Title ID 806Collection ID172
TitleA View of the Wells
Date[ca. 1960]
CollectionTunbridge Wells / Regency Film Unit
Genre/TypeAmateurCine/Video clubNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeCine Club Film-making Urban Life
KeywordsBuildings Dance Everyday Life Landscape Leisure Time Activities Old Age Religious Buildings Urban Areas Youth
LocalRoyal Tunbridge Wells
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionRegency Film Unit
CameraStuart Gow
DirectorGeorge Fry
ProducerRegency Film Unit
LightingBrian Delves
Format16mm Black & White Silent
Duration9 min. 50 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A film made by the Regency Film Unit of Tunbridge Wells, following people and scenes around Tunbridge Wells in the early 1960s. Many of the scenes make visual connections to form a loose narrative. Please note the Turkish Baths sequence features nudity.


The film opens with people walking down a rainy street, a newspaper (the Kent and Sussex Courier) on the ground bears the title “A View of Wells”. The scenes around the town start with archaeological artifacts held in cabinets in Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery including flint arrow heads and rocks. This is followed by scenes of children playing on the sandstone 'Wellington Rocks' on Tunbridge Wells Common and a couple sitting on a rock. Various scenes of hotels around the town are followed by a scene of elderly women in hats sitting outside a hotel. One elderly woman in a hat is followed by the camera as she walks along a street and past the bandstand on the Pantiles, with a string quartet playing. The lady stops to look in the window of an antique shop and then is seen being served a glass of water by a “dipper” from the Chalybeate Spring.

A young woman drinks a cup of coffee and young people in a coffee bar are seen smoking and drinking coffee whilst cappuccino is being made with an espresso machine. At a Turkish Bath, a man takes a shower and steps out into a sauna or steam room. He sits down and drinks a beer.

In a club young people dance to a jazz band. Some of the women dancing have beehive style hair and stiletto shoes. The man in the sauna wipes sweat from his brow. One girl in the club dances in bare feet. There is a close up of the man in the sauna rubbing his feet. The man in the sauna rubs salts(?) on his bottom and on his chest [Shot removed from online version]. Images of tattoos on the men in the sauna are followed by a horse shoe being heated in a blacksmith’s fire and then shaped on an anvil. A woman and a boy are seen in a shop, followed by several images of dogs sitting in cars, filmed at Mount Pleasant.

There are images of several signs for religious buildings including ‘Glad Tidings Hall’, the Quaker’s meeting house, the Salvation Army, the Baptist Chapel, the Spiritualist Church, and ‘Salvation Healing Revival Meetings’. This is followed by an image of a crucifix and masks (or gargoyles?). The scene changes to the faces of dolls in the toy and doll collection in the Museum. The film finishes with chips being wrapped in newspaper at a fish and chip shop. One of the newspaper wrappers bears the title “The End”. A couple walk down the street and discard the newspaper. A close up of the paper shows an article about the Regency Film Unit which mentions Stuart Gow and George Fry (note the image is slightly off screen - the whole article cannot be read).


A still from 'A View of the Wells' (ca.1960) - a woman drinking coffeeA still from 'A View of the Wells' (ca.1960) A still from 'A View of the Wells' (ca.1960)