This is a list of documentaries about housing and the welfare state of which I am aware and some of which I am in the process of reviewing:-

Watch old films here

Housing Problems – 1935

Cathy Come Home – 1966 – Ken Loach – Landmark housing drama – my own review

Where we live now – Five writers look at our surroundings 1979

A series of five films broadcast in the week beginning Monday 19th February 1979

City of Towers – Christopher Booker – Monday 19th February 1979

Download here -> City of towers – the download

Youtube -> City of Towers

Three Streets in the Country – Michael Frayn / Dennis Marks – Tuesday 20th February 1979

Watch now  -> Three streets in the country

New Town, Home Town – Colin Ward – Wednesday 21st February 1979

Architecture for Everyman – Patrick Nuttgens – Thursday 22nd February 1979

The Country and The City –  with the writer Raymond Williams – Friday 23rd February 1979

[with thanks to Alan Powers of the University of Greenwich for confirming the titles and the order.]

The Home Front: Housing the People, 1850-1990 – BBC 1989 and book – Patrick Nuttgens

Building Sights – Personal reflections on the best 20th Century architecture in Britain. GB, BBC Tx BBC2 1988-1996

From Here to Modernity – 2001 – 3 x 30 min with Kirsty Wark, I’ve listed stills from it >here<

High Rise Dreams – 2004 – BBC4 – Short history of modernism

Download here -> High Rise Dreams

Youtube -> High Rise Dreams

Homes for Heroes – 2005 – BBC4 – Post war architecture clips

Download here -> Homes for Heroes

Utopia London – 2008 – London and Modernism and the LCC – my own review

Review here –

NEWS Here’s one to watch British Council documentaries 1930-1950

British Council Films


Here’s one about Liverpool recommended to me by Andrew Drury of HATC

From Youtube – Homes for Workers 1939

A journey in the footsteps of the architecture writer Ian Nairn – Jonathan Glancey

From Leeds into Scotland – Ian Nairn

Saving Britain’s Past – Streets in the Sky – Tom Dyckhoff– one of a series of seven half-hour documentaries.

I now have the complete set, thanks to a London contact ->  The New Jerusalem:-

A Place in the Class

Safe in their Hands

For Richer for Poorer

A Home of your own

Watch it here -> A Home of your own

Narrated by Robert Lindsay and well researched this quartet form a fascinating glimpse into 40 years of the Welfare State (made 1995) and a timely reminder of what we are about to lose with the dismemberment of the NHS.

Flight from Utopia – Patrick Nuttgens – forty years of northern townscape – 1984

A wonderful series about the Northern cities and their recent history with numerous shots of Park Hill and Hyde Park (as was) in Sheffield along with Gleadless Valley.  A must for anyone with an interest in Sheffield.

The Sixties – Episode 4 – 1982 – narrated by James Bolam.

A long searching look at the icons of the 1960s including system built housing which fared less well including the Leaky Road flats in Leeds aka Hunslett.

Trellick Tower – Building Sights – one of a great number in the series this one about Trellick Tower and its mixed fortunes.

or here courtesy of the BBC.

T. Dan Smith – BBC North East – 1986

The Making of Modern London – Housing – Gentrification of Barnsbury and Canonbury in Islington covered.

The Making of Modern London – Office life – London Wall and office life in the 1960s and 1970s.

A Vision of Britain – Prince Charles 1988 – Dir Nick Rossiter

Byker Housing Estate – Building Sights

Watch it here -> Building Sights – Byker

or the BBC link here.

The Great British Housing Disaster – 1984

Thamesmead 1970 – thanks to Darryl of the 853 blog

Dreaming the Impossible Unbuilt Britain A Revolution in the City -> London and Glasgow.

The second half from 30 minutes onwards is simply astonishing, to my eyes like City of Towers compressed into half an hour.

Download it here -> Revolution  -> Please right click and Save As


Catch it while you can on iPlayer. When it’s gone download it here:-

The_Home_Front.mp4 -> Please right click and Save As

Here is a list of the films recently made available via this blog. All now expired. If you want one you can’t find elsewhere drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.

Cathy come home – mpg version – 2.52GB

Cathy come home – mp4 version – 1.15GB


The New Jerusalem – films about the welfare state


The New Jerusalem – A home of your own (1995)

The New Jerusalem – For Richer For Poorer

The New Jerusalem – A Place in the Class

New Jerusalem – Safe in their hands

The NHS – A difficult beginning

Greg Dyke on Nye Bevan – 1.31GB

Andrew Marr’s History of modern Britain – Advance Britannia – 547MB


A Vision of Britain – Prince Charles (1988)

From Leeds into Scotland – Nairn across Britain

Flight from Utopia Pt1 – Patrick Nuttgens

Flight from Utopia Pt2 – Patrick Nuttgens

3 Minute Culture – Maxwell Hutchinson on 1980s architecture

The Sixties: Getaway People Pt1&2 – James Bolam

T Dan Smith – Mike Nally – John Mapplebeck 1986

Making of Modern London – 19/9/86 – Gavin Weightman – John Taylor 1986 LWT

Making of Modern London – Housing -10/10/86 – Gavin Weightman – John Taylor 1986 LWT

Trellick Tower – Building Sights

Trellick Tower – Charlie Luxton

Buildings That Shaped Britain – Modernism – Simon Thurley

Jonathan Meades – Abroad Again – Heaven – Folkwoven in England – Letchworth

High Rise Dreams

Homes for Heroes

London on Film The Suburbs

Where We Live Now

City of Towers – Christopher Booker

Three streets in the country – Michael Frayn

New Town Home Town – Colin Ward

Architecture for everyman – Patrick Nuttgens

The Country and the City – Raymond Williams


Mark Lawson talks to Jonathan Meades

From Here to Modernity 1

From Here to Modernity 2

From Here to Modernity 3

I hate the Sixties BBC 2004

Great British Housing Disaster

Britain on film The Home Front

The London Nobody Knows – James Mason

Park Hill – Romancing the stone – English Heritage

Somewhere decent to live – 1967

Charley in New Town COI

Building Sights – Byker

The Dilapidated Dwelling

Dreamspaces One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eleven

The Great Estate – Michael Collins

Trouble in Utopia – Robert Hughes

Saving Britain’s Past – Streets in the sky – Park Hill – 932MB

Heritage – The Battle for Britain’s past

One Response to “Film”

  1. Laura Vaughan Says:

    Wonderful resource! I’ll be sharing this with my MSc Advanced Architectural Studies students.

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