East Anglia

Running time30:16 Black & White Sound 1948 East Anglia

A comprehensive tour of East Anglia defined as Suffolk, Norfolk, North Essex and Cambridge.

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Cat no. 7789

Bedfordshire Beautiful

Running time1:01:45 Colour Silent 1950-1960 Bedfordshire

A careful amateur’s silent colour film record of the county.

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Cat no. 637

Come With Me To Norwich

Running time17:44 Black & White Sound 1952 Norwich, Norfolk

A professional film introduced by Richard Dimbleby who tours the sights of Norwich and investigates the local companies, including Norwich Union, sponsors of the film.

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Cat no. 37

East Anglian Holiday

Running time18:50 Colour Sound 1954 East Anglia

A professional travelogue distributed by British Transport Films. The commentator has adopted an accent, but is it East Anglian?

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Cat no. 765

Britain's Historic Counties: Essex

Running time11:29 Black & White Sound c.1955 Essex

A survey of the county and its historic buildings and customs, but curiously devoid of people.

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Cat no. 548

East Anglian Coastline

Running time25:53 Colour Sound 1959 East Anglia

Lawnmowers crop up throughout this travel film sponsored by manufacturers Ransomes of Ipswich.

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Cat no. 212678

In and Around South Cambridgeshire and Bury St Edmunds

Running time~11:54 Colour Silent 1955-1963

While Cambridge and the Fens attract the film maker, the villages of south and east Cambridgeshire are under-represented in the films which have reached the archive. This amateur travel record captures the country life of the area, but without commentary or titles, it needs a knowledgeable audience to identify the scenes. Also, in the way of amateur films which have not been edited, it includes scenes beyond the main subject of the film which were captured in sequence while there was film in the camera.

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