Jubilee day celebrationsKing George V, the grandfather of our present Queen, celebrated twenty-five years on the throne on 6 May 1935. Numerous public events were held in London and throughout the country to mark this momentous occasion.

Plymouth’s tribute to the King was incredible; street parties were held throughout the city, the old city centre was resplendently decorated with flags and bunting hanging from the ornate buildings, and a grand military demonstration was staged on the Hoe with thousands of spectators in attendance.

How do we know all of this? Fortunately, the festivities were captured on film by Claude Endicott, a Plymouth butcher who filmed life in and around the city from the 1920s to the mid-1960s, and a fellow amateur filmmaker called Mr Nicholls. The footage forms part of the fabulous Watkins Collection which is one of a number of amazing amateur film collections that The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) look after.

You can see a ten-second teaser of Plymouth’s Jubilee Day celebrations on SWFTA Tube. Two things that will be plain to see are the sense of optimism and national pride felt by the people of Plymouth; two traits that were vital just six years later when the bombs began to fall.

Dr Ian Cooper, Collections Assessment Officer at SWFTA