This film is part of Free

Aerial Views of Yorkshire

A bird’s eye view of the tower blocks and new roads of 1970s Leeds contrasts nicely with the colourful and exuberant Caribbean Carnival, headed by an intriguingly titled banner.

Non-Fiction 1979 10 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


In this film of two halves, West Yorkshire Police provide an aerial survey of an unknown area, possibly Leeds, while down on the ground the 1979 West Indian Carnival is in full swing. Apparently disconnected, these different perspectives on Leeds make for an interesting comparison of living in a city environment in the 1970s.

This is one of a large collection of films made by West Yorkshire Police, mainly from the 1960s and 1970s, usually of demonstrations of one kind or another. It is not at all apparent why either half of this film was made: the first part doesn’t appear to be tracking anything, while the Carnival appears very innocuous – possibly looking out for the dreaded ganja. The Leeds Carnival predates London's Notting Hill Carnival, with its founder, Arthur France, also helping to set up the United Caribbean Association – campaigning for equal rights and an end to discrimination – in 1964, along with Cedric Clarke, the first black Labour Councillor in Leeds, and George Archibald – with 27 people crowding into his bedsit!