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London Metropolitan Archives

Barbican Regained

1963
17m 22s
Colour
Sound

Description

A film on the reconstruction of the Cripplegate area of London.

A tune by professional cockney Leslie Sarony bookends this documentary on developments in the City of London, that is saddled throughout with a doggerel rhyming commentary by satirist AP Herbert. The film's central concern is the rebuilding of the Cripplegate or Barbican area, which lay adjacent to the sponsor Whitbread's brewery. Along the way it relates and celebrates the City of London illustrious if sometimes ill fated history. The devastations of the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the fire bombing of the Blitz on December 29th 1940 are a prelude to the re-building programme of the post war era. The 'desert' waste of the Barbican area is displayed, the bombsite occupied by pioneer plants and birds. But elsewhere architects are shot planning new offices. The need also for accommodation is presented however with views of commuters crowded on the Underground, crossing London Bridge, swarming about London Bridge railway station, and stuck in traffic on the roads. The planned Barbican development is portrayed as the answer, meeting the housing needs of the city. Plans and charts for housing, also include the ancillary shops, library, schools, open spaces necessary, and all adjacent to places of work. Whitbread makes its presence felt subtly, presenting its horses role in the Lord Mayors Show, its actions during the blitz and closing the film with its beer wagon crossing Tower Bridge.

Further information

The sponsors Whitbread had a brewery at 57 Chiswell Street adjacent to the Barbican estate. London Metropolitan Archives' holdings of this title may not be available to view; those available are accessed by appointment only. Please contact LMA for details.

This film is part of the following gallery:
London's Evolution

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Location

United Kingdom; England; London; City of London

Categories

Documentary

Themes

History; Portrait of a place; Architecture

Credits

Producer: Frank A. Bundy; Commentary: A P Herbert; Photography: Ralph Larabeiti; Editor: Stephen Cross; Narrator: Gordon Davis; Sponsor: Whitbread & Co.

Formats

Archive name Format LSA ID Archive's identifier Sound
London Metropolitan Archives 16mm film LSA18445 COL/AC/31/016 Unknown
Available from London Metropolitan Archives on 16mm film
More info...
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