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Rare Video of Winston Churchill Goes on Display in Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Film of the party Sir Winston threw in 1953 for the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

By Tom Jennings

THE OXFORD MAIL, 15 March 2012—A RARE film of a party thrown by Sir Winston Churchill for the country’s newly crowned Queen has gone on display in Woodstock.
Sir Winston Churchill at a party for Commonwealth leaders at Blenheim Palace
The footage shows the then Prime Minister and guests, including Queen Salote of Tonga and Princess Margaret, arriving at Blenheim Palace.

The dignitaries were in the country for the annual Commonwealth leaders’ conference in Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation year, 1953.

It was shot by former Woodstock mayor Dr Henry Tothill and, along with six of his other films from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, has gone on display at the Oxfordshire Museum.

The exhibition features footage of the foundation stone at Marlborough School being laid in 1939, Woodstock Branch Railway closing in 1954 and the Queen’s visit to Woodstock in 1956.

Exhibition coordinator and historian John Banbury said it was the first time the public had been able to see some of the films.

He said: “We decided people ought to see these films before families forget what people did in those times.

“People will recognise their own relatives and be able to tell their children or grandchildren about it.

“It is important to the town because it shows the history and the change in the town over several years.”

Dr Tothill, who was mayor in 1960, shot the footage on a 16mm camera, which was only introduced in the 1920s and was still rare to own during the ’30s.

The film was digitised and edited by John Whitlock, of Woodstock Video Club, and modern footage and pictures were added.

Deputy mayor Brian Yoxall said: “Woodstock has a rich history and we feel it is important to celebrate that.

“We are hoping there will be coverage of the Jubilee celebrations in Woodstock this year and that we will be able to screen that in the museum.”

The exhibition opened earlier this month and will run until December.

Read the entire story at The Oxford Mail

©The Oxford Mail

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