John Betjeman had a lifelong love of English Towns and their everyday buildings. Once when asked what he most wanted he replied, "to make people look at things that are beautiful, particularly buildings". In 1962 after two best selling books 'Summoned by Bells' and 'Collected Poems' he turned his attention to the medium of TV - his aim - to fulfil his ambition to open our eyes to how beautiful our towns and villages are. These six films were discovered 30 years later. Three retain the original soundtrack, but the other three have been restored with John Betjeman's original script being read by Nigel Hawthorne.
Swindon and North Lew (Betjeman) John Betjeman was fascinated by railways. Here he contrasts a town made by railways (Swindon) with another which was ruined by them (North Lew). Chippenham and Crewkerne (Hawthorne) Betjeman expresses his horror at the destruction wrought by modern traffic on these two towns. Devizes (Betjeman) "The mellow brick capital of the north of Wiltshire" and the prehistoric landscape which stands outside it. Sherborne (Hawthorne) "An abbey town of golden ironstone - a town of schools". Sidmouth (Hawthorne) Completely in verse this film blends Betjeman's observations and mischief. Bath (Betjeman) Betjeman's tour of the "Queen City of the West", accompanied by the music of Handel, who played the organ in Bath Abbey.