|Title ID||9143||Collection ID||1232|
|Title||Portrait of Penge|
|Theme||Commemoration Urban Life|
|Keywords||Buildings Canals Cars Communities Cultural Heritage Dance Domestic Gardens Education Ethnic Groups Everyday Life Exhibitions Houses Leisure Time Activities Parks Religious Buildings Racing Railways Roads Street Trading Urban Areas|
|Format||16mm Colour Sound|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
This amateur travelogue style documentary explores the town of Penge, on the fringes of South East London. Made as part of the Penge Rotary Club's exchange with a US Club, it shows the town, its people and local life prior to being swallowed up by boundary changes in Greater London. Included are views of the neighbouring Crystal Palace Park, BBC transmitters, gardens and the Lyceum Ballroom with Frank and Peggy Spencer's Ballroom Dancing team.
This amateur travelog style documentary film explores the town of Penge, on the fringes of South East London. Made as part of the Penge Rotary Club's exchange with a US Club, it shows the town, people and local life prior to being swallowed up by boundary changes in Greater London.
The film opens with a storybook style title: '1964 - The Rotary Club of Penge - Portrait of Penge' with water-colour illustrations and a text based introduction as the pages of the book are turned. A narrated voice-over with accompanying music provides a detailed social history of the town and the Rotary Club. Several shots are from a moving car as it passes through the towns streets. Typical sights include: churches, parks, community centres, businesses and street traders, the milkman delivering to flats built as part of 'slum clearance' developments. The film then highlights services provided by the local council such as police, fire and postal services, schools, housing, public Libraries, services for the elderly, transport and children's services.
The second part of the film shows highlights of the leisure and recreational facilities available to residents, such as public houses, parks, gardens and sports activities with views of the neighbouring Crystal Palace Park, Sports Stadium, car and motorcycle race track, BBC transmitters, gardens, a street market and the Lyceum Ballroom with Frank and Peggy Spencer's Ballroom Dancing team.
The film closes with a summary highlighting some of the views seen, along with the proposed changes to merge the town into the boundaries within Greater London and a closing title 'The End'.
Gilbert Tomes created this film to promote good relations with the Rotary Club of Vineland, New Jersey with which the Penge Rotary Club was twinned, that 'would convey a picture of the town and its people'. The film was created over the course of a week with assistance from Richard Tomes, Gilbert son, featuring local personalities such as Peggy and Frank Spencer known for their formation dancing team on the BBC programme Come Dancing, as well as being members of the Penge Rotary Club. The dance sequence was filmed in September 1964 at the Lyceum Ballroom, London.