The documentary Seeking Sydney, explores the work and life of Sydney Bligh. Bligh specialised in making newsreels of Canterbury during the 1930s, many of which were filmed in colour.
His films are a significant record of local history and include internationally significant sequences of the Canterbury Cathedral Plays. These feature T.S. Eliot at the first performances of Murder in the Cathedral and Dorothy L Sayers with her first performances of The Zeal of Thy House and The Devil To Pay. Seeking Sydney reveals the importance of these sequences.
Seeking Sydney also provides insight into Count Zborowski’s long lost private railway. The Count was a multimillionaire who built his own racing cars and was the inspiration for Ian Flemings’ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Count was also known for building a mile-long 15” gauge railway around his estate. This has long fascinated railway enthusiasts as no visual record was thought to exist. Seeking Sydney reveals the route of the long-lost track. and features the Count on the railway in 1924 where he recreates favourite scenes from Hollywood films of the era.Seeking Sydney provides an insight into the scope, ambition and technical level of an early amateur filmmaker. Here is the link for the film:
3 comments on “SEEKING SYDNEY”
A fascinating film with unique early film of Count Zborowski and his cars. A lovely tribute to the Canterbury filmmaker Sydney Bligh and to the Count.
This film shows how interesting and the importance of recording people who work quietly behind the scene and are never known, but make that difference, and taking shots of places here today then gone tomorrow,
Quite a nostalgic film
Wonderful to see it again ! Tim has taken Sydney Bligh’s collection of a variety of films from the past, and using modern filming, and sensible interviewing techniques has created 26 minutes of pure joy !
Essentially showing the past and the present.