The East Anglian Film Archive, the first and largest Regional Film Archive in England, was established in 1976. Since 1984, EAFA has been owned and operated by the University of East Anglia, Norwich (UEA), to support research and work to preserve our moving image heritage. More than 250 hours are freely available online as examples of the wide range of film which attracts interest the world over.
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A growing community, factory life, and nesting House Martins represent the Garden City ethos, the perfect marriage of city and nature, captured by amateur filmmaker John Chear.
Amateur film 1939 24 mins Silent
From the collection of:
Welwyn Garden City in its earliest days, through the seasons, as seen through the eyes of Hertfordshire filmmaker John Chear. Witness a developing settlement, with new houses being built for its new community and new factories for its working inhabitants. The garden city ethos of providing a foundation for an effective urban life through the integration of city and nature is evident. A keen naturalist, Chear shows the seasonal abundance of flora and birdlife.
Many cine film enthusiasts captured Welwyn Garden City, in its earlier days as a new settlement, including keen amateur cinematographer John Chear. Chear was a member of the Welwyn Garden City Urban District Council, becoming Chairman in 1950. Between 1955 and 1958 he was Welwyn's local representative for Hertfordshire County Council. His passions were photography, filmmaking, and wildlife.
Garden Cities & New Towns
Promotional 1952 10 mins Silent Location: Letchworth Garden City
1903 saw the launch of "First Garden City Ltd." and the purchase of development land near Hitchin. 50 years on, in Coronation year, Letchworth was worthy of another celebration.
1956 14 mins Location: Harlow
An insider's guide to 1950s Harlow made for US audiences, with architect Frederick Gibberd interviewed from the top of the Lawn tower block.
Cinemagazine 1973 8 mins Location: Milton Keynes
"The most exciting thing going on in Europe, if not the world": welcome to Milton Keynes circa 1973.
News 1966 3 mins Location: Stevenage
Stevenage is town planning utopia, for it boasts at least 50 - yes 50! - underpasses. Like a pro, the reporter’s enthusiasm enlivens the dry subject matter. Journeying is but a joy!
Amateur film 1957 15 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
Picturesque tour of Welwyn, England's second Garden City. A rural-urban idyll of spacious residential areas and green community spaces. A marvel of town planning design!
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1948 8 mins
Charley says (no, not that one) that Britain’s new towns are great
Welwyn Garden City
Advert 1935 12 mins Location: Welwyn Garden City
Welcome to Welwyn Garden City, home of the nation's breakfast
Documentary drama 1929 39 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
This striking female-focused silent drama muses on the long-term perils of sexually transmitted diseases
Non-Fiction 1926 4 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
Empire News Bulletin record the Conservative Minister Neville Chamberlain at Welwyn Station's official opening ceremony.
Amateur film 1939 15 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
A great example of ‘despite war, life continues’, Welwyn Garden City residents continue with annual traditions, festive occasions and celebrations, during wartime.
Industry sponsored film 1954 28 mins Location: Carlisle
Maintaining, evolving and revolutionising the landscape on an industrial scale with one of Britain's biggest builders.
Amateur film 1964 18 mins Silent Location: Welwyn Garden City
A moving picture-esque pamphlett. A virtual travel brochure. Showcasing England's first Garden City, with amateur filmmaker F.J. Douglas as your tour guide.
Charity appeal 2020 2 mins
Beautiful NHS fundraiser, setting Michael Rosen’s poem to powerful archive images.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902) Spectators Promenading in Weston Park, Sheffield (1902)
Non-Fiction 1902 3 mins Silent Location: Weston Park
A stroll in the park for civilised city-dwellers in Edwardian South Yorkshire.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
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