Famous people

A small selection of films about internationally famous people connected with the East of England region, or filmed when visiting. Many famous names appear in the regional television collections, including news, dramas and documentaries. These are the people appearing in front of the camera, but the archive collection as a whole reflects the work of many film makers and television companies of this region whose work reached a national or international audience.

Cat no. 295

Funeral Of Nurse Edith Cavell

Running time9:16 Black & White Silent 1919 Norwich, Norfolk

Edith Cavell, a British Nurse working in Belgium, was tried and shot by the German Army in 1915 for assisting the escape of British and allied soldiers. This provoked international condemnation. After the war ended, her body was brought back to her home county of Norfolk for burial on Life’s Green next to Norwich Cathedral. The solemn procession was filmed by George Swain for his father’s photographic company so it could be shown in a Norwich cinema. The film is unedited and still as filmed on the day.

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Cat no. 1695

Bernard Shaw's Village

Running time9:23 Black & White Sound 1949 Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire

Still active in his 90s, dramatist and socialist George Bernard Shaw is shown entertaining his neighbours and friends including Danny Kaye at his home in Ayot St Lawrence where he had lived since 1906. This film was made for audiences at small film shows, including mobile cinemas and village hall shows which were popular in the 1940s and 1950s until television became widespread.

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Cat no. 881

Country Magazine No. 1

Running time12:40 Black & White Sound 1949 Norfolk, Norfolk

George Formby, musical star, and his wife Beryl attend a Norfolk speedway event and wish the film makers good luck with their new cine magazine for small audiences (though the second issue was never released). The next story is about Iron Age treasure discovered in Norfolk; keep watching for the final musical sequence with the Harmony Pioneers.

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Cat no. 8444

Sir Winston Churchill Opens Churchill College

Running time4:41 Colour Silent 1959 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

A silent amateur film record of Sir Winston Churchill, by then in his 80s and declining in health, visiting the Cambridge college recently established in his name.

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Cat no. 213904


Running time8:02 Black & White Sound 1960 Lavenham, Suffolk

Local television provided a training ground for many presenters and entertainers who became national figures. Here, David Dimbleby reports on a Suffolk village for regional news magazine ‘About Anglia’. He was working as a journalist for Anglia Television during his Oxford University vacation.

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Cat no. 208281

Interview With Morecambe And Wise

Running time3:37 Black & White Sound 1964 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Surreal brilliance from Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise as the Anglia Television interviewer Newman Sanders tries to get a straight answer from the comedians currently appearing in a show on Wellington Pier, Yarmouth.

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Cat no. 99460

Famous Director Of Thriller Films

Running time4:42 Black & White Sound 1966 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

‘Never look back, always look forward.’ An Anglia Television interview with film director Alfred Hitchcock as he visits Cambridge for a meeting of the University Film Society.

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Cat no. 756

The Singing Postman

Running time14:17 Colour Sound 1967 Norfolk

Allan Smethurst, The Singing Postman, performs some of his best known songs. This colour film was made to promote the Singing Postman to wider audiences, and his songs competed with The Beatles in the charts, but his core audience continued to be those who shared his home region and dialect.

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Cat no. 207266

Ovaltine Autumn Tour: Norwich Welcomes Muhammad Ali

Running time20:47 Colour Sound 1971 Norwich, Norfolk

“The Greatest” boxer Muhammad Ali charms local people as he autographs cans in a Norwich supermarket. This thoughtful and funny interviewee shares his life philosophy and explains why he is endorsing Ovaltine drink.

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Cat no. 139135

Veterans Of The USAF 2nd Air Division On A Nostalgic Pilgrimage To Some Of The Former Airfields From Which They Flew Their Missions

Running time7:25 Colour Sound 1975 Duxford, Cambridgeshire

American actor James Stewart had a distinguished military career as an Air Force pilot during the Second World War, and later in Vietnam. Anglia Television followed him as he returned to the East Anglian region for the veteran reunions and remembrances of 1975.

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Cat no. 5099

The Pace-Setters: Clive Sinclair

Running time28:50 Colour Sound 1981 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

In this half hour BBC East television profile, the versatile entrepreneur Clive Sinclair, based in Cambridge, talks about his upbringing and career, and some of his inventions including his pocket calculator, pocket television, personal computer and proposed design for an electric car.

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