Tour of Ruislip-Northwood U.D.C.
16mm film Black & White Silent c.1960 8:34
Summary: Film of a car journey through the UDC area, showing old houses and new developments.
Title number: 380
LSA ID: LSA/495
Description: A curious tour around the urban district of Ruislip and Northwood following a moustachioed middle aged man. The film begins with shots from his Ford Consul car travelling into Eastcote. The car stops and he is filmed getting out. He holds a black bound book marked 'Ruislip-Northwood Scrap Book'. He opens up the book to a photograph of a street, which he compares to the street before him (Field End Road leading up to Eastcote tube station). He gets back in his car and drives on. He parks at a building site and gets out. Large houses punctuate a landscape over parkland. The man walks amongst some modern single storey flatted roofed buildings and looks over some larger Georgian houses. There follow short views of the Black Horse public house, an old house called 'Old Forge' with an anvil out front and a modern bungalow. The man consults his scrapbook again as he looks over a development of new houses. A woman gets a young man to help her pick some mushrooms from trays in a darkened outbuilding. The man gets back in his car and drives on. In a different location there are shots of The George Public House on Bury Street, a public water pump, St Martin's Church , and the Swan public house (all on Ruislip High Street), and the Urban District Council of Ruislip-Northwood Municipal Bowling Green. A quick look at a sign reading Kings College Road precedes views of the man smoking a cigarette and looking disinterestedly at a sports ground. An incongruous shot of Kings College Cambridge is followed by a shot of a different man pouring over an old map. There follows another shot from the front of a speeding car, a woman pulls out on a moped and it appears that the car will hit her, the screen goes white and the film ends.
Further information: From the mid 15th Century right up until 1931, much of the land around Ruislip was owned by King's College, Cambridge - a fact which the film appears to be alluding to.
Keywords: Community charge; Councils; Taxation
Locations: United Kingdom; England; London; Hillingdon; Ruislip; Northwood; Eastcote
Antony Brown wrote on April 10, 2017:As a boy in the 1960s, I lived in Wiltshire Lane, Eastcote and Haydon Hall was my playground. I also…As a boy in the 1960s, I lived in Wiltshire Lane, Eastcote and Haydon Hall was my playground. I also remember going to innoculation clinics in Eastcote House before it was demolished. The walled garden is still one of my favourite places and I take every opportunity to visit if I am in London (I now live in Scotland).
The "modern single storey flatted roof buildings" which appear in the film were behind Haydon Hall and some are still there. I recall they were Ruislip-Northwood UDC (as it then was) buildings, but there were also civil defence properties behind the Hall too, this being the era when nuclear war was a real threat.
I have no idea what the purpose of the film was, clearly the man is revisiting old haunts in Eastcote and Ruislip, but the "mushroom interlude" is a mystery. He follows a route which I often take myself from Eastcote tube station to Eastcote House grounds, on to Haydon Hall and then back to Eastcote village which is much more built up now and then to the historic core of Ruislip and the King's College playing fields. These are all still clearly identifiable today, but I suspect had changed much in the driver's lifetime. Fascinating for me though and I'm glad I found it. There is very little motion picture material about this area still available.
Anon wrote on January 16, 2017:It is interesting that the map being pored over (in the King's College archive) is shown in mirror image. …It is interesting that the map being pored over (in the King's College archive) is shown in mirror image. With a mirror one can make out "Vicarage ? Parsons Bridge" The last scene appears to be shot at the place pointed out on the map, viz in Bury Street, driving north to the point where the scooter emerges from Ladygate Lane. The white bridge, which remains the same today, takes Bury Street across the River Pinn. See British History Online - Ruislip for further information about the bridge.
Anon wrote on July 5, 2016:The large white house in the parkland is Eastcote House which was demolished in the 60s by the local council.…The large white house in the parkland is Eastcote House which was demolished in the 60s by the local council. My grandfather was part of the team who helped me demolish it. Previous to its demolition, the house had been used as a baby and toddler clinic. The other large, brick house is Haydon Hall, which stood on the other side of the road, also since demolished.