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Celebrations caught on camera. London's Screen Archives commemorates VE Day with anniversary gallery.

Date posted: 05.05.2020

London’s Screen Archives (LSA) is a unique network of over 70 organisations with a shared vision – to preserve and share London’s history on film.

With the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day on Friday, LSA have released a specially curated visual package to commemorate, consisting of an online gallery available to view on the London’s Screen Archives website, as well as a special offering on the LSA YouTube channel.

Footage has been made available from collections including Imperial War Museum; Hackney ArchivesRedbridge Museum and Heritage Centre; Hounslow Local Studies and Archives; Bromley Historic Collections; Museum of Croydon; Digital Drama and London Metropolitan Archives. The gallery showcases celebrations in the capital on 8th May 1945, ranging from street parties in Stratford, to Victory Day parades in Hackney and services in Lampton Park. An edited compilation of the footage is also available on the LSA YouTube channel, accompanied by music. 

During these unprecedented times, archive film has become a powerful tool to capture, honour and remember memories of past perseverance and triumph, inspiring and shaping our future.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said:

“VE Day is a significant marker that shapes our history, with the service and sacrifice made by so many reflected in the current spirit and solidarity of our society as we navigate present-day challenges. I’m delighted that through this special collection, we are able to help bring that historic moment to life and share once again in our capital’s celebrations.

This collection truly highlights the power of archive film, which is currently reaching and resonating with new audiences around the world. Iconic and memorable, archive film documents our past and present, informs our debates, inspires our artists and filmmakers and shapes our future.”

As well as the VE day package, London’s Screen Archives have also paid tribute to the indispensable key workers that have, and are currently working to keep society safe. In a new gallery titled London’s Key Workers, content includes a day in the life of a nurse at Queen Mary’s in 1955, a 1911 display from the Croydon Fire Brigade, and the opening of a new supermarket in Leamington, 1971.

Such films will be showcased on Film London’s twitter account, with the launch of London’s Screen Archives Film of the Week highlighting and celebrating a different clip from across the collections each week.

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