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Old 01-03-09, 10:43 PM   #1
mkael
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Old video of Canterbury from the 1920s

Everything what can be said about these Videos has been said.

Wikipedia says Canterbury has 43000 inhabitants today and the region 14800. And in 1921 the city had 24000 inhabitants. Just to think about the scale. It looks awfully busy so maybe that is taken before christmas ? Who knows . Maybe it is historically interesting. One can understand the bike design watching that too.

I am too lazy to learn how to embedd videos from youtube here.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wyzOY7...e=channel_page

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mzmB8g...e=channel_page

Last edited by mkael; 01-03-09 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 01-04-09, 03:47 AM   #2
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Neat videos for sure. First time I have seen them, so thanks for posting.

What a delicate time it was - tucked precariously between WWI, the depression, and the onset of WW11. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

Somehow, though, these images seem rather bleak and cold. I can't quite put my finger on it, but you just don't seem to see the energy that would be in films from America around that same time.
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Old 01-04-09, 07:00 AM   #3
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This colorized video from 1955 by British Transport Films is a gem. It shows a group from the Cyclists Tourists Club (CTC) going on a special train from Watford (near London) to Rugby for the day. There is even mention of avoiding the bonk, I'm surprised this dates so far back!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP1KxPjh4RM&NR=1
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Old 01-04-09, 08:47 AM   #4
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Somehow, though, these images seem rather bleak and cold. I can't quite put my finger on it, but you just don't seem to see the energy that would be in films from America around that same time.
You must have missed the guy walking along in a suit that made him look like he was walking on his hands!

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Old 01-04-09, 12:58 PM   #5
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Very good silent film.

I would have enjoyed the film even more if it had been taken 20 years earlier with no cars on the street. LOL! If you go there today, the streets are probably full of cars with maybe one or two cyclist on the street.

In the UK, it seems like they did very little street widening making cycling dangerous because the number of cars increased since this film was made in the 1920's.
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Old 01-04-09, 01:04 PM   #6
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This colorized video from 1955 by British Transport Films is a gem. It shows a group from the Cyclists Tourists Club (CTC) going on a special train from Watford (near London) to Rugby for the day. There is even mention of avoiding the bonk, I'm surprised this dates so far back!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP1KxPjh4RM&NR=1
That film was priceless. How things have changed so much.

The majority of transit systems make little or no provisions for cyclist today.
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Old 01-04-09, 02:20 PM   #7
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This colorized video from 1955 by British Transport Films is a gem. It shows a group from the Cyclists Tourists Club (CTC) going on a special train from Watford (near London) to Rugby for the day. There is even mention of avoiding the bonk, I'm surprised this dates so far back!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP1KxPjh4RM&NR=1
Wow. Bicycle cars with rubber-padded hooks. A cafeteria car. Smooth county lanes.

I be willing to ride left!
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Old 01-04-09, 02:49 PM   #8
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And not a helmet in sight. How ever did they survive. Wonderful vids.
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Old 01-04-09, 03:05 PM   #9
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And not a helmet in sight. How ever did they survive....
They didn't. All dead now. Not wearing a helmet will get you in the end.
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Old 01-04-09, 03:35 PM   #10
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Those were beautiful films. The gradations of black and white and grey are marvelous. It really gave the films an almost painterly atmosphere.

Did you notice the number of people just going about their lives and then just staring at the camera as it goes by. In the 1920, film was still enough of a novelty that movie cameras transfixed people's attention. But when the people on the street stare at the camera, the viewer of the film feels a real connection with the subjects, if just for a moment, rather than just being a voyeur secretly watching others. Its like strangers catching your gaze for a moment as you walk towards them on a sidewalk and then look away.

Looks like bikes were the way to go back then. They were much faster than a horse and buggy in the film and could easily keep up with cars.

But I've never seen so many wrong way cyclists in my life, what were they thinking?
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Old 01-04-09, 03:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Very good silent film.

I would have enjoyed the film even more if it had been taken 20 years earlier with no cars on the street. LOL! If you go there today, the streets are probably full of cars with maybe one or two cyclist on the street.

In the UK, it seems like they did very little street widening making cycling dangerous because the number of cars increased since this film was made in the 1920's.
You have to understand that the street patterns themselves prevented any road widening in most UK cities. In places like Canterbury, the street/buildings structure was formed in medieval times. When suburbs were built, often beginning in the 20s/30s, accommodating large nos. of motor vehicles was not a priority as they were served by a pretty comprehensive public transport system.

There is also the fact that we have about 20% of your population with 2.7% of your land area. Providing wide roads to accommodate bikes, whether separately or with additional cycle lanes isn't as easily done as it could be in the US.

And I speak as a former cycling officer who surveyed a good many miles of city streets, looking at ways we could improve/install cycle-friendly facilities. For many of those miles and streets, there was insufficient room to do anything other than minor additions such as advanced stop lines (stop boxes, I think you call them) at traffic lights, cut-throughs at closed road ends and so on.

It was this, together with my experience as a rider who had very few nasty incidents with drivers over the last 23 years of my commuting life, which pushed me towards strongly supporting the education of cyclists in the general principles which you might call VC, Streetsmarts, Cyclecraft or whatever.
I have no objection to good cycle lanes (minimum 2m wide), off-road cycle routes, etc., but they can only be installed on relatively few routes.

Of course, requiring all learner drivers to cover at least 1000 miles on a bike before being allowed behind the wheel of a car would also be of enormous benefit to us.
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Old 01-04-09, 04:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Those were beautiful films. The gradations of black and white and grey are marvelous. It really gave the films an almost painterly atmosphere.

Did you notice the number of people just going about their lives and then just staring at the camera as it goes by. In the 1920, film was still enough of a novelty that movie cameras transfixed people's attention. But when the people on the street stare at the camera, the viewer of the film feels a real connection with the subjects, if just for a moment, rather than just being a voyeur secretly watching others. Its like strangers catching your gaze for a moment as you walk towards them on a sidewalk and then look away.

Looks like bikes were the way to go back then. They were much faster than a horse and buggy in the film and could easily keep up with cars.

But I've never seen so many wrong way cyclists in my life, what were they thinking?
What an excellent on-topic comment, completely salient and I agree wholeheartedly.

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And not a helmet in sight. How ever did they survive. Wonderful vids.
Off-topic and crass. Why don't you try to derail the thread with talk of the absence of bike lanes and how they all seem to be practicing vehicular cycling (VC)?

Or perhaps you could draw other equally child like conclusions - a lot of people seem to be smoking, perhaps it is not as bad as modern thinking makes it out to be.

In the case of the 1920 video, it transcends 'wonderful' and is a priceless and unique window into the past
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Old 01-04-09, 04:47 PM   #13
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I have visited Canterbury many times, as my former in-laws lived there. I recognise many of the streets and buildings in the videos. One thing I notice is that all the men are wearing hats - walk along the same street today, and see how many you can count (apart from beanies).

Another thing one notices is the way in which pedestrians just wander anywhere in the road without a care. Road safety was not considered in those far-off days.
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Old 01-05-09, 05:06 PM   #14
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Ooops, HoustonB - I believe that dmac49 was joking :0)
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Old 01-11-09, 06:06 PM   #15
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I liked the traffic cop who seemed to be just waving everyone through.
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Old 01-11-09, 06:39 PM   #16
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Another thing one notices is the way in which pedestrians just wander anywhere in the road without a care. Road safety was not considered in those far-off days.
Is it that they didn't consider road safety? Or that they considered the roads a public place to be shared, and the onus on the car driver to watch where there car went?

Because I observed similar behavior in narrow alleys throughout Italy. Pedestrians or cyclists would walk wherever there was room. If a car driver came down the road, he would have to share, just like everyone else. But I wouldn't say that no one thought about safety.
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Old 01-11-09, 09:45 PM   #17
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thanks so much for all these video links! Fabulous. More of this kind of thing in A&S. Illuminations of the past.

Interesting that in another thread there was much discourse on whether there was anything to learn from the past- that 1955 CTC looks like an ideal day to me. I loved them knocking back the brewskis. And nice bikes, great set ups. Sweet.
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