STUNNING aerial views of Swindon from English Heritage’s Britain From Above project will get a special screening on the town’s Big Screen.

The Chocks Away! Take Off With Britain From Above event explores the early days of flight and aerial photography, showcasing pictures taken between 1919 and 1953 of the area, contrasting with the modern day images provided by the Swindon Advertiser.

The project is one of a number of viewings and activities for Swindon Film Festival.

While the older generations can enjoy the nostalgia of times past, younger visitors will be invited to complete jigsaws and take part in a paper plane competition.

Barbara Hoffbauer, co-ordinator of Swindon Film Festival, said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside the Britain From Above project, which is bringing some wonderful new perspectives to this year’s festival.

“When you think of films you think of just sitting in your seat – the event at Wharf Green is going to be a lot more interactive.

“I hope people will get along for just a few minutes or a couple of hours to see some unusual views of Swindon in all their glory on the Big Screen and take part in the family activities.”

The event takes place in Wharf Green on March 2 between noon and 3pm.

Later in the festival, on March 7, at 7.30pm, English Heritage will be co-hosting an evening of vintage films at Swindon Central Library.

Entitled Those Magnificent Men – The Real Life Heroes, the event will celebrate some of the pioneers of aviation and cinematography, with screening of films from the Swindon Viewpoint and British Film Institute archives.

Included in the programme is Claude-Friese Greene’s 1920s documentary The Open Road, which used an innovative early colour technique in filming a road trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats .

The evening will open with a talk on the Britain From Above project, an online resource which features digitally-stored images of aerial photographs from the first half of the 20th century.

“The Britain From Above website currently contains thousands of aerial photographs of the whole country.

“But it has events like these, where you meet people who have lived in the areas photographed for many years that you start to understand some of the stories behind the pictures,” said Sandra Brauer, Britain From Above activity officer.

“These events provide us with a showcase for some of these stunning photographs.

“We always encourage people to continue their exploration of the archive and share their own memories and factual knowledge about the photographs when they get home on”

Admission to both events is free, but places must be pre-booked for the evening.

Tickets can be booked at Swindon Central Library, by telephone on 01793 466454 or by email at

Further information on the Swindon Film Festival, which runs between March 1 and 10, is available online at