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Central and East Asia, 1931 - 1938

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 20/3/19

Scope and Contents

0 - 12sec. A view of a ship in full sail, as seen from another vessel.
12sec - 22sec. Number of men dragging a small (fishing?) boat (an outrigger canoe) into the sea.
22sec - 47sec. Youth climbing a tall palm tree, and coming back down.
47sec - 49sec. Some people paddling along the shoreline.
49sec - 55sec. Man wearing an ornate headdress, long necklace and tapping a drum-like instrument (?) whilst turning in circles.
55sec - 59sec. River scene, with boats.
59sec - 1 min 07sec. A street scene, with steps leading up to an ornate arch (gateway) and pagoda (in Rangoon?)
1min 07sec - 1min 16sec. Street scene, with bullock cart going by.
1min 16sec - 1min 24sec. River scene, with boats.
1min 24sec - 1min 27sec. Street scene, with a man walking by carrying a yoke. Large billboard, with 'India' written on it, the rest is obscured by two carts parked by the side of the road. (It is an advertisement for 'India Tyres').
1min 27sec - 1min 32sec. Views of a parked plane and radio aerials.
1min 32sec - 2min 17sec. River scenes with large steamboats/steamships and fishing boats, taken from a moving boat. Large factories along the riverbanks (of the Irrawaddy River?). Two large paddle-steamers; one transporting railway wagons.
2min 17sec - 2min 20sec. Busy crowd scene (somewhere in Burma). Many people are carrying parasols for sun protection.
2min 20sec - 2min 23sec. Two Europeans disembarking from a small boat on the shoreline.
2min 23sec - 2min 25sec. Groups of men.
2min 25sec - 2min 52sec. Two women and a young child, all with parasols, walking through a landscaped garden. The child then performs a dance for the camera (a traditional Burmese dance).
2min 52sec - 3min 04sec. A market scene, most of the market traders are seated with their wares laid out before them.
3min 04sec - 3min 14sec. View of beached boats.
3min 14sec - 3min 19sec. Young child shaking out a towel on the beach.
3min 19sec - 3min 22sec. View of moored and beached boats, with lots of people around them, and nets drying.
3min 22sec - 3min 27sec. Busy street scene with a temple and pagoda, and tram-line in the foreground.
3min 27sec - 3min 31sec. A flower market.
3min 31sec - 3min 46sec. A busy street scene. Showing the steps of a large building, in front of which is a road sign stating 'Corporation of Rangoon. ROAD CLOSED For Repairs'. A man walking by with a yoke carrying large metal containers. Three children stand observing the cameraman.
3min 46sec - 3min 50sec. A view of a thatched building.
3min 50sec - 4min 15sec. A busy street scene around the southern entrance to the Shwedagon Pagoda - very ornate temple buildings; a man with a yoke carrying large metal containers.
4min 15sec - 4min 25sec. A busy street scene, with many people.
4min 25sec - 4min 31sec. River scene. A man is stood in his small boat.
4min 31sec - 4min 39sec. Logging scene. Four men are using the river to transport a large number of cut logs. They are stood on the floating logs and are using poles to navigate their way down the river.
4min 39sec - 5min 09sec. A river scene, with many boats.
5min 09sec - 5min 23sec. Seven youths and men playing a ball game in the street, with onlookers. They are kicking the ball (about the size of a cricket ball) to each other without allowing it to touch the ground.
5min 23sec - 5min 35sec. General landscape views. Two women pass by carrying loads on their heads.
5min 35sec - 5min 43sec. Long line of Buddhist monks being handed out food by a woman.
5min 43sec - 5min 47sec. A view of a man washing his feet under running water beside an open-air tea-house.
5min 47sec - 6min 12sec. A panorama of the area, panning from inland to the coast, and taken from a high angle.
6min 12sec - 6min 32sec. A view of Kallang airport, Singapore, including the control tower and runways, taken from a high aspect.
6min 32sec - 6min 40sec. People within one of the airport buildings.
6min 40sec - 6min 46sec. People on the roof of a building, presumably one of the airport buildings.
6min 46sec - 7min 02sec. A view of the airport buildings and runways, and a seaplane being towed towards a hanger. A view of the racecourse.
7min 02sec - 7min 07sec. A view (from the river) of two- and three-storey buildings running alongside the river.
7min 07sec - 7min 12sec. View of small boats moored together.
7min 12sec - 7min 20sec. A busy street scene. A traffic controller directing the traffic.
7min 32sec - 7min 42sec. View of a landscaped garden, with a man and woman walking towards a large house.
7min 42sec - 7min 48sec. Small boats moored together.
7min 48sec - 7min 52sec. Gathering of people for an occasion, one in uniform.
7min 52sec - 8min. Showing a woman setting up open parasols on the ground, presumably to sell.
8min 02sec - 8min 05sec. View of buildings from the river.
8min 05sec - 8min 20sec. Seaplane named 'Calypso', operated by Imperial Airways London (Short Empire class), landing in the water.
8min 20sec - 8min 29sec. An aerial view of the land and harbour.
8min 29sec - 8min 33sec. Ship in full sail.
8min 33sec - 8min 38sec. Showing a white horse with its handler and an European.
8min 38sec - 8min 53sec. Seaplane in the sky. A further scene shows it landing in the water, and another shows it taking off.
8min 53sec - 9min 13sec. A view of a seaplane landing in the water, then a speedboat coming from it with passengers towards the camera (and land). Views of Karachi docks in the distance (with steamships and numerous cranes).
9min 13sec - 9min 26sec. Two men and one woman observing (the sea plane landing?) The woman has a black dog.
9min 36sec - 9min 51sec. Horse racing.
9min 51sec - 9min 56sec. Outside scenes at Karachi airport - a crowd of people assembling, and parked planes.


  • 1931 - 1938

Conditions Governing Access

With the exception of RCMS 20/3/1, the cinefilms may be viewed online with the University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service at:

For copyright reasons, researchers wishing to view RCMS 20/3/1, (Colonial Cinemagazine 29, Colonial Film Unit, 1950) should make an appointment with the RCS Librarian to view the film in Cambridge University Library. Email:

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright Cambridge University Library.


1 item(s) (1 cinefilm)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Generally fair condition, some dark/faded scenes.

Existence and Location of Copies

Original at RCMS 20/3/9.



Finding aid date

2003-08-26 10:50:23+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.