1950s Britain

  • Video contentThey Stand Ready

    They Stand Ready

    They Stand Ready was a film produced for the British government looking at the enlistment, training and duties of a National Serviceman. During the 1950s, all British men between the ages of 17 and 21 were required to serve for…

  • Audio contentWORK25-64-B1-SB-GEN-24-aerial-sketch-colour

    The Festival of Britain

    The Festival of Britain opened on 3 May 1951. It was a summer-long, nationwide festival celebrating Britain’s contribution to civilisation past, present and future, in the arts, in science and in industrial design. Events ranged from the London South Bank…

  • Audio contentnsc5-671-invest-in-britain-through-national-savings-1953

    I’m All Right Jack! Britain in 1959

    The famous Boulting Brothers film ‘I’m All Right Jack!’ was released just over 50 years ago. The film, in which a blundering innocent causes a nationwide strike, was a satire – but did it also reflect social realities in 1959?…

  • Audio contentext-5-19-7-us-comic-cited-as-an-example-of-the-need-to-prevent-the-sale-of-unsuitable-comics-to-children--1954-1955

    Kapow! Fifties Britain versus the comics menace

    In the mid 1950s Britain woke up to the threat of an invasion: “American style” comics were accused of ruining the reading habits of vulnerable children across the country and even inciting racism and violence. Could Captain Marvel cause crime?…

  • Video contentFestival in London

    Festival in London

    A documentary re-creation of the 1951 Festival of Britain South Bank Exhibition Context Despite the high-profile criticism and economic gloom, due to the mass rearmament programme of the Korean War (1950-53). The Festival was actually a far more popular success…

  • Video contentThe H Bomb

    The H Bomb

    The film opens with images and description of the terrible power of the H Bomb. Animated graphics are used to explain the impact of an atomic bomb on a city. The various hazards of flash, blast and fallout are all…

  • Video contentAtomic Achievement

    Atomic Achievement

    In the 1950s nuclear power stations were seen as the future, providing a clean alternative to fossil fuels. The ‘Atomic Achievement’ film triumphantly celebrates the advances in nuclear power; an energy source that today produces 20 per cent of this…

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