1968 was the year Bath, Keynsham and other parts of Somerset experienced terrible flooding when torrential rain fell across the county. A flash-flood disaster that resulted in seven deaths.
But it was also the year Bath was to feature in a short documentary film screened in cinemas across the country.
Look at Life was a regular series of short films produced between 1959 and 1969 by the Special Features Division of the Rank Organisation and screened in their Odeon and Gaumont cinemas – replacing the circuit’s newsreel, Universal News, which had become largely irrelevant with the advent of television news broadcasts.
Cinema audiences would have watched these before the main feature began.
With the Clean Air Zone coming into force at midnight on Monday next and a big debate about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, my attention has been drawn to a Look at Life special on transport which was screened that year.
It featured Bath and Norwich as two English cities under threat of being ‘choked’ by the rising level of traffic in their streets.
The documentary was called The City’s for Living In and was a response to the infamous Buchanan Report which had suggested a tunnel under part of Bath to help relieve its traffic problems.
The film is presented by the late Ann MacEwan – back in the day when there was only one accent that mattered.
Do have a look. It may be 53 years old but the issue it features is extremely relevant today as we deal with pollution and climate change.