Aerial Journeys | Looking at the British landscape from the air
WRITTEN DOCUMENT 1968
30th September, 1968.
I can see what has happened. Some eager employee of yours has been writing round to country houses saying I am going to film them, and will they give permission. I have already heard from two whose owners I know, and vicariously from a third. George Howard asked me to stay at Castle Howard as a result of some letter which must have come to him from the Palace of Arts. Lady Radnor got a friend of us both to write to me to say how sorry she was she couldn't allow the helicopter over Longford Castle as old Lord Radnor is very ill and was at the time thought to be dying, and today Lord Bath tells me that his partner Jimmy Chipperfield almost died of a heart attack "when the helicopter went over the lion and giraffe reserve, as it scared the bloody animals out of their wits, and he thought they would all escape."
These crimes are being committed in my name and for goodness sake write to me in a 5d. letter to tell me you have instructed your employee not to use my name in vain. It is most embarrassing as well as probably untrue, as we still don't know for certain whether the assembled material will make a film to which I could write an adequate commentary.
I hope all is well in the Palace of Arts; I often think of it and smile with happiness.
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Document Type | Letter
30 September 1968
John Betjeman explains to producer Edward Mirzoeff that his name has been used by the BBC to get support for their filming of 'The Englishman's Home'. The problem was that Betjeman had not yet agreed to narrate and write for the film at this stage and he had been forced to deal with several embarrassing enquiries from his friends in country estates.
In his letter, John Betjeman refers to Lord Bath and 'the bloody animals', which is a reference to the safari park at Longleat. In 1966 the marquess of Bath, Henry Frederick Thynne, opened a safari park with circus impresario Jimmy Chipperfield. His decision to have a lion enclosure earned him the title 'the mad marquess' in the press. Despite this, Longleat safari park was a massive success and attracted over 100,000 visitors when it first opened.
Aerial photographers discuss their work from the early 1900s onwards.
The air ambulance of Renfrew is called into action.
News report on the first live television filming from the air.
Raymond Baxter reports on the South Coast Air Race.
The BBC makes its second attempt to broadcast live from the air.
The first episode of a groundbreaking series on Britain as viewed from the air.
Aerial views of mankind's various modes of transport through the ages.
What were the implications for a countryside under constant threat of development?
Britain's seaside life, viewed from the air.
'Tomorrow's World' explores the scientific feat of aerial photo mapping.
An aerial journey from a lighthouse in the South West to the north of the Shetland Isles.
Take a journey over land and through time with this film of Wales shot entirely from the air.
John Noakes meets members of the Red Arrows.
Britain's ancient past is discovered from the air.
Glide over Wiltshire in a hot-air balloon.
A natural history programme on Ice Age Britain.
Britain's coastline as you've never seen it before.
Six intrepid teams race their microlights across the roof of England.
Janet Ellis takes to the skies as she trains for a freefall parachute jump.
Reflections of a mountaineer while climbing in the Lake District.
The costs of the first live broadcast from the air.
A 'Radio Times' draft and article about the BBC's first live broadcast from an aeroplane.
The Head of Television Programmes criticises 'Operation Pegasus'.
Cecil McGivern finds further fault with 'Operation Pegasus'.
Ideas for the first 'Bird's Eye View' episode.
Helicopter filming causes problems for John Betjeman and chaos ensues at Longleat.
A feature on 'Bird's Eye View'.
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