This collection of archive newsreel film footage features a selection of film clips from Swindon, Wiltshire. A partial history of Swindon in film clips running from 1918 to 1969.
1918 and and it is Empire Day celebrations in Swindon - great fun! In 1921 King Amanullah Khan of Afghanistan visited the train factory in Swindon and 1924 George V and Queen Mary dropped in on Swindon to a cheering crowd, George V climbed into a steam engine cab! Still with the railways in Swindon and we have a film from 1934 of "Queer Jobs" carried out in the railway sheds and in 1935 the very latest in locomotive design was unveiled with the 'King Henry VII' streamlined steam loco. Two sad stories from 1936, the crash of the Penzance to London Express where two people died and a film of 'Lost Locos' where obsolete trains are broken, this is followed by a film in 1938 of the Train Graveyard in Swindon.
More recent history and in 1947 Swindon was reporting a baby boom and we have great footage of William Morgan's flower shop, James Smith's Nursery Shop and Lew Evans jewellers. Swindon inventor William Ratcliffe demonstrates his Water Cycle in a 1949 newsreel film and in 1950 Princess Elizabeth visited Swindon to visit the town, Girl Guides and unveil engine 'Swindon'. Lyneham in 1953 received POWs back from Korea. It was not just trains but Hovercraft that Swindon could claim to be the incubator for, the Vickers factory is shown on film in 1961 and the Hovercraft Vickers VA1 and VA3 and V303 are all shown in the archive footage here. Queen's Park in the same year and colour footage of MR MJ Williams and his Crocodile flower display. More Hovercrafts at Vickers in 1962 with the VA3 and a Hover Land Rover... Comets at RAF Lyneham in '62 and in 1965 a flight simulator was demonstrated, still with planes 66 'new' Hercules aircraft were on order. The George V locomotive was due for restoration in 1968 and who can forget 1969 - Swindon won the league cup against Arsenal!