• Short Summary

    Interesting story about villagers of Didcot who are wary of new atomic research centre nearby.

  • Description

    Various scenic shots of the sleepy village of Didcot in Berkshire - fields, horse riding, tractors, children walking down a country road, old folks chatting, young boys playing football etc.

    The government's new atomic research centre is near to all this pastoral glory. Over various shots of elderly local people, women hanging out their washing and farmers tending their sheep we are told that everyone in the village is worried about this new research centre. Bert Bailey - a local shepherd is concerned about the land where his sheep graze. C/Us of men in the local pub discussing the situation - these include Bill Bradfield, Fred Carter and Ben Mullins. Nice shots of these elderly men.

    Various shots of the Harwell Government Atomic Energy Research Establishment. C/Us of security guard then L/S of him opening gates. Group of young women arrive at the gates for work. Group of young men follow. There is a new town which has been built to house workers at the research centre. Various shots of the prefab style houses. Security guards check lorries which arrive at the research station.

    M/S of local women looking out across the fields at the research station then travelling along a country road in a horse drawn cart. "The villagers let them get on with it" states the narrator: "The Atom has nothing to do with them. It belongs to tomorrow. And tomorrow can take care of itself - and the Atom..."

    Note: there is a suggestion of secrecy surrounding the research establishment. The villagers are wary of this new modern world just across the fields.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    1289.21
    Media URN:
    42919
    Group:
    New pictorials
    Archive:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    23/06/1947
    Sound:
    Sound
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:04:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    01:50:07:00 / 01:54:11:00
    Canister:
    NP 145

Comments (1)

  1. chriscolborne says

    The village scenes from 0:25 to 0:42 (and possibly the two scenes either side) are actually of nearby Blewbury, not Harwell. All the buildings are easily identified as they have changed little in 66 years. The closing frames are also views of Blewbury, looking north-east with Blewburton hill in the background.

    Fascinating footage of Harwell Labs in their earliest days! Now only one aircraft hangar survives, the huts were removed in the 1970's I believe, and sadly most of what remains will shortly disappear as the site continues to be decontaminated and developed as one of the premier technology parks in Europe. The fine RAF buildings are not deemed sufficiently important to be listed by English Heritage, more's the pity.

    The commentry is lame - repeating 'the atom' endlessly without attempting to describe what the lab was for - cutting edge nuclear technology and all its peaceful applications, such as power generation and production of isotopes for medical use to name two.

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