Lambeth in the 1930’s

Have a look at this amazing film of North Lambeth in the 1937 courtesy of the British Film Institute

Link here

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 13.46.17

Thanks to Sonia Genaitay, Curatorial Archivist BFI National Archive who also offered this background information:

Lambeth in the 1930s: home of palaces and slums. Starting with the former we see Lambeth Palace and the (less palatial, but still impressive) W.H. Smith factory abutting the River Thames. But the real focus of this film is the Lambeth slums, the need for improvement, and an appeal for funds. Exquisitely-lit shots of hovel interiors do little to mask the extreme poverty and unsanitary conditions.

Perhaps as an incentive to donate, the film shows a glamorous ceremony in which Lilian Baylis, manager of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells theatres, is seen laying the foundation stone of a new housing development. Despite the film’s hopeful tone, it’s hard not to watch it and think of the Blitz looming over the new buildings.


  • Synopsis
    Shots of River and Lambeth Palace. W.H.Smith factory. Lambeth slums, exterior and interior shots. Lambeth Housing Movement. New houses in Liberty Street. Lilian Baylis lays foundation stone at 320 Clapham Road. Other new properties including Garden House. Slum clearance by London County Council. Appeal for funds.

Cllr. Jon Davies


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