Sidcup, Kent: Old Photos And Film

Old postcard of Thornton Dene house on Chislehurst Road in Sidcup, 1908

Glimpse history through old images of Sidcup, Greater London, England.

Sidcup is in the historic County of Kent, but today forms part of the London Borough of Bexley. Called Cetecopp in 1254, its original name meant ‘fold in a hill’.

Today it’s home to top drama schools Bird College and Rose Bruford College. The area has fast and easy access into Central London, being only 11 miles from Charing Cross. 

Sidcup In The 1920s

A 1920s Pageant And Fete

In the 1920s, a large audience assembled to watch an ambitious Pageant portraying the history of the world!

Pageant And Fete At Sidcup (1920-1929): British Pathé on YouTube

The Pageant starts with a long procession of many costumed adults and children, representing different historical periods. The action kicks off with a scene showing cavemen having a battle with spears. 

Other scenes include Greek maidens dancing, medieval monks, and knights on horseback.

Kent in the 1920s

This footage is from 1928 and 1929. It shows a variety of locations and activities.

1.  It begins with the opening of the Sidcup and Foots Cray Constitutional Club. We see the Club House, the opening ceremony, a group photograph, and also Waldron Smithers M.P.

2.  Then it’s on to the bridge building at St Mary Cray, where there are steam trains and even a steam crane.

Kent, 1920’s – Film 33372: HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

3. Next, the MP Waldron Smithers attends the Sidcup Industrial Exhibition. We see a girl present a bouquet.

4. At Waring Park it’s Sidcup Sports day.  There are children’s races, an obstacle race, and a tug-of-war challenge. Lord and Lady Waring are there too. The event includes a parade of World War I veterans, accompanied by a military band.

5.  Next we see motorcycles and sidecars at Brands Hatch when it was just a field. 

6.  At Otford, we see the ruins of Otford Palace, as well as Otford’s church.

7. Finally, we visit Bexley in Kent.  Butterflies are caught. Then they’re mounted to butterfly display cases.

Sidcup In The 1930s

Mrs Austral’s Monkeys

Bepe, Billy and Betty are three of the monkeys kept by the elderly Mrs Austral in her home. The animals are kept in a cage and brought out for tricks.

The Monkey’s Hotel – Filmed At Sidcup In Kent (1931): British Pathé on YouTube

After pretending to wash the dishes, the monkeys comb Mrs Austral’s hair and try writing a letter.

Then the monkeys are back in the cage – with Mrs Austral herself!

Parade at the Green (1935-1937)

This is a 1930s amateur film held by the Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre.

It shows a May parade on the green. The parade includes girls in school uniform, smartly dressed women and children in fancy dress, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts.

Parade at the Green Sidcup (1935-1937): LondonsScreenArchive on YouTube

1930s Photos

This is a montage of 1930s photos, set to music.

It includes Chiselhurst, Sidcup, Footscray, St Paul’s Cray, St Mary Cray, and Orpington.

Chislehurst, Sidcup, Footscray, St pauls cray, St mary cray, Orpington Times a past: Mart Vickery on YouTube

Sidcup In The 1940s

Mobile Fish Shop (1948)

A mobile fish and chip shop provides hot meals for land girls working in rural areas.

Mobile Fish Shop (1948): British Pathé on YouTube

Henry Macroy’s mobile fish and chip van drives down country lanes, announcing its arrival with a microphone and loudspeaker.

Land girls stop working and look up, while a group of potato pickers look round.

Customers quickly approach for their dinners. But there’s no food for the hungry dog!

Sidcup In The 1950s

Trolleybuses in the 1950’s 

This is an early home movie of the Bexleyheath Trolleybuses. Includes some good street scenes too.

Bexleyheath and area trolleybuses, 1950’s.: HuntleyFilmArchives on YouTube

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