In 1959 Britain's biggest cinema company, the Rank Organisation, decided to replace its newsreels with a series of short, quirky, topical documentaries that examined all aspects of life in Britain. For the next ten years, Look at Life chronicled - on high-grade 35mm colour film - the changing face of British society, industry and culture.
Throughout the 1960s, the short film series Look at Life captured almost every aspect of British society and culture, but its producers had a special fascination for one aspect in particular - our inordinate fondness for boats. This episode examines the films that documented a period that saw a raft of British sailors seeking endurance world records; boatmen and women striving to halt the decline of our rivers and canals; and high tension on the high seas, as disputes over fishing rights prompted the government to send gunboats to escort our trawlers.
Throughout the 1960s, the Rank Organisation produced hundreds of short colour films on almost every aspect of British life. In a series reworking the best of this material to offer fascinating and often surprising insights into a transformative period of recent British history, this episode concentrates on the unprecedented upheavals in Britain's transport systems during a period when the popularity of air travel soared, rail networks were comprehensively dismantled and towns and cities were being reshaped to accommodate the unstoppable rise of the motor car.