The people of St Albans on film

Common lodging house in Chequer Street

The British Film Institute offers a variety of films for viewing online free of charge, including several featuring the people of St Albans. They include:

  • Beating the bounds of St Albans, a 3 minute silent film made in 1913, the year before the outbreak of the First World War.  Claimed to be the first such event after a hiatus of 34 years, the film shows crowds of people surging along the city boundary holding willow switches. At one point, the city fathers are shown, dressed in their finery;
  • In Old St Albans, a 9 minute silent film was made some years later in 1920 showing the familiar historical sights of the city peopled by a long vanished generation;
  • Views of St Albans is a 29 minute long amateur film made in colour in 1954.  There are some charming vignettes of children at play in near deserted streets, and footage of St Peter’s Street, as well as Holywell Hill when Ryders’ seed merchants still occupied what is now the Clarion Hotel; and
  • Market Day in St Albans is another amateur film in colour, 3 minutes long, filmed in St Peter’s Street, and featuring the fashions of 1969.

As you will appreciate, the configuration of external websites changes from time to time. If you do find that any of the links are broken, please let us know at My thanks to Mick Cryer, who drew these films to my attention.