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Obey the upper class man, please
October 24, 2005 3:04 PM   Subscribe

British public information films. A couple of months back, there was a post about an online exhibition of British propaganda films from WWII. Now, the UK National Archives, who appear to be slowly working their way through the decades, have posted some public information films from the 40s and 50s. BBC News discusses the history of public information films, particularly the famous "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases" (available in Windows Media (sigh) here). My favourite is this optimistic look at how the new towns developed after the war were going to be just *great*. I grew up in a new town - Hemel Hempstead. Let's just say it didn't quite work out that way.
posted by athenian (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Cool post. I've never heard of the new town.
posted by selfmedicating at 3:39 PM on October 24, 2005


Hehe. Commiserations Athenian, but remember, Hemel isn't all that bad, its got the Magic Roundabout! I grew up in Welwyn Garden City, another of the original "new towns". My Dad originally moved there as part of the London slum-clearance plans, as a child, and eventually grew up to work for the Commission for the New Towns. So I grew up surrounded by photos and plans of the town's expansion, and my Dad would talk about meeting Louis de Soissons.

New Towns were a great idea in principle. I enjoyed growing somewhere so close to the countryside. I could go out on my bike and soon be into fields and woods. However, the town itself quickly expanded in the 60s and 70s and became rather characterless and unpleasant. I still think the idea is sound (I know my Dad grew up in a nicer place than the city slums he was born into), but I think the blame for the unpleasantness lies at the door of crap 1970s architecture. At least we didn't have any tower blocks (Hatfield got some though).
posted by Joh at 6:43 PM on October 24, 2005


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