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Historic videos of Sutton Coldfield go on YouTube from British Pathé

By Sutton Coldfield Observer  |  Posted: April 30, 2014

By Paul Kemp

  • The wreckage of the 1955 Sutton Coldfield rail disaster.

  • Rescuers clear away debris from wrecked platform at Sutton Coldfield in 1955.

  • Footage from the aftermath of the Sutton Coldfield rail disaster in 1955.

  • Wrecked carriages captured on camera by British Pathé in 1955.

  • Opening the Brylcreem British Open Bowling Championships in May 1966.

  • In 1968, a futuristic three-wheeled convertible commuter car is taken for a test drive through Sutton Coldfield.

  • Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, President of British Boys Scouts, on dais about to open Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield in 1957.

  • Boy Scouts at the Sutton Coldfield International Jamboree in 1957.

  • Footage from a horse show in Sutton Coldfield in 1920.

  • The Sutton Coldfield hairstyle champions of 1962. Hairdresser Peter Webb of Solihull won the competition.

  • A model in the 1962 Fellowship of Hair Artists' Open British Championship at Sutton Coldfield.

  • Footage during the Sutton Coldfield hairstyle championships.

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HISTORIC camera footage by the world-famous British Pathé news service has gone online to watch for free – and features fascinating old videos of Sutton Coldfield.

British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection of 85,000 historic films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel.

And by logging on you can watch footage of the Sutton Coldfield rail disaster in 1955, the Sutton Coldfield Hairstyle Champions in 1962, a three-wheeled commuter car in the town in 1968 and the international Scout Jamboree in 1957.

This unprecedented release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible to viewers all over the world.

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"Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them," said Alastair White, general manager of British Pathé.

"This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that."

British Pathé was once a dominant feature of the British cinema experience, renowned for first-class reporting and an informative yet uniquely entertaining style.

It is now considered to be the finest newsreel archive in existence. Spanning the years 1896 to 1976, the collection includes footage – not only from Britain, but from around the globe – of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, sport and culture.

The archive is particularly strong in its coverage of the First and Second World Wars.

Alastair White continues: "Whether you're looking for coverage of the Royal Family, the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg, or quirky stories about British pastimes, it'll be there on our channel.

"You can lose yourself for hours."

This project is being managed by German company Mediakraft, which has been responsible for numerous past YouTube successes.

"The company will be creating new content using British Pathé material, in English and in foreign languages.

All video screenshots are courtesy of British Pathé. To watch the full videos online visit www.youtube.com/britishpathe

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