Princess Elizabeth in Swindon in 1950.
Swindon on film
View fascinating cine-camera footage of Swindon taken in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
AVP Studios in Swindon are a TV production company who specialise in producing corporate communication programmes and retail DVDs, whose latest project will prove of great interest to those with an interest in Swindon's history.
Entitled 'Swindon Through the Decades', the DVD has been in the making for two years and is due for release in April. It includes never before-seen cine footage filmed in and around the town in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and promises to be a fascinating visual record of how much Swindon has changed over the last 60 years.
The DVD is presented by renowned local artist Phil King who has lived in Swindon all his life and has painted many Swindon landmarks. Depending on more footage being unearthed and donated, it is hoped this will be only the first in a series of programmes looking at Swindon's past.
Diving at Coate Water in 1950
The company have kindly given BBC Wiltshire access to the raw film footage of which edited highlights will be featured in the DVD. The four clips we have made available in streaming Real Video are detailed below.
Water Carnival at Coate Water in 1950
This four minute silent clip is taken from footage filmed at a Water Carnival at the town's country park - Coate Water on Saturday 29th July 1950.
Some of the activities filmed at the event held to celebrate the Borough of Swindon's Jubilee celebrations are a diving competition, a fashion show and a water polo game.
Commemorative book photo
Princess Elizabeth visits Swindon in 1950
This six minute silent clip shows one of The Queen's four visits to Swindon. Two years before she became the nation's sovereign, the-then 24-year-old Princess Elizabeth visited the town on 15th November 1950 as part of the Borough of Swindon's own Jubilee celebrations.
The Princess visited the Civic Offices, unveiled a memorial plaque in the town's Queens Park, opened Moredon playing fields and lunched at the Town Hall.
Her motorcade ended up at the thriving GWR works on Station Road where she officially named locomotive No. 6201 'Princess Elizabeth'.
The next two clips are both in colour with sound and date back to the 60s and 70s.
Fleming Way junction in 1966
Swindon Newsreel 1966
This nine-minute newsreel (separated into two clips below) produced by the Swindon Film Unit, charts a year in the life of the-then expanding town and shows a number of familiar landmarks around Swindon.
Highlights of this footage include a trip down Commercial Road before the one-way system was introduced, the newly-built Kingsdown crematorium, construction work being carried out on what is now known as the Thistle Hotel and a summer's day at Penhill paddling pool.
The Brunel Statue in 1977
Our Swindon (1977)
A locally-produced six-minute Public Information film all about Swindon designed to promote the town as a centre of business and desirable place to live.
It is interesting to see how the town shopping centre looked at the time and among the many other landmarks shown are the train station, the Railway Museum, Queens Park and the Wyvern Theatre.
Given the age of both films, sound quality is not great but is perfectly listenable. And the background music and narration contribute to making each a fascinating curio piece.
In order to produce future DVDs, AVP Studios are very keen to obtain similar cine footage of Swindon in days gone by. If you think you can help, contact them on (01793) 436735 or visit their website via the link on the right.
last updated: 09/05/2008 at 13:13
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