Local News of Uxbridge Between the Year 1934 and 1995
VHS Colour;Black & White Sound 1995 89:33
Summary: A compilation of film of events in Uxbridge compiled by J. Bramhill.
Title number: 2376
Description: The compilation begins with 'Uxbridge & district News Review' a piece of amateur news film featuring 'Uxbridge Show of 1934' . Scenes from the show includes several displays, including horse jumping, huntsmen and their hounds, and greyhound racing as well as the pursuit of an escaping pig. 'Funeral Train of George V' records that locomotive hearse steaming through a station (possibly Uxbridge) en route to central London. A local union flag flys at half-mast. 'UFB' is a brief shot of the Uxbridge Fire Brigade taking an engine out on to the road. 'Queen Mary at Windsor 1937' records the greeting party welcoming Queen Mary back to Windsor. The streets are decked with flags and bunting. Queen Mary's carriage is led by mounted horse guards. 'Jubilee Uxbridge' films a civic event in 1935 including a bonfire, funfair, procession and a ball game using jet hoses. 'South Midland Competitions Wet Drill' records a competition for members of the fire brigade with teams racing to get a hose prepared from an engine. The competition is followed by local children having a go at controlling the hoses with little regard for health and safety! 'New L.P.T.B. Station records shops on Uxbridge High Street before film of the construction of Uxbridge tube station. 'Cowley Fete' includes children in fancy dress, a coconut shy and a gymnastics display. 'Coronation Uxbridge 1939' captures a funfair with stalls and amusement rides, a procession down the High Street by uniformed men and veterans, marchings bands and scouting organisations 'Foam' shows a display with firemen putting out a fire with hosed foam. "GWR Diesel Railway' records passenger trains pulled by steam locomotives with Great Western Railway livery and a streamlined disel engine passing through Uxbridge station. 'GWR Relaying Track' shows railway workers lifting sleepers into position. 'Cierva Autogiro' shows the mini helicopter like aircraft (marked G-ACUT) making a landing in a field. 'Gliding at Dunstable' records people watching gliders making launches from a hill and landings in a field. 'Speed Hill Climb Northwood' films cars competing in a motor race. 'Uxbridge Swimming Pool Opens' shows celebrations at the official opening of the open air pool, with film of its buildings and diving boards from which there is a diving display. 'A.F.S. A.R.P. A.A. Uxbridge Aug 1990' records a public display in which members of the Auxilary Fire Service demonstrate how they extinguish incendiary devices and house fires, Air Raid Precautions staff in gas masks show a civilian rescue and anti-aircraft operatives present their cannons trained on the sky. A new film now begins with titles stating 'Officers and Men of G15 in The Auxillary Fireman' and 'Produced by J.Bramhill & P.G. Fowler' 'By permission of C.O. Finch'. The film features a number of sequences beginning with 'Enrolment' in which two men pass the Fire Station and see a recruitment poster for the ARP, they approach an officer and are guided inside to an office where they sign some forms. They then proceed to the stores and are issued with equipment. Another on screen title informs that 'A.F.S. Mobilised 1st Sept. 1939' 'War Declared 3rd Sept.1939' followed by shots of men digging a hole and constructing a part buried Anderson shelter. Men in A.F.S. uniforms are filmed preparing a pump and hose to draw water from the canal and in other practice activity including a hydrant drill and the use of breathin apparatus, hook ladders, the light trailer pump and putting out incendiaries. The receipt of a call in the control room initiate the issue of men to their vehicles and equipment. A title reading 'The Second Great Fire of London' introduces a new film featuring night shots of large sections of the city on fire and fire services trying to put out the flames. The Guildhall is shown alight, its arched windows revealing the flames within. The film ends with a title stating 'A JB Film'. The next film 'London V.E. Day 9.5.45' shows crowds celebrating in central London including Trafalgar Square. 'C.D. Parade' records a procession along Uxbridge High Street. A new Video Title reads 'Excerpts From Recent Middlesex Shows of the 90's'. The video begins with a recording of the 'Home Counties Amateur Television' organisation in operation before going on to displays as a part of the Middlesex Show held on 28th June 1992. The displays include a synchronised rope climbing exhibition, a circuit by horse drawn carriages, sheepdog trials, a pet dog assault course, motor car stunts, and parachutists. The filmmaker takes a trip in a helicopter and records the show from above taking in the showground and tents and aerial views of the Uxbridge area. A New video sequence 'The Yearly Bedrace' records sights and sounds from the costumed event through Uxbridge town centre. The beds are paraded past the crowds by Uxbridge Tube Station before beginning the race. The beds are carried over obstacles whiel contestants are pelted by children. Another video sequence begins with the title 'Annual March Past of the RAF Through Uxbridge' showing RAF men in dress uniforms marching through Uxbridge town centre led by a marching band. There then follows film taken c1968-1973 of Uxbridge redevelopment and new film of 1991. The first film 'Uxbridge Panorama' looks at the Borough of Uxbridge, then in the County of Middlesex on the eve of redevelopment. Scenes shots around the town take in the canal, Western Avenue, the clock tower and High Street, and Tudor wood frame buildings. Some wintry scenes show ice and snow floating on the canal. Still images giving artist's impressions of a modern development, and film of a scale model of the plans indicate a possible future for the town. The model is markes with signs indicating 'Stage One' and 'Stage Two'. The cameraman's reflection appears in a window as he films a sign behind it reading 'London Borough of Hillingdon, Uxbridge Central Area Redevelopment, Starting May 1968'. Some more views around the centre of town take in local shops including Burton tailoring (menswear), Dolcis (shoes), Civic, and Hepworth's. The filmmaker goes on to record some of alleys and residential streets facing demolition or change in the new plans, including parts of Vine Street. Demolition work is seen commencing with a man standing precariously on a chimmney as he smashes away at its brick structure with a sledgehammer and pickaxe. Elsewhere part demolished buildings are boarded up. A letting agents sign announces new shop and office space to rent, to be completed in early 1970 with an artist's impression of the new buildings. The film moves on to the construction site itself with tall cranes moving materials, men and machines at work and a steel and concrete structure taking shape. This activity is contrasted with quiet residential sterets of terrace and semi-detatched housing. The canalside building of 'F.A. Sedgewick & Co. Brewers of Watford stands next to construction vehicles and equipment. The Wellington Public House and a row of part demolished shops and houses. An elderly woman is filmed standing on the balcony of a brick apartment building. More shots of the construction site are contextualised with a street map showing the areas being developed in the context of New Windsor Street, the High Street, Windsor Street and Vine Street. Shots of the public houses The Railway Arms and the Eight Bells precede more views of partly demolished housing and shops. At the construction site, work has progressed, with windows in the tower block of offices and finishes and fascias in place. At some point later, the new centre has opened and people walk amongst the buildings, while traffic travels on the new relief road. The centralised pedestrian area includes a re-established outdoor market. The filmmaker counterpoints elements of old Uxbridge, the clocktower, an old gaslamp, a church steeple with the cranes raising up the new. These pieces of film are followed by a video sequence entitled "Uxbridge Panorama 1992" by J.B. Productions. The video begins at the St. Andrew's Gate of Uxbridge's RAF Station, with views of the gatepost, sentry men and buildings (on screen date indicates it was shot on 13th November 1992). Views of a church and a large brick building. The video then moves through the town centre taking in a branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Regal Cinema, Midland Bank, Randalls department store, Mahjacks Corner, the War memorial, The Metroplitan Public House, The Queens Head Tavern, a public water fountain, The Three Tuns, Uxbridge tube station, The Pavilions shopping mall, the relief road, The Crown and Treaty pub, the Swan & Bottle, the Old Meeting Congregational Church, Christ Church, and the White Horse. The videomaker seeks to pick out evidence of the past amongst the modern buildings, which now longer possess the utopian aura surrounding their original design. An onscreen titles proclaims "The New Uxbridge of the 90's" and records new glass fronted office blocks of Harman House, the Sainsbury's superstore and carpark, the bus garage, the offices of AIB, Wellington House, as well as a new branch of Royal Bank of Scotland, the new library and archives building. Views along and around the HIgh Street take in Lloyd's Bank, the Odeon Cinema, and the offices of BP. Another title announces "Uxbridge Forward into the Twenty-First Century". Shots of a local newspaper show the headline "Crowds come out to greet war veterans" followed by shots of the events described with war veterans young and old marching through the streets of Uxbridge to the appaluse of crowds.
Credits: Director: J. Bramhill
Further information: Includes film and video shot over a period from 1934 to 1995. The repeated appearance of the fire brigade in the first two films 'Uxbridge & district News Review' and 'The Auxiliary Fireman' suggests that their maker was a staff member of that organisation. Much of the old cine film in the video has been transferred poorly. Silent footage has been overlaid with library music.
Keywords: Fetes; Fire services; Second World War (1939-1945); Urban development
In galleries: London's Evolution
Locations: United Kingdom; England; London; Hillingdon; Uxbridge