VIDEO: From the Christ Church film archive: Canterbury in 1951

The Canterbury Amateur Film Archive contains an amazing array of movies

The city has just enjoyed the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival when thousands of bon viveurs descended upon the Dane John Gardens.

Next month it will be the turn of arts lovers as the Canterbury Festival takes centre stage in the city’s consciousness.

It starts on October 20 and finishes on November 3 and features a superb array of events and festivities to meet myriad tastes.

Festivals have been part of the fabric of the city’s life for generations – as a video housed in Canterbury Christ Church University’s Canterbury Amateur Film Archive shows.

Shot in 1951, the footage shows the people of the city enjoying the Festival of Britain in 1951.

The 16mm film was made by the Canterbury Amateur Cine Society Film Unit. This group had been set up by John McCallum who had been making films since he was a schoolboy. The Society met in the basement of a large Victorian house in Canterbury which is now the Ebury Hotel in New Dover Road.

Christ Church’s archive is overseen by Tim Jones, i a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media, Art and Design who teaches on the Film, Radio and Television programme.

Tim has the specialist telecine equipment to digitise all types of amateur films safely whether they were originally shot on 16mm, 9.5mm, Std 8 or Super 8. If you have amateur film made in the Kent area that you believe would be of interest please contact Tim by e-mail:

Click here to read Tim’s archive blog.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here