This film is part of Free

Summer in Mayfair

Colour travelogue promoting the cultural, commercial, fashionable and natural highlights of Mayfair in the sunshine.

Travelogue 1957 26 mins


Mayfair isn’t normally thought of as a bucolic summer paradise, but this cheerful travelogue suggests otherwise. After a tour of Hyde Park, with its statues, luxuriant floral displays and even gambolling rabbits, we visit attractions alternating between the commercial (luxury car showrooms, the Ritz Hotel, Burlington Arcade, clubland), the cultural (the Royal Academy) and the fashionable (saris, poodles). Much is unaffordable by mere mortals, but they can at least watch the Changing of the Guard.

The patrician tones of narrator McDonald Hobley (1917-1987) were instantly recognisable in 1957, as he’d already spent a decade as one of BBC Television’s first onscreen continuity announcers. He was also a regular presenter of such shows as Come Dancing (1950-98), and made a memorable gaffe when introducing a 1951 party political broadcast by "the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Stifford Crapps", as opposed to Sir Stafford Cripps. In 1956, Hobley began a decade in independent television, but returned to the BBC in 1966 as the first presenter of the long-running It’s a Knockout (1966-2001).