Film enthusiast discovers 1950’s footage of the Broads

The mysterious films, now owned by Nick South, were found at a car boot sale

The mysterious films, now owned by Nick South, were found at a car boot sale - Credit: Archant

When Nick South, a film enthusiast from Norfolk, played the nearly 70-year-old footage he had received, he couldn't believe what he found.

The uncovered footage shows boats sailing down the Broads in the 1950's and 60's

The uncovered footage shows boats sailing down the Broads in the 1950's and 60's - Credit: Archant

The two old films were shot home-video style by a couple in the Broads on their boat during the 1950's and 1960's, showing nostalgic views of the sailboats, cottages and shops around the area during the time.

Mr South's brother Julian had bought the films at a car boot sale and gifted them to Nick. Not knowing what he would find, Mr South finally watched the footage a week ago on his houseboat in Wroxham with a friend. Being able to see what the Broads landscape looked like during the 50's was like going back in time.

'We just sat here with eyes a wonder and we could recognize, you know, that's Breydon, that's Wroxham, that's Brundall. All these things were coming out on the film. It was amazing,' Mr South, 53, said.

The mysterious couple on the boat is unknown, but the familiar landmarks in the film are unmistakable.


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'It's a bit of social history. You can see people wandering around Wroxham, where the little island is outside the shop entrance. And that almost art deco look with the big arch over Roys, still there,' he said.

For Mr South, the joy in watching the film is getting a previously unseen glimpse into the past.

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'Life seemed nice and simple. The wife of the filmmaker is sitting there shelling peas on the boat, about to cook dinner. Life is a nice, slow, easy pace – lovely.

'Some of the must mundane things become very interesting: someone just sitting on a boat going down the river, with other boats coming the opposite way. And they're all these beautiful, wooden, shiny varnished boats. There are grown men and women on the Broads who would get very teary looking at these,' he said.

Mr South currently has no intention of selling the films. He hopes to add more to his collection and try to track down more information about the unknown couple in the footage.

'For enthusiasts like me, finding little hidden gems like this, watching it for the first time, it's like a kid on Christmas day,' he said.

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