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Livingston a Town for the Lothians (clip 1)

Promotional film for Livingston new town, its housing, industries and schools

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A wonderfully detailed well-structured historical record of the building of Livingstone new town in 1969. This first clip features shots of the waters of the River Almond; views of fields being surveyed by a town planner and other members of Livingston Development Corporation; row houses in old Livingston village, Livingston Inn, the Parish Kirk and graveyard and old Livingston school. The clip then proceeds to show footage of people working at the Livingston Corporation headquarters and discusses the challenges and the process of planning a new town around Livingston. Towards the end of the clip we see shots of the construction of the new town of Livingston.

Questions & Activities


  • What does the narrator mean by never 'under-mined'?
  • What is described as 'the Scottish trilogy'?
  • What is the present population of Livingston?
  • Where does Livingston's water come from?
  • How has Livingston's housing stock fared in the last forty years?


Geography: Design your own new town for the post-industrial age. Discuss what will you need to plan for and whose needs are most important for you to accommodate. Then try to find an appropriate location for your town.

History: Research why they needed to build houses for 100,000 people. Who were they hoping to attract? What mistakes from old housing did they try to rectify?

History / Modern Studies: The film sets out the hopes and dreams for the new town of Livingston. Research whether these have been achieved and look at other films in this collection then discuss what better solutions might have been found to Scotland's housing and congestion problems.

Media Studies: Compare and contrast this film with 'Cumbernauld Hit'. Discuss the differences and similarities and which film you think would be most effective at attracting people to the town.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-277-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 2219
Date 1969
Genre Documentary, Pomotional, Sponsored
School Subject Geography, History, Modern Studies, Social Studies, Technologies, Media Studies, Art and Design
Subject Matter Life in the Sixties
Who Charles Gormley (narrator), Films of Scotland and Livingston Development Corporation (sponsor), IFA (Scotland), Ltd. (production company)
Where Livingston, Loch Lomond
Event Construction
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 10:44
Film Length 20:00