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Hovercraft trip to France in 1973

The home movie embedded in this post shows a Hovercraft trip to France which the photographer and their family made in 1963.

This is quite a short film because it was part of a single reel of Agfa standard 8 film which had purely family scenes on the other half which I probably won’t publish. Unfortunately the film is marred by an unsightly blotch of dirt in the top left hand corner which was in the camera gate when the film was taken, and part way through the film another large blotch joins it in the top centre!

There was quite a lot of jitter on the film, so I ran it through the Movavi stabilization filter to remove that before it got uploaded to youtube.

In terms of detective work to find out the location and date of this film, I didn’t have to resort to Google because the photographer had written on the film, ‘Hovercraft to France, 1973’. I assume the Hovercraft service was the one which I found reported here on the day it stopped service in 2000.

Screen shots from the film

Hovercraft to France film

The film, as I said above is very short at only just a minute in total duration, but it’s still interesting to watch.

The first scenes show the passengers walking across the tarmac to board the vessel and begin their journey to France. Unfortunately, this is the most damaged and aged portion of the film, but after a few seconds the quality of the film improves. It’s interesting to see that the back of the vessel is open for presumably cars and the foot passengers make their way to the front. In the next scene it’s just possible to see a vehicle of some sort moving away from the back of the craft presumably after loading with luggage.

The next scenes are from France and I would hazard a guess that they show the photographer’s wife walking up the street towards the camera.

This is then followed by some scenes of cars on the roads in the French town and then all too soon the journey home.

As I said, this film is all too short, but since the Hovercraft service is no longer running it is still interesting to see it in this look back at 1973.

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If you see anything in the film which you recognise, or you think gives clues to the location or date, please let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this post with your friends if you think they may be able to help locate a scene in this film.

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A software developer by profession and an amateur photographer by hobby I've been interested in all things photographic since I was a teenager some 40 years ago. Many of my interests centre around vintage film photography and cinematography.

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