We love this new way to explore the rich history of the UK, without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Britain on Film is an amazing archive, recently launched by the British Film Institute, which puts thousands of films online for the first time, available to watch for free through the BFI player.
The footage, taken from around the UK – including news reels, documentaries, as well as family films – dates from the 1980s all the way back to the 1890s.
And, as revealed by the footage of 1920s pet shows at London’s Alexandra Palace and Crystal Palace, we’ve never been able to resist a cute cat or dog.
And, with summer holidays on the horizon, you can see how generations before us flocked to the seaside, whether Eastbourne, Skegness, or Aberystwyth. The coast is also the setting for one of the earliest family films, which dates to 1903 and shows the children of the Passmore family happily playing on the beach – a complete contrast to the stiff family portraits we’re so used to seeing from the era.
Take a look at the BFI Facebook page where there will be a new film posted each day. And, while the project isn’t available outside of the UK, there are still plenty of films to be explored on the BFI’s YouTube channel.