Rebuilding Exeter

Archive: South West Film & Television Archive
ID No.: X3806A
Title: Rebuilding Exeter
Date: 1947-1952
Film-maker: Mr Searle
Colour: Black & White
Sound: silent
Duration of complete item: 15 min. 37 sec.
Themes: Post-War Reconstruction


The rebuilding of bomb damaged areas of Exeter after the War, along with general views of the remaining undamaged parts of the City.


The Local Studies Library, Exeter, Devon donated this film to SWFTA as part of a larger collection. At the time of its donation very little was known about any of the films in the collection, subsequent research has shown that this footage was recorded by a local amateur film maker: he was living in Exeter during the Blitz (see other SWFTA material), served during the Second World War and then returned to Exeter in 1947, when he started recording the rebuilding of the city. He moved away in 1952 and prior to moving gave his films to the forerunner of the Local Studies Library. He moved back to Exeter after retiring, attended a SWFTA run film show in 2002 – and was surprised and delighted to see the film he had shot many years before.

SWFTA has since worked with Mr Searle and members of local history groups to get full catalogue details of the various locations (and dates) of the film.

SWFTA has much more moving image material of the rebuilding of other cities in the South West (particularly Plymouth) after the war, however,this film makes an excellent companion piece to film of the Exeter Blitz Aftermath (1942) also on this site.

Rebuilding Exeter (1947-1952)

Rebuilding Exeter (1947-1952)

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