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Way to the Sea, The (1936)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A.D. 286: the coming of the Romans to Portsmouth. A Roman standard, model of a Roman ship, river reeds, ruins of a Roman fort. The coming of the Danes: surging waves, model ship. Statue of Alfred the Great, view of the sea and the Isle of Wight, where King Alfred defeated the Danes, models of ships.

A.D. 1545: prints showing Portsmouth and its activities; a portrait of Henry VIII, who visited the new fortress at Southsea. A country lane represents the first road from London to Portsmouth, paintings show goods transported by wagons from London to Portsmouth.

The 18th Century: models of sailing ships, paintings of ships at Portsmouth harbour, paintings show the stagecoach service to Portsmouth. 1805: model of HMS Victory, reconstruction of sailors fighting to victory for Nelson. Paintings show Portsmouth harbour and the mail coach to Portsmouth. Reconstruction of the building of the railway line from London to Portsmouth, tracks are laid, steam trains in motion.

1935: a train leaves the platform at Waterloo station. The electrification of the main line: men work on the track, National Grid sub-stations enlarged, sub-stations built along the line, the central control room. A conductor rail is laid on insulators, the rails are bonded. 1937: electrification is completed. Passengers board and a train sets off from Waterloo, passing Battersea Power Station, town and suburban houses, where household chores are carried out, through fields and farms. Hazelmere Bank is reached, then, finally, Portsmouth Harbour, where visitors enjoy the beach and seafront. People visit HMS. Hood; a girl tries out sleeping in a hammock. HMS Nelson, and the Victory: a brass band plays, a ship is seen at sea. A cadet parade - people crowd forward to see. Boats are shown in the harbour at night.