Title ID 7271Collection ID928
TitleThe Canterbury Day Tour
Date[ca. 1961]
CollectionMaidstone and District Motor Services
ThemeTravel Transport
KeywordsBuildings Companies Leisure Time Activities Motor Vehicles Outings Passenger Vehicles Religious Buildings Roads Transport Urban Areas
LocalLondon Rochester Canterbury Bearsted
RegionalGreater London Kent
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionH. Newport-Gwilt
Commissioning bodyEast Kent Road Car Company Limited
FormatColour Sound
Duration13min. 8sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A promotional film from the early 1960s produced for the East Kent Road Car Company Ltd. The film follows a day coach tour from London to Canterbury, extolling the benefits of the tour, as well as highlighting the sights of Canterbury. The film is accompanied by a narrative throughout.


Music plays as the titles of the film appear, superimposed over views of Canterbury Cathedral: "East Kent Road Car Company Limited" & "The Canterbury Day Tour", [credits]. The film opens with shots of the exterior and interior of Victoria Coach Station in London, the narrator explains that it is here that that the journey to Canterbury begins "in style". A signs on an 'East Kent' coach reads: "Canterbury Day Tour", the courier and driver checks a passenger's tickets. Onboard the coach, passengers are seen sitting, some chatting and some reading; the narrator highlights how the journey is made in "complete comfort". The coach is seen departing from the coach station at 8.30am. A woman courier is seen speaking into a microphone at the front of the coach as it makes its way out of London; the narrator explains that she gives "unobtrusive, personal service" by commenting on points of interest along the way. Shot of the driver, followed by shots of the coach negotiating a junction as it makes a stop at The Toll Gate Inn, Rochester. Passengers sit at tables in the hotel to have tea and biscuits.

Now at Canterbury, the coach pulls into the East Kent Bus Station at 11.40am. Passengers are helped off the coach by the courier; shots of Mercery Lane and Christ Church Gate, the narrator highlights its architectural features. Views of the cathedral follow as the narrator explains some of its history, shots follow of the remains of the monastry, Mint Yard and interior shots of the nave of the cathedral. Outside there are views of the cloisters, before the film cuts to shots of the Bell Harry Tower and St Augustine's Abbey viewed from the top of Christ Church Gate. Exterior shot of The County Hotel, where the narrator explains the group enjoy a meal before touring the city. Shots of the 'Invicta' steam locomotive on Watling Street, towers built into the city wall, Dane John Gardens, St. George's Street, St. Peter's Church, the West Gate, St. Dunstan's Street and Westgate gardens, along with a commentary on the places seen. Shots of Greyfriars house, The Weavers house and River Stour. Back at the bus station, the passengers board the coach from where they travel to St. Martin's church to have a look around.

After which, the coach makes the return journey to London. It makes a stop at a roadside stall so that passengers can buy some fruit and the courier explains the hop-picking process. Views of the countryside from the coach before it makes another stop for afternoon tea at Tudor House, Bearsted. Family groups sit around small tables drinking tea, the narrator highlights a French family on the tour and two girls from Switzerland. Back on the coach, the courier is seen speaking into the microphone, the narrator explains how the standard of comfort on the coach it "truly remarkable". The film ends with more shots of Canterbury Cathedral, as the narrator concludes that we shall return to it again and again, "by East Kent, of course". "The End".


A Still from The Canterbury Day Tour (ca.1961)