We travel back in time to look at a bygone Scotland on our TV screens over the next two weeks.
Films of Scotland is a two-part documentary being shown on BBC Scotland.
In 1928 and at the age of eleven, Harry Birrell was given his first cine camera. ‘The greatest toy a child could ever receive,’ he would say, and his obsession with making movies would span the rest of his life.
This series, narrated by Richard Madden, is a sequel to the 2019 documentary, Harry Birrell Films of Love & War.
Episode one takes us back to before the Second World War where Harry’s journey with film began.
He captures in vivid detail his army training at Hamilton Barracks and Dunbar as he and the troops prepare for battle.
On his return from war, Harry turns to the Scottish mountains for his next adventure as he becomes an active member of the fledgling Scottish ski scene and records his alpine adventures.
The first part will be shown on Tuesday 27 July, on BBC Scotland, from 10–10.40pm.
The concluding episode explores Harry’s personal documentaries filmed from the 1950s onwards, including a water-skiing competition on Loch Earn, the last days of the Glasgow tram service and the Queen’s state visit to George Square.
The beautiful footage is intercut with the films he made with his children as they grew up in the 50s and 60s, portraying a universal experience that is nostalgic and deeply poignant.
Part two will be shown on Tuesday 3 August, again on BBC Scotland, from 10–10.30pm.