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Lord Mayor's Show 1935

​Lord Mayor's Show, 1935

Watching an historic event, mapping an epidemic, or hearing a voice from the past: What’s new in the Mediatheque

Installed in 2011, the Mediatheque area at LMA now provides on-demand access to over 100 original films, around 1,500 printed maps and nearly 350,000 photographs and prints. Divided into five main areas, this unique resource is equipped with a reference library, 10 computer terminals, a large screen for viewing audio-visual content, a selection of printed catalogue lists, and a dedicated space for the study of reference maps.

The last few years have seen a number of additions to the Mediatheque including archival film, oral history and historic maps from collections either recently digitised or newly deposited. Below are just a few of the highlights of new content curated by David Baldwin.

Amateur footage of the Lord Mayor's Show

This short, silent film of the Lord Mayor’s Show, 1935 (ref. SC/AV/01/003/01) was deposited in 2014 after being discovered among the possessions of a great uncle of the depositor. It shows the procession moving through the heart of the City of London shot from a camera positioned on the first floor of an office building on the corner of Gracechurch Street and Lombard Street.

In the footage, members of the Armed Forces can be seen marching in formation followed by floats including some sponsored by the Worshipful Companies of Loriners and Glaziers. The themes highlighted by the floats include history, but also modern agriculture and home produce. The latter, in particular, is brought to life through the use of characters dressed as cheese, flour and bread. What is remarkable is how many people are in attendance, with the crowds packed into the narrow streets of the Square Mile.

Peabody Trust: Life on the Estate

Recently digitised, this small selection of interviews explores the experience of two male employees who worked on different Peabody Estates across London during the early to mid-20th century. From their memories you learn what life was like - standards of living, the ‘typical’ resident, the effects of war, daily management, the administration required, and much more.

Peabody Buildings on Herbrand Street, 1956

​Peabody Buildings, Herbrand Street, 1956

Harry Jenkins (ref. ACC/3445/PT/12/001)
Living on a Peabody Estate as a boy, Harry remembers his father’s role as porter and later, superintendent at Southwark Street. Although he himself would eventually take on similar positions, he first discusses his early experience of work and his involvement in the Coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. Finally joining the Peabody group in the late 1930s, he goes on to detail life during the Second World War, the different estates he worked on (including daily tasks), and observes well the sounds, people and places he experienced while in post.

Cyril Mould (ref. ACC/3445/PT/12/003)
Cyril was introduced to the Peabody Estates during his childhood, when his father was a superintendent in Fulham. Following in his footsteps, he later became a porter at White Cross Street and from there continued a long career with Peabody. Cyril talks in particular about the Second World War, his family, promotion, a fraudulent colleague, living standards, and the people he looked after while in post.

Smallpox maps

In the 1880s, four large sized smallpox maps were created for the Royal Commission on Smallpox and Fever Hospitals by the Metropolitan Asylum Board to show from what parts of London the cases of smallpox came in the epidemics of 1871-2, 1876, 1880 and in the inter-epidemic period 1873-75 (GLC/DG/AE/ROL/92/001-004). Following extensive conservation work to repair and repackage each map, our Imaging and Media team then took on the task of digitising them. Due to their size, this was no easy feat and each map was finally shot in sections which have been stitched together digitally.

Now available under our Map section on the Mediatheque homepage available at LMA, visitors can use the Zoomify software installed to interrogate the maps right down to street level and understand better the impact this epidemic had on local communities and the provision made by public service providers to support those affected.

The Mediatheque is available during normal opening hours, no appointment required. For more information, please visit the Mediatheque web page.

15 October 2015
Last Modified:
30 September 2019