Archive films can trigger genuinely uplifting reminiscence, bringing back memories of events and situations long forgotten. The comments section on our website bears witness to this. Since its launch a year and a half ago, comments and memories have been flying in from far and wide.
A big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, helping us tell London’s story through film.
Here are some recent highlights:
Bernadette sent us a heart-warming comment about Miss Sharman’s Children’s Homes, Sydenham (1937):
“My mother was a child in this wonderful home and said it was a caring place with so many fond memories. She learnt great domestic skills, which served her well for the rest of her life. After watching this I felt I understood my mother more. Sadly she passed away 6 years ago, her name was Barbara Mary Ward born 1936. She shared such great memories of the staff matrons etc. with us and I’m truly grateful for her attending here as she passed on to her children such good morals and teachings.”
After watching Uxbridge Past and Present (1992), Geoff gave us a sneaky peek into construction work mishaps and Cold War emergency measures:
“I worked at the Stage 1 Uxbridge Central Area Redevelopment from 1968 to 1969 […]. We removed a road running from the high street back to the Catholic church and put a 4 ft 6 inch piling auger through the telephone connections running under the road. GPO engineers spent weeks putting the telephone wires together which ran through the ‘Golden Manhole’, it had that name. It apparently was part of the connection between Whitehall and High Wycombe where the government would go if nuclear war broke out between the US and the USSR. Happy days.”
All the way from Australia, David shared his mother-in-law’s memories of the Carnival in Carshalton (1952):
“My mother-in-law Patricia Sandford was the Carnival Queen in this clip. She is quite ill after a fall and awaiting a hip operation here in Adelaide, South Australia. I have shown her this clip recently and she was so excited. Thanks to all your Archivers.”
Thanks to the diligent research of our volunteer Zoe, many wonderful memories have also been recorded in the notes for S.E.18: Impressions of a London Suburb (1950s-1960s). We were pleased to hear that Facebook discussions about this particular film led to the re-union of two friends from the late 1950s who hadn’t met since they were children.
The community catalogue is also an opportunity for people to share their knowledge of the local area in relation to the films in our network’s archive. If you recognise a person or a place, the area or the buildings, we would love to hear from you!
Click here for our previous comments highlights.