A COLLECTION of rare and previously unseen historical footage of coastal life in The South West of England has been made available for all to view on BFI Player as part of BFI’s Britain on Film: Coast and Sea national project via an interactive map.

There are videos of Weymouth and Portland in the collection.

Filmed by professional filmmakers and amateur hobbyists alike, these fascinating glimpses into the past (many of which have never been available before) have been sourced and curated by the BFI National Archive along with regional and national film archives across the UK, including the South West Film & Television Archive (SWFTA), to offer the public the opportunity to witness past generations’ relationships with coastal Britain.

One of the videos which we're sharing screenshots of today, was filmed on Weymouth beach in 1967.

It shows a new hut on Weymouth beach for lost children.

TV reporter Clive Gunnell is on the beach meeting the entertainments manager Mr Willand Bosworth on a warm summer's day to discuss the new hut on the beach for lost and found children.

There are some lovely shots of youngsters enjoying the beach and also some very amusing old-fashioned bathing costumes!

Clive says in his film: "The beach is full of people. Mostly they are families or with children. And nearly all those children are coming here and they're going to have a cracking good day.

"But at least half a dozen of those children today are going to end up in tears because they're bound to be lost. Fortunately Weymouth has already had this situation to cope with before, They have a centre farther up the beach there where these lost children are brought."

Children drift off in all sorts of directions on the busy beach and the hut is the point of contact for frightened and lost children whose perfect day at the beach has dissipated like a receding tide.

Weymouth has a three-mile long sandy beach and promenade and has long been popular with families.

The service is hoping to reunite youngsters quickly with their parents and explain that teaching your child not to do things because 'there is a policeman watching you' has not helped children who are genuinely terrified of police in uniform.

Police services have campaigned over the years to reverse the idea that they are responsible for all naughty children! Mobile phones aside for toddlers, many missing children are found quickly, but for children who go missing at the seaside there is the added stress of a tidal sea.

Nowadays local authorities offer services such as resorts operating wristband schemes and throughout the summer months lifeguards patrol the beaches.

Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive said, "There are over 600 newly added films, contextualised by curators, exploring lives led and holidays enjoyed around the UK coast. As such there are now even greater opportunities for people to while away hours watching and making discoveries about British film heritage.”

Do you remember the Lost and Found Centre on Weymouth beach? Were you re-united with family as a result of the centre? If so, we'd love to hear from you at Looking Back. Get in touch the usual way.

We're going to be looking at more archive footage of Weymouth and Portland by the coast over the coming weeks in these pages.

You can search for the films and watch the videos at player.bfi.org.uk/britain-on-film/