Bexley Local Studies and Archives
The BLSAC houses a wide and varied film collection, currently consisting of around 160 films, that were made by both professional and amateur film makers. The oldest film in the collection was made by an early cinematographer, Harry Pease, in 1912, which features the opening ceremony of the Bexleyheath Clock Tower. The newest film is an animation made by Bexley school children on the life of Charlton Athletics' goalkeeping legend, Sam Bartram. The film collection covers all aspects of life in Bexley from official information films made during the Second World War to films on local politics, celebrations, school trips and family outings in and around Bexley and London.
Bexley Local Studies and Archives Centre exists to collect, preserve and make accessible local studies and archival material relating to the London Borough of Bexley. Local Studies staff make these rich collections accessible by providing online catalogues, an extensive outreach programme and by providing a modern and well resourced Centre for visitors.
Phone: 0203 045 3370
Access: No booking required. DVDs can be viewed on Computers in the Centre.
The geographical area of Bexley as defined by the London Borough of Bexley and its predecessor authorities; events and activities occurring in the area; and individuals who have lived or have worked or are otherwise connected to the area.
My personal favourite is a film made in 1926 showing the demolition of the Chapel of Ease steeple in Bexleyheath. There are wonderful shots of the men standing, without safety equipment, high above the town, tearing down the steeple, which had been left to stand alone in Oaklands Road some 50 years after the new Christ Church was built on the Broadway. The film maker even dared to climb the steeple to take some fantastic panoramic footage of Bexleyheath showing the fields that surrounded the tow, which in less than a decade would be replaced by housing. A remarkable film that captures the last throes of rural Bexleyheath.
Simon McKeon, Borough Archivist