Swinging Britain, 1967


My thanks to Jay for turning up this gem from the huge British Pathé archive which recently landed at YouTube. British Pathé provided short newsreel films for UK cinemas up until 1970. The flaws of these films have always been immediately apparent, chiefly an irritating editorial attitude manifested by patronising voiceovers and sequences staged for the camera. On the plus side, everything was being shot for cinema screens so 35mm film was used which means the footage always looks better than the TV news of the time.

Swinging Britain is an 8-minute jaunt from the Portobello Road and Carnaby Street, to the offices of Intro magazine (launched that year), Mary Quant’s boutique, a “happening” in a park, and various nightclubs (not the UFO, unfortunately). Most footage along these lines tends to concentrate exclusively on London but this one also includes scenes in Manchester and Newcastle. The voiceover is as sceptical as you’d expect, leavened with a few qualifying remarks: “It’s good business for Britain!” The event in the park was one of a number of happenings and art events staged by Keith Albarn (Damon’s dad). The Pathé archive has another film showing the interior of Albarn’s Fun City environment at Margate, Kent. Of more general interest is this film of one of the popular beat groups of the period, four young men who call themselves The Pink Floyd.

See also:
Woburn Love-In (1967)
Light Fantastic (1968)
Out Takes / Cuts From Cp 662 – Reel 1 Of 3 – Swinging Britain (1967)
Out Takes / Cuts From Cp 662 – Reel 2 Of 3 – Swinging Britain (1967)
Out Takes / Cuts From Cp 662 – Reel 3 Of 3 – Swinging Britain (1967)
Out Takes / Cuts From Cp 719 – Fun Palace, Air Cushion And Balloon Race (1968)

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