A London time capsule from 1927 – in colour!

January 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm (cinema, film, history, Jim D, London)

No politics here, but it’s a fascinating, newly-discovered glimpse of London between the wars. I found it strangely eerie and moving, looking at all those now-dead faces (the little girl at the Peter Pan statue may possibly now be a very old lady, but is probably long gone). At least England had a “brilliant victory” over the Aussies at the Oval in 1927:

H/t The BFI (British Film Institute) and Laurie Coombs


  1. A London time capsule from 1927 – in colour! | OzHouse said,

    […] Jan 12 2014 by admin […]

  2. Keith Tanner said,

    Remarkable colour and for once an old film run at the correct rate.
    So far as the the little girl at the statue is concerned she could well be alive. My wife has a102yr old aunt who was 16 in 1927!

  3. Mick O said,

    Marvellous. I am a sucker for anything like this. I always feel that old colour footage of people around familiar landmarks disproves the idea that the past is another country.

  4. Sue R said,

    How clean London looks pre-plastic bag.

  5. Mike Killingworth said,

    Are you sure it was 1927? The Test Match, at least, was the year before.

  6. Clive said,

    My dad – who’s still going strong – would have been four.

  7. Lynn Ferguson said,

    BFI seem to have found lots of this stuff. Somewhere I have film of Crouch End – not in colour though

  8. Pink Prosecco said,

    Excuse off topic comment (which you can delete once read Jim) but I sent you a post for consideration and twice got a bounce back from your email – could you email me?

  9. Roger McCarthy said,

    Somebody has done a side by side comparison of the film with the same locations today http://vimeo.com/81368735

    Most telling frames are the Petticoat Lane market ones which really does bring out the degree to which London has changed from a mono- to a multi-cultural city.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Amazing stuff! What a lot of time and effort went into that comparison film. A lot more bloody pigeons about these days, I notice. Thanks for drawing it to our attention, Roger.

    • RosieB said,

      The comparison film is great. Very few private cars in the 1927 one. Traffic predominantly motor buses. But not many cyclists in 1927, and quite a lot now on the Barclays Blue bikes. Sparrows sadly gone. I suppose as it was taken mostly round historical monuments there hasn’t been much change in the architecture.

  10. John Meredith said,

    Bertie Wooster’s London!

    Amazing, at first sight, how little seems to have changed. Notice how much better the roads look, though, when they are not covered with white and yellow lines, and the streets unburdened by billions of traffic signs. Nearly all those markings and signs are unnecessary and getting rid of them is a cheap and easy way to improve the visual environment. Sermon now is ended.

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