Stunning historic footage shows London past and present, from 1920s to today

In the mid-1920s, pioneering cinematographer, filmmaker and inventor Claude Friese-Greene travelled across Britain capturing fascinating footage of life in the UK for his collection of films called The Open Road.

Towards the end of his trip Friese-Greene visited London and captured stunning footage of life in the capital, using his own process to create colour film. It was patented as “Friese-Greene Natural Colour”.

The film shows famous London landmarks including Tower Bridge, The Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square.

Fast forward 86 years to the present day, and while London’s skyline has changed beyond recognition, many sights are remarkably unchanged.

Filmmaker Simon Smith retraced Friese-Greene’s steps and has produced his own film, which visits the same locations in London. Spliced together, they show how the capital has altered, or indeed remained the same, over more than eight decades.

Watch the mesmerising results below:


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