Britain on Film: Brits at Play

Series 1 - Episode 2 Britain on Film: Brits at Play



A glorious window into our recent past (1959—69), this series draws on an archive of crisp 35mm colour films shot by the Rank Organisation – heralded, of course, by that strapping bloke banging his ginormous gong. They were short fillers for cinemas, documenting the way we lived then, which BBC4 has made into themed compilations.

Brits at Play shows our burgeoning leisure pursuits, from hop-picking hols to holiday camps. The kids are rough ’n’ tumble, dads wear suits and mums wear floral-print frocks. The motor cars and caravans look so quaint. It’s fascinating, nostalgic and all terribly jolly.


A look at how new leisure opportunities arose in Britain during the 1960s, a time of increasing prosperity, as the population took advantage of emerging recreational activities at home - and the possibility of holidaying abroad. Documentary using footage from a series of short, topical films screened in cinemas between 1959 and 1969.

Cast & Crew

Producer Breid McLoone