THE BFI’s Top 10 Most Watched Films You Have Never Heard Of

To celebrate 25 years of National Lottery funding, the BFI has released a list of the 10 Most Watched Films You Have Never Heard Of, all of  which are free to watch on the BFI Player as part of Lottery-funded project Britain On Film

Comedian Paul Merton recorded a video to promote this project (see it here), and hopefully people will watch some of the wonderful footage that is being preserved by the BFI and made available online for free. 

Having lived in Belfast and Nottingham, I was fascinated by watching some of these pieces. This is history right here. 

Check them out below:

1.Sunshine in Soho (2,548,336 views to date)

1950s Soho beats with far more energy than its 21st century counterpart in this vivid time capsule.  Watch it here

2.Christmas in Belfast (1977)(1,984.223 views to date)

Christmas in Belfast at the height of ‘The Troubles’ where traditional holiday activities and images are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. Watch it here

3. Tram Rides through Nottingham (505,430 views to date)

1902 / BFI, Britain on Film

Pioneering filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon conduct an evocative ride through Edwardian Nottingham, following the same route as today’s Nottingham Express Transit tramway. Watch it here 

4. Aberdeen (401,351 views to date)

Explore the growth of Scotland’s oil capital, from small ancient burgh to bustling metropolis in this lively and colourful educational documentary produced for the ‘Cities of Scotland’ series. Watch it here  

5. Chichester Tour (376,961 views to date)

A fascinating amateur film showing the cathedral city of Chichester before the arrival of its ring road and the pedestrianisation of its Roman streets featuring a variety of shopfronts, some of which are still trading in exactly the same location. Watch it here 

6. Changing Face of Camberwell (347,375 views to date)

Looking back at Camberwell’s Victorian history, and forward to the future, this film captures the impact of changing architecture on local residents and what was lost. Watch it here

7. Day in Liverpool (225,649 views to date)

Metropolis meets Merseyside, as this city-symphony inspired early travelogue portrays a day in the life of a city thriving with modernity. Watch it here  

8. Portsmouth’s Charlotte Street Market (179,718 views to date)

An affectionate snapshot showcasing the colourful bustle of Portsmouth’s oldest street market– where independent traders and shoppers mix under the brooding presence of the infamous Tricorn Centre, demolished in March 2004 after being voted ‘Britain’s Most Hated Building’. Watch it here 

9. Belfast – No Way Out (171,436 views to date)

What was life really like in 1970s Belfast? Beyond the Troubles the current affairs magazine show ‘This Week’ addresses social problems, talking to people in poverty struggling to cope. Watch it here

10. Milton Keynes and the area (156,350 views to date)

Anglia TV footage of the pre-existing towns and pretty North Bucks hamlets newly incorporated into the New Town Development of Milton Keynes. Watch it here