Newsreels and historic movie clips (Greenwich site)

This page contains links to newsreels and historic movie clips made at Greenwich by British Pathé and other professional film makers.

 


 

Event Partial Solar eclipse of 8 April 1921
Content/About Film shows: Meridian Building roof, South Building dome opening, Thompson 26-inch Refractor and photoheliograph
Source British Pathé
Type Black & white (silent)
Running time 1 min 42 seconds
Click here to view

 


 

Event
Royal Visit to commemorate the Observatory’s 250th anniversary on 26 July 1925
Content/About
Film shows: External view of South Building with the dome open and Airy’s New Library to the left. Interior of the 28-inch Telescope Dome with the Astronomer Royal Frank Dyson showing King George V the telescope. Royal Party existing South Building
Source
British Pathé
Type
Black & white (silent)
Running time
1 min 25 seconds

Click here to view

 


 

 
Exterior view of the Observatory in 1926
Content/About
An extract from Claude Friese-Greene’s The Open Road. This is the earliest known colour footage of the Observatory
Source
British Film Institute via YouTube
Type
Colour (no sound)
Running time
27 seconds

Click here to view

 


 

Event
Visit of the King of Afghanistan on 22 March 1928
Content/About
This film which is titled Visit of the King of Afghanistan to England consists of 7 reels (videos) in total. The King’s visit to the Royal Observatory is on reel 4. This reel starts with the Royal Party travelling by boat downstream to Greenwich. Observatory footage starts at 3min 5 sec. The King and the Astronomer Royal Dyson are seen entering the 28-inch telescope dome and examining the telescope. They are then shown examining the telescopes in the Thompson Dome in the South Building. The footage ends with the royal party on the South Building roof
Source
Government sponsored production from the Imperial War Museum Archives
Type
Black & white (silent)
Running time
3 min 18 seconds

Click here to view reel 4

 


 

 
The Greenwich time ball in 1953
Content/About
Shows the winding mechanism and the Ball dropping at 1 o'clock following a recent restoration
Source
British Pathé
Type
Black & white (with sound)
Running time
50 seconds

Click here to view