This film is part of Free

Civil Defence parades in pre-war Croydon

Peacetime frivolity contrasts sharply with a sense of the Gathering Storm in this film from Croydon made shortly before the outbreak of hostilities.

Amateur film 1938 12 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This film reveals some stark contrasts in late 1930s Britain. First we see well-to-do ladies enacting various scenes, in costume, from their recent amateur productions. Then we get a sense of impending crisis with a Civil Defence parade on Croydon’s Katherine Street. Here we see Red Cross nurses march with Scots Guards followed by ambulances and a lorry load of telephonists in a mock Control Room. A Civil Defence poster display is also seen outside Croydon Town Hall.