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Vintage Film & Old Photos of Southampton

bygone Southampton old photos & film

This page is about bygone life in the city of Southampton. If you’re interested, at the end we have a link to a separate page about the Port of Southampton in the old days.

“Southampton: A City Through Time”

Uploaded to YouTube by James Fox

James Fox creates amazing videos. Here he’ll take you back in time to key locations in the city. With clear title cards identifying the location and dates, atmospheric music and great sound effects, it’s like stepping into a time machine!

“Southampton’s Family Of 32 (1939)”

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé

The family of Mr & Mrs Richard Smith was so large by 1939 that Pathe Gazette came to make a newsreel about them!

69 year old Richard Smith was a boxer in the old booths for 45 years. 

The old couple, their 10 children and 20 grandchildren lived within half a mile of each other.

“Southampton Buses – 1950s – Film No 1033”

Uploaded to YouTube by HuntleyFilmArchives

It looks a bit of a bumpy ride in this old steam train! But they quickly get to the central railway station, where it’s time to get on a bus. The vintage car that comes whizzing round the corner looks very old indeed. The bus that takes them to the Southern Railway Docks looks as though it’s leaning to one side a bit dangerously. After enjoying the break, it’s time for a ferry ride.

“Southampton Rag Aka Students’ Rag At Southampton (1967)”

Uploaded to YouTube by British Pathé

A jolly piece of footage showing university students dressed in curious costumes as each team carries a friend on a stretcher from pub to pub. There were 7 pubs over 6.5 miles to cover. The stretcher case had to drink 4.5 pints including a half at the start and the finish.

The Park Inn wisely kept them outside for the quick drinking session. Bargate Hotel is next.

The winning team was the Cnstuction Engineering group of the College of Technlogy. They won an entire keg of beer.

“SOUTHAMPTON 1970 – Images from a bus ride starting at the CIVIC CENTRE bus station to TOTTON”

Posted to YouTube by Southampton on Video

Black and white photographs taken from a bus in 1970.

“Southampton – Shirley Precinct development – 1970s”

Posted to YouTube by Paul Scarbro

This archive footage filmed by Robert Scarbro in the 1970s shows Anglesea Road and Shirley High Street in the midst of the area’s redevelopment. It looks like one man (without safety equipment) is trying to single handedly demolish an entire building.

“The final scene is possibly the old library on the corner of Kentish Road and Shirley High Street.”

“Southampton, 1982”

Posted to YouTube by Terrie Alexander

This is a brilliant home movie filmed from a Triumph Spitfire back in 1982. More than 15 minutes of travelling through different areas, some of which have changed considerably since then.

“Spudulike | 1980s Take Away | 1980s Britain | 1980s restaurant | Southampton | 1982”

Posted to YouTube by ThamesTv

First broadcast on 22 July 1982, this report about the new Spudulike is introduced by a very dour presenter, even as a person dressed as a potato is seen on screen. The young man passing by with his friend sounds almost incredulous that he can have a potato for free, even with cheese and onion on top. Lots of people in the queue seemed to be holding bunches of yellow daffodils. Mr Spud needs help to cut a ribbon.

It was the 18th Spudulike to open. It was the latest franchising idea created by David Aitchison. His main success had been selling British School of Motoring franchises to driving instructors. He felt that in a redundancy, opening a franchise was a good way to invest redundancy money.

The franchisee opening Southampton’s Spudulike had invested all his redundancy pay and a further £30,000 into opening the store.

At the time, the spuds cost about 80p.

“SOUTHAMPTON BUSES 1989”

Posted to YouTube by DaveSpencer32

Dave Spencer’s trailer for his DVD includes hundreds of people walking or driving past the camera. All those babies and little children reached adulthood years ago!

“Southampton 1993, Ocean Village, Bargate Shopping Centre, Town Quay, University, Pirelli, Vosper, Mayflower”

Posted to YouTube by Quagmi

A tour of the city in 1993, filmed by George and Joyce Harfield.

Great narrations, location titles and captions. You know where you are at all times, and what big companies or landmarks are nearby. Includes several buildings which were new then.

“Southampton 1993 Ocean Village”

Posted to YouTube by Quagmi

A trip to Ocean Village on 7th November 1993. Good location titles.

Films at the MGM Cinema includes The Fugitive, Sleepless in Seattle, and the Sean Connery film Rising Sun, which was based on a novel by Michael Crichton. There was also The Secret Garden and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.

“Southampton 1994, West Quay site, Tyrell & Green, University, Marlands, Titanic Memorial with subtitles”

Posted to YouTube by Quagmi

This ten minute film was made on Sunday 31 July 1994, just a month before the Sunday Trading Act 1994 came into law on 26 August 1994. It shows how quiet the streets were.

The footage was filmed and narrated by Joyce Harfield. Some of it was recorded from a car, some of it on foot. Locations include the west end, the airport, the suburb of Bassett, the university, the city centre, and parks.

The additional subtitles are helpful too. There’s so much information about how the city was in 1994, and occasional comments on things that had changed.

See the Port of Southampton in the old days

Discover more locations in the sitemap of our pages for England