Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.
After a brief tutelage with innovative BBC documentary producer Denis Mitchell, Dennis Potter teamed with producer Anthony de Lotbiniere to film a documentary (later described by David Niven as "absolutely wonderful"). Returning to the Berry Hill roots of his childhood, Potter used interviews with locals (including his parents) to show changes in the working-class traditions of the Forest of Dean, where "the green forest has a deep black heart beneath its sudden hills, pushing up slag heaps and grey little villages clustering around the coal."
First transmitted in 1960, this film was written and directed by Ken Russell for the BBC. It follows the bohemian lifestyles of the tenants of an old London house in Bayswater and its housekeeper, Mrs Collings. The blend of documentary style filming, colourful anecdotes and stylised sequences produces a highly evocative and entertaining film as well as an early example of Ken Russell’s distinctive approach to film making.
Richard Burton narrates this stunning film of two Polish soldiers struggling to make a living from a derelict farm in Carmarthenshire.
Eugenius Okolowicz and Vlodek Bulaj, soldiers exiled after serving in the Second World War, sought shelter in Wales. They came upon a desolate hillside farm which had lain unoccupied and decaying for 20 years. Neither of the Poles had farmed before, but the land was cheap because it was unwanted. This film tells the story of the men's 12th year living at Penygaer. But it is more the tragic story of the price they have paid for poor independence and of their unending struggle, in loneliness and hardship, to be themselves. (1960)
This footage is all that remains of the programme that was first transmitted in 1960. Sgt George Brown demonstrates training exercises in a wooded area is known as the 'trainasium'. The aim is for the recruits to overcome a series of physical obstacles which encourage movements of daring and agility. They are also set team challenges aimed at encouraging initiative.