Tag Archives: propaganda

1930’s propaganda movie filmed in Blackheath

BBC Voice of Britain with the GPO Film Unit
Now here’s a real discovery… The rather wonderful building at the end of Bennett Park, named “The Blackheath Arts Club”, and adorned with a blue plaque, was home to the GPO Film Unit, as mentioned back when this blog was only a baby.

blue_plaque_gpoHaving spent some time googling around looking for more information on the GPO Film Unit, I found many references to a 1930s black and white propaganda movie called “BBC: Voice of Britain”. It was not only produced, but also filmed around Blackheath. There’s more here about it. I’d pretty much given up hope of ever finding a copy, and had written about it in the past, when I spotted a mention of the film on Louis Barfe’s rather wonderful Cheeseford Blog.

I duly fired off an email, and heard nothing until recently, when much to my surprise, he offered to send me a copy of the film! You can watch it here.

But now comes the tricky part – I’ve watched it, and cannot see much in the way of Blackheath there…. Could these be a leafy part of Blackheath?

BBC Voice of Britain, GPO Film Unit, Blackheath

BBC Voice of Britain, GPO Film Unit, Blackheath

They don’t look very familiar to me… In fact, the only part that did look like Blackheath, was this section towards the end, which looks a lot like Bennett Park to me:

BBC Voice of Britain, GPO Film Unit, Blackheath

Anyway, I’ll try to upload the full video somewhere soon, and you can judge for yourselves…. I’d be really interested if you do spot anywhere within Blackheath that I’ve missed – it’s quite likely that I don’t recognise some parts, or that some of the buildings don’t exist any more.

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A couple of open replies…

Dear Nigel.  I really didn’t want you to send me the home address of the BNP leader for London.  I know it’s round here somewhere, but I’m not going to stick it on this website, and neither should you.  I think they’re an incredibly  grim little group, but the right to free association is no bad thing.

And on a lighter note:

Greenwich Picture House by khedera

Dear Becky,

It’s great that you are emailing local bloggers about the cinema, but I wish you’d been encouraging people to go to the Greenwich Picture House, and not the depressing Odeon which never seems to show any decent films!  I saw Waltz With Bashir at the picturehouse the other day, and it was amazing.  Every time I end up staggering past B&Q to get to the Odeon, I always end up seeing something awful.

Photo by flickr user khedara back before it was continually winter time…

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