See the way we were way back when

FOOTAGE of life in Bedfordshire that has not been viewed for up to 70 years is now available free online thanks to a £1 million pound project.

Archivists at the University of East Anglia and the East Anglican Film Archive have spent the last two years cataloguing and digitising more than 150 hours of classic yesteryear footage – and you can watch them today.

Drama and documentaries, celebrations and comedies, even parades and parachutes are all part of this eclectic collection of times gone by.

The clips are a fantastic insight to life from every decade of the 20th century, and will certainly bring back fond memories for many.

Videos for the highlight reel include the Prince of Wales’ visit to Luton in 1926 where he was welcomed by a guard of honour, a grand military demonstration at Kenilworth Road, war veterans and thousands of members of the public.

A celebration of the opening of Luton Airport from 1938 also appears in the archive, featuring exciting footage of aircraft demonstrations and daring 150ft jumps.

Also included in this nostalgic web-based immortalisation of life in Bedfordshire are films showing Dunstable and Bedford in the 1950s and 60s.

The completion of the project marks a significant moment in terms of the region’s social history as the footage tells us about Bedfordshire’s past in a way written records cannot.

The collection was made possible by funding from the university, Heritage Lottery Fund and Screen Heritage UK.

Stuart Hobley of the lottery fund said: “The collections at EAFA are an astonishing record of our local heritage; personal moments captured forever on film - a legacy that we all enjoy today.”

To enjoy a peek into our past, visit