Marlow, Bucks: Old Photos & Film

Marlow has pretty, historic streets and weeping willows along the banks of the Thames. First footage of the well-heeled Buckinghamshire town appears during the First World War, which at the time was known as the Great War.

One of the highlights of this page is the 1919 footage of the Ladies Eights Marlow Regatta (3rd item down). Read the description to see why.

Marlowe 1900-1920

▶  Boulters Lock And Marlow (1914-1918)

British Pathé – Boulters Lock and Marlow. Buckinghamshire.

▶  Boulters Lock Aka Boultons Lord (1919)

British Pathé: Boulters Lock, Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

“WS. Boats crowded into Boulters Lock, gates start to shut. LS Pan from sight- seers to the crowded canal / river lock. MLS Closer shots of boats in Boulters lock. MLS. Of rowing  boats and Punts in lock pan to crowds on the bank. WS. Pan from crowds to boats in the lock. People are enjoying a day by the water.”

▶  Ladies Eights Marlow Regatta (1919)

British Pathé. Item title reads: “Marlow – Ladies Eights – Newnham College beat London School of Medicine.”

River Thames, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England. WS. Crowds on the bank pan to ladies rowing race in progress Newnham College, Cambridge University in the lead beat the London School of Medicine. MS Ladies entering the boat. MS Ladies crew pulling away. MS Ladies of the opposing eight entering their boat and pulling away from the bank. MS. As the Ladies arrive back at the bank. WS. Ladies watching from banks.

This was the very first women’s VIII boat race in Britain, happening a few months after the end of the Great War (WW1). The students at Newnham College (still an all-women’s college a century later in 2019) struggled to find competitors, and Oxford University refused to allow any of their female students to participate. The London School of Medicine, however, agreed to forward a team. 

Marlowe In The 1920s

▶  Thames Regatta AKA Thames Regatta Season Opens (1920)

British Pathé: Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Intertitle: “Thames Regatta Season Opens in brilliant weather”.

“M/S of a crowded River Thames – several rowing boats filled with people meander down the river, crowds of people watch from the banks.  Panning shot to three rowing eights speeding down the river.  

L/S of a man in a canoe coming towards the camera, pan to the rowing eights.”    

▶  Ladies Uni Boat Race Aka Ladies University Boat Race (1922)

British Pathé – Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Full titles read: “Ladies University Boat Race – Newnham (Cambridge) beat London School of Medicine.”

“L/S of competitors placing boat on the River Thames. L/S of female rowers rowing up river. L/S of the race in progress. M/S of female woman standing in line with oars smiling. M/S of female official presenting trophy to Newnham’s team captain.”

▶  Shall We See Ourselves Win (1924)

British Pathé – Marlow, Buckinghamshire. 

While taking a break from boat race training …

Title: “Shall we see ourselves win?  Oxford Crew keenly interested in our unique camera”.

Various C/Us of six crew members standing by a river, they are examining a movie camera, they use a handle to turn the camera on the tripod.      

▶  Unique Events At Marlow Regatta (1925)

British Pathé: Item title reads – Unique events at Marlow Regatta.  Novelties in canoes rescue races and polo tournament. Buckinghamshire. 

M/S as men climb off the bridge on ropes and wait for canoes to come along, they lower themselves in.  Various shots as they sail off, some swim along and climb back up the rope. Various shots as they row along and crash in the middle, then canoe off again. 

▶  The Last Salute (1927)

British Pathé: Item title reads: “Passing of Sir George Higginson, oldest general in the British army.”

Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

“M/S of a long line of soldiers wearing busbies, proceeding along the streets where the funeral procession is moving along. The funeral car passes. The coffin, covered by a Union Jack is carried into the church by pall bearers. It is then seen leaving the church at a slow pace, and moving along the side of the church. The line of soldiers can just be seen,  beyond some trees in the cemetery, raising their guns and firing a last salute.”

▶  It’s No “Walk Over” For The Light Blues (1928)

British Pathé: Full titles read: “It’s no “walk over” for the Light Blues! – Oxford… on first outing on tidal waters… impress the critics with their power “behind the blade” as against their rivals’ finish & style.”

“Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Various shots show the Oxford University rowing team in training for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.  A group of men follow them in a motorboat.”

Marlowe In The 1930s

▶  With The Thames At Its Loveliest (1932)

British Pathé: Full title reads: “With the Thames at its loveliest. Fun & frolic at Marlow’s famous novelty regatta.”

Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Crowds of people are gathered on the banks of the River Thames and on a bridge over it. People are messing about in boats underneath the bridge.

One man in a canoe climbs through a ring suspended from beneath the bridge. Other people perform the same feat. Closer shots of the frolics.

Crowds of people watch from the bank. 

More climbing through rings under the bridge. One of the canoes capsizes and all the passengers fall out. 

People race rowing boats down the river.

▶  Fun And Frolic (1933)

British Pathé – Full title reads: “River Thames. Fun and Frolic – at Marlow’s famous novelty Regatta.” Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

A mixed group of boys and girls paddle madly in a little boat along the River. They catch up with other racers. The racers pass under a Bridge. Some of the racers start splashing each other and one of the boats starts to sink. People watching from the bank look on.

Men paddle canoes under bridge. In each canoe one of the crew have to climb through a life belt / hoop and drop back into boat. Several of them end up falling in the water or sinking their boats.

▶  Marlow Regatta (1934)

British Pathé – Full title reads: “MARLOW REGATTA – Up-River enthusiasts enjoy a novel and amusing programme.

Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Several shots of the canoe race – men and women are seen paddling with various objects – frying pans, sticks, pans, pots.

Motor tyres hanging from the bridge on ropes ready for the next race. When canoes reach them, they have to stop and all contestants have to squeeze through the tyre – head first. Various shots of the contestants trying to complete the task – looks harder then it sounds. Crowd cheering. 

Next race is at last as difficult as the previous. In this race, crews must change punts in mid stream – many fall into river.

▶  Fun At Marlow (1935)

British Pathé – Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Titles  read: “Fun at Marlow – Punt and canoe races at the Regatta”.  

WS. Crews paddling punts – racing side by side. WS. Punt racing. WS. Canoe race in progress. WS. The canoe stops and one member of the three man crew climbs through a ring that is suspended above the water he can’t get through and hangs with his feet dangling in the water. 

WS. As the canoeist finally manages to get through the ring aided by his team mate standing in the canoe and holding the ring still for him. WS. Another crew helping a team mate clamber through the hoop he has to perform a kind of handstand on the canoe to  get through. 

WS. A competitor managing to get through the tyre the as he does the canoe over balances and tips over. WS. Crowd. WS. All three canoeists on the water.

▶  Marlow Regatta (1937)

British Pathé – Full title reads: “MARLOW”.

River Thames at Marlow. Various shots of the crowds and boats gathered for the annual Marlow Regatta. Various shots of the races – broomsticks, paddles, pans are used to move the boats. 

Tires hanging on ropes. In this race each member of the crew has to get through tyre head first and return to boat to continue the race. Some contestant in water and boats turned over. Follows the fast forwarded sequence – everything is much faster then run at normal speed and the voiceover is just a funny noise. People in boats rowing very fast, boats moving and turning around – just mess.

▶  Marlow on the River Thames in the 1930s – 50s

steve johnson

1930s-50s cine film, 16mm, of MARLOW on the RIVER THAMES. lots of canals, locks, boats and children with prams and toys – colour and black and white. My film so copy and share freely. Note “Compleat Angler Hotel.”

Marlow In The 1940s

▶  Marlow Aka Marlow Reach (1942)

British Pathé – Marlow Reach.

▶  Floods at Marlow Weir

British Movietone: Widespread inundations in wettest November for 46 years.

Possibly the 1940s?

Marlow In The 1950s

▶  Marlow – Aquatic Sports (1954)

British Pathé – Marlow.

“LS of canoes in midstream racing. SCU of crowd on tow path. CU two canoes paddling vigorously. CU of judge dropping flag. SCU canoe rescue race coming from bridge to canoe through tyre hanging over water. SCU of young men getting through tyres into canoes, & CU. SCU canoe overturns. SCU of canoe approaching tyre and leaves young man hanging. CU spectators of tow path. SCU of several canoes and young men hanging on tyre.”

Marlow In The 1960s

▶  Homes On Wheels (1965)

British Pathé: Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

L/S of a great number of Caravans lined up on a camping site. Camera pans to show a crowded swimming pool. M/S of the people around and in the pool having fun. L/S of the outside of a supermarket, people around. 

M/S of a woman taking a product from the supermarket shelf. Several shots of people socialising around the camp, enjoying the caravan site holiday. “…here’s one way to spend a holiday with all the comforts of home”.

Voiceover talks about the advantages of the caravan life highlighting the freedom of choice. Once it stops rolling, it becomes the same as any other home. Various shots of caravans transformed into permanent homes with neat gardens around them. M/S of several people gardening. Beautiful C/U shots of flowers in bloom. 

Several M/S of the two women cooking. Cut to a high angle shot of dinner table where two couples are having dinner. M/S of an elderly couple sitting in their caravan lounge, talking. High angle M/S of a woman bathing a child in a bath.  

Succession of shots demonstrating how caravan cars are made – from designs on paper to the completed shiny caravans being loaded into a ship – ready for export. Caravan homes have become a successful export industry – claims the voiceover.

Note: Several rather contemporary looking caravan designs – Wall-Paper* material.

▶  Modern Aztec (1966)

British Pathé – Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Various shots show artists George and Doreen Dereford at work on an Aztec mosaic sculpture.  George cements pieces of the base of the mural together, then carefully puts the small coloured squares in place.  A different surface is covered with glue, a mosaic section is laid on top and hammered into position.

Several shots of finished mosaic figures – very striking and colourful.  We also see a mosaic of a Royal Coat of Arms, commissioned for the British Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Note: on file is a letter from George and Doreen and a news cutting about their work.

▶  Marlow And London River Scenes (1969)

British Pathé – Marlow, Buckinghamshire & London.

Various shots of crowd of tourists on barges moving along the river. More shots of the barges, some tourist, other small private boats, moving past each other along the river – presumably the river Thames in London. People looking on, some taking photographs. Several long shots of the river cascading along concrete ‘steps’ under bridges at Marlow. Various shots of private yachts arriving to marina and being moored. More shots of the private yachts moving past each other, some leaving marina, some arriving to it. Travelling close up shot, a long one, of grass long the river bank with long line of cows looking into camera. Small boys in rowing boats move past. Swans are seen, the banks, boat moored on the bank with boys on. Camera follows a small frog swimming along side of boat. It climbs onto chain. LS. One of the London’s bridges. Camera zooms out to show more of the town, Westminster bridge is seen, Houses of Parliament and some other buildings in centre of town. More scenic shots of London, zoom into the river, zoom out. Small goat moving quite fast across the Thames. Pan to show the town, high angle long shot. Large ship passing under Westminster Bridge. More shots of the river, the Embankment, the bridges, traffic, buildings etc. Several shots of quite ‘heavy traffic’ along the river Thames in London. Monuments and significant buildings, shots taken from the moving barge – starts at Westminster and continues eastwards.

Marlow In The 1970s

▶  6998 Burton Agnes Hall, ”THE MARLOW DONKEY” 1973(SLIDE’S)


“Marlow station . 15 July 1973. Marlow Branch Centenary: Marlow, Bourne End, Cookham, Maidenhead.”

▶  Buckinghamshire Traffic (1970-1979)

British Pathé

Unissued / Unused material – Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Various street scenes of busy traffic in the centre of Marlow. The cars are caught up in heavy traffic.

▶  Buckinghamshire street, 1970’s – Film 35541


“Right rear view from vehicle panning along pavement of street of small town of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, looking at shopfronts and banks including Boots, Lloyds, Midland.”

Marlow In The 1980s

▶  Marlow Donkey Railway, 1980s – Film 1132


“Marlow Donkey railway. Steam locomotives brought out of retirement in 1980. Steam enthusiasts wait and watch at railway stations. Footage taken from the rear of the moving train as it passes through stations. Small boy enjoys a trip on the train. Marlow to Bourne End. Station signs for Marlow and Cookham.”

▶  Marlow, Bucks – late 80’s

Steve P – I think it’s the late 80’s. Still like my taste of music back then!

▶  Marlow High Street, Bucks. Christmas 1989 (I think)

Steve P – I slightly fuzzy trip back to 1989 in Marlow at Christmas.

Marlow In The 1990s

▶  Marlow, Bucks July 1990

Steve P – A quick look at Marlow back in July 1990

Marlow In The 21st Century

▶  The Queen’s Golden Jubilee visit to Marlow in 2002

Russell Crombie

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited Marlow in June 2002 to unveil a statue of Sir Steve Redgrave, the Olympic oarsman who comes from Marlow, in Higginson Park. “Enormous crowds enjoyed the Royal walkabout after the ceremony. The weather was overcast but dry!”

▶  Drive through Marlow, Buckinghamshire

16 Nov 2006 – PHANT0MMY

A drive through picturesque Marlow.

(Some viewers may find the music a bit difficult, in which case just turn the audio to silent).

▶  Drive through Marlow, Buckinghamshire April 19, 2011

Marcus Lambert – “Driving through Marlow Bucks on a warm afternoon in 2011.”

At the beginning of the clip we see the date stated as 2008.

▶  Marlow Half Marathon 2012

4 Nov 2012 – johnjrp01

“Recorded during the Marlow Half Marathon 2012 which was held on Sunday 4th Nov 2012 in Marlow and organised my Marlow Striders running club.

There was heavy rain before the race which caused roads to run with water and flooding in some places. Luckily the rain stopped just after the race started. In several places, runners had to negoiate flooded roads and the finish field was very muddy.”

▶  Marlow Half Marathon 2013 – Preliminaries

3 Nov 2013 – johnjrp01 – Marlow Half Marathon Sunday  3rd Nov 2013.

▶  Marlow Xmas light switch on

22 Nov 2013 – Videoreporterbfp

▶  Flooding – Higginson Park – Marlow Buckinghamshire – River Thames 15th Feb 2014

Daytripdude – “It’s incredible how much the river has flooded but not surprising with the extremely prolonged rainfall we have had this Winter!”

▶  River Thames Flooding in Marlow UK

17 Feb 2014 – Modi Elnadi – Marlow is a beautiful town On The River Thames near to London.

▶  UK – Spice girl Mel B gets married

21 Jul 2015 – AP Archive

“Spice Girl Mel B looked set to wed Sunday (13/09) in the 12th century St John the Baptist Church next to her family home in little Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The service is likely to be conducted by the village’s female vicar, the reverend Sue Irwin.”Scary Spice”, real name Melanie Brown, is to marry stage dancer Jimmy Gulzar. She is three months’ pregnant with his child.”

▶  Wedding Videographer and Photographers at Macdonald Compleat Angler in Marlow

11 Nov 2018 – Serenity Pictures.

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With thanks to C Morrison for use of the image at the top of this page.