Fancy Seeing London in the 1920s?


Marble Arch London

“So they built an arch of marble and they called it Marble Arch.”

This remarkable video is the last stop in an epic filming trip across Britain made by pioneering filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene. The BFI National Archive has restored this early colour film that was originally created as a series of cinema travelogues in the 1920s. The video, the earliest colour film footage of London, has been a huge hit on the internet lately with the date 1927, even though the BFI National Archive dates it at 1926. Whatever the year … it’s a fabulous look at a London that feels startlingly familiar despite its age. One might expect a London that would seem completely different, but many of the streets, bridges and parks still look remarkably similar.

Just how similar? Well, you wouldn’t be the first to wonder. Simon Smith took on the challenge to recreate the journey Friese-Greene made through London and has made this marvellous side by side video. You can really see how much — and how little — the city has changed since the 20s. Fascinating!

London in 1927 & 2013 from Simon Smith on Vimeo.


(Image Credit: Eluveitie)

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