City Bound

About the film

Filmed after the start of the Blitz, 'City Bound' is an exploration of the daily commute into London from the suburbs in 1941.

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  • Release year - 1941
  • Director - Robin Carruthers
  • Production company - Spectator Short Films
  • Producer - Ivan Scott
  • Cinematographer - W. Luff
  • Composer - C. Ridley
  • Sound recording - W.S. Bland
  • Running time (minutes) - 10 mins 04 secs

Original description

London's transport system during the war

'Between half past five and ten o'clock each morning five million people are moved from home to work by London's transport system. Before this can be done, underground and overground transport must be cleaned and refuelled. Then from the outer ring of London, past green fields and suburban gardens, the move into London begins. Trains, motor omnibuses, and electric trams bring hundreds of thousands into the centre of the city, to work in the shops, offices, and factories of the largest city in the world.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941)

Did you know?

  • According to Transport for London (TfL): “Not only did the Tube help 200,000 inner-city children escape to the country, it was also used to shelter hundreds of thousands of civilians every night during the Blitz. On 27 September 1940 a census found that a staggering 177,500 Londoners were sleeping in Tube stations. With so many people seeking shelter in the Tube, London Underground sprang into action and installed 22,000 bunk beds, washroom facilities and even ran trains that supplied seven tonnes of food and 2,400 gallons of tea and cocoa every night. Before long there were even special stations with libraries, evening classes, movies and musical evenings.”
  • The film states that 10 million people used public transport in London. Today, that figure stands at around 8.6 million.
  • The opening title cards state that this film began filming just as the London Blitz began, yet there is very little visual reference to this.

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