A completely new event at the Winchester Discovery Centre is a special screening of historic films of yesterday’s transport in southern England. The films will be introduced live by film archivist Rob Foxon and include both road and rail transport.
The early days of private motoring are featured in a film showing how (and how not!) to pass the newly-introduced driving test in 1934. Highlight of the show will be the first time screening of a recently-discovered film of Winchester in 1936. Historic Winchester is featured, with views of local streets and businesses including Allen’s confectioners in the High Street. The film was probably made to promote the city as a destination for the new touring motorists and bus and coach passengers of the day.
The show is being promoted by the Friends of King Alfred Buses, a well-established transport heritage charity dedicated to preserving examples of the King Alfred vehicles that provided local services between 1920 and 1973. A King Alfred vehicle from the 1930s is planned to be on display outside the Discovery Centre for the event.
The programme also features rare archive footage of trams in Southampton in the 1930s and main line electrification, from Waterloo to Portsmouth in 1937 and to Bournemouth in 1967. A Three Counties Winter Tour of Hampshire, Dorset and Devon in January 1949 in an iconic Bedford OB coach shows passengers in freezing conditions, but these winter holidays are here to stay, says the film! The much loved trolleybuses of Bournemouth come back to life in historic colour footage from 1951 whilst another film shows how old buses never die as a retired Southampton bus finds a new role as a play bus in Woking in 1982!
Remember the buses and trams in the streets of England and the highways and byways of Bygone Britain on genuine archive film. It’s living history on the silver screen and a rare opportunity today to see real film projected on a real screen. There’s nothing digital about this event!
Many of the films are being shown for the first time and will appeal to anyone interested in local history and our past way of life, as well as to transport enthusiasts.