British Council Films

Launched this month is a digitised collection of films produced for the British Council in the 1940s. Insights to a different era, both of documentary film making, but also how we presented ourselves to the outside world. Lots of great material however for social and local historians, and with the additional benefit that they can be downloaded and re-purposed under a Creative Commons license.

My education favourite is ‘Learning to live’, described by the contemporary catalogue in these terms “Britain has many well-planned new schools with modern equipment. These are described in the picture of a day in Billy Brown’s Nursery School, his sister’s Junior School, and the Senior School where his brother is a prefect. At all stages of education, children learn to be useful citizens.” Interestingly the senior school featured in the film is Northwood in Hillingdon, still in the same building. I imagine the lantern slide projector (part of the modern equipment) has been retired!

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