Articles on the History of Essex, Researching your Ancestors, and British History

Pathe News archives featuring Essex

pathe news poster
Pathe News advertisement
Image courtesy of Library of Congress on Flickr NKCR

Glimpse into the recent past with British Pathe newsreels.

For a look back into the relatively recent past of Essex, then the British Pathe News archive is worth a visit.

British Pathe News presented twice weekly newsreels and film magazines at the local cinema. They were shown before the main movie films. Before the advent of television it was the only way most people could see films of famous people and current events of the time.

But the newsreels did not only show current news events, they also showed films on wide range of subjects: culture, agriculture, sport, holidays, and a look around the towns and villages of Britian. Many of these films featured everyday life in Essex.

pathe news cameraman filming gropup of people
Pathe News bringing the news to cinema audiences
Image courtesy of National Library of Ireland on Flickr NKCR

By the time the newsreels finished in 1970, the company had amassed 3500 hours amounting to over 90,000 individual items. These are now in the Pathe News Archive. The films are available for viewing on their website: British Pathe Archive.

Here is a sample of just a few films featuring places in Essex. Unfortunately they do not permit for the film to be embeded here. The films are both silent and with sound. Their website has a good search engine should wish to search for more Essex topics.

More articles on the History of Essex, Researching your Ancestors, and British History

Find your Ancestors in the Newspapers

Essex Standard Newspaper

Newspaper archives are now a very important source of information for researching your family tree.

Try our example search to help you discover if your ancestors are in the British Newspaper Archive.

Help me find my ancestors

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Looking for pictures to add to your family tree album?


Ebay is a good source of old images of Essex towns and villages. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these. Link already formatted for Essex Postcards. Browse through or type the name of the location in the Ebay search box.