another historic gem
15 September 2011
This is the first I've seen of the series that didn't end with a hope for peace, just that there is much to be learned from the past. Perhaps that hope was dashed in one case when a reviewer turned a deaf ear to what the narrator had to say.

I always look for signs of war damage in these British travelogues because most of the American movies set in postwar Britain try to obscure it. In this one a bit of that reality creeps in with the look at York Minster, comparing it to cannon damage by Cromwell's army etc. These old buildings always look so well scrubbed today since they've had some good cleanings and the people don't have coal furnaces and trains don't run on coal. Back then, buildings and clothing got pretty grimy, both in the UK and the US.

The cottages and flowers are lovely in this short and the music with them soothing and pastoral. I wonder if the curious little daughter of the caretaker ever got to see herself in the short and if she still lives in that area today.

The lido or Super Swimming Station at Morecambe in the short was built in 1936 to outdo the one in Blackpool. It was demolished in the '70s, partly to due a persistent leak from the very start that let in sea water at high tide and leaked pool water at low tide. But it was a monster lido, and no mistake.

I couldn't tell online if the other places mentioned were markedly different today from 1950 in traffic or urban renewal projects but I'd suspect they all went through a bad patch of several decades and now people are caring a lot more about saving historic buildings and cutting down on congestion.

I'm giving this a slightly lower score than I do for most of these because it probably has less archival interest than some, although it still should be preserved for the future.
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