London, 1927 – See the past come to life in vivid colour video 52



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I recently had the rare privilege of seeing black and white footage of my late father as a child. It was moving beyond words – but part of the experience felt a little sad. Something about it just didn’t quite feel “real”. It felt like a movie, rather than a document of the same reality I inhabited.

It was only later that I was able to put that strange feeling into words: when your view is limited to black and white, there will always be a certain part of the past – a certain living, breathing reality – that feels abstract and off-limits.

This is why the following video is so remarkable. It’s one of the very, very rare times colour filming techniques were used in the 1920s. And what an amazing difference it makes: suddenly, the past seems living. Breathing. Real. It’s a glimpse into our parents’ era as it truly was back then.

How do you feel watching this footage? Does it feel strange to see the past so vividly? And what piece of old footage do you treasure the most?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Do we still live in Australia? I keep getting the idea they moved the whole country to Britain..I was born here and so have generations of my family

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  2. Watching this I couldn’t help thinking about the people in it. I wonder what happened to them and if they had happy lives. A very interesting look into the past. I was also impressed with all the double decker buses.

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  3. Great film, lots of nostalgia.
    We should never forget our history no matter where we are from, it helped to develop us and our country (ies) into what and where they are today. We have so much to be thankful for.

  4. Thank you, what fascinating footage. My parents were born in 1920 so this gives me a wonderful idea of how they would have seen London.

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