The Pattern of Britain Collection

The six films of The Pattern of Britain series were produced from 1944 to 1947 by Greenpark Productions.

They celebrate the virtues and toil of the rural way of life throughout Great Britain at a time when many more people than today worked on the land, and the country was in great need during the war years.

Each film describes how rural economies have developed in differing terrains through the country, and are beautifully filmed in black and white by leading producers, many of whom were later to produce their greatest works after the war years, including John Eldridge (Waverley Steps, Laxdale Hall), Edgar Anstey (British Transport Films) and Ken Annakin (The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, Disney, 1952) and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines). Classical composers, among them William Alwyn and John Hollingsworth created memorable scores for the films.

The four English-based films are available on The Pattern of Britain DVD: The Grassy Shires (The farmlands of Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, and Northamptonshire); Fenlands (How farmland was created in East Anglia by managing peat bogs); Cornish Valley (The varying and difficult terrains) and Downlands (from Dover to The Cotswolds and Mendips).

The two Scottish members of the series, Crofters (life around Achriesgill, Sutherland) and North East Corner (fishing and farming communities of Buchan), is on The Glen Is Ours DVD.

All six are also available on a 3 disc set The Pattern of Britain Plus Collection, which also includes the four films on The Crown of the Year series, about the importance of farming in the early years of The Second World War.


Russell Cowe