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Livingston A Town for the Lothians (clip 2)

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 Livingston new town in 1969. This second clip looks at shots of the Cameron Iron works being built and then goes on to discuss the promise that Livingston holds out to families to start a new life. Notable images include scenes outside a close (probably Glasgow) as furniture is lifted into a removal van and a family prepare to drive off to a new home; a child slides down a chute; a mother pushes a pram; shots of a family enter a new home; carpets are brought into a new house in Livingston; people experience the joy of pedestrian walkways; a delivery is brought into a grocer's shop; a woman posts a letter; a mother and child enter a doctors surgery; young children play in a school gym; a column of children walk through the corridors of a school; children return home from school through the streets of Livingston; a woman hangs washing in her garden while a baby plays in its walking chair; a group of women meet with a Social Relations Officer; shots of Hopetoun House; a woman being photographed; a model railway and a shot of the people operating it; a children's party; and shots of large model showing how the completed new town will look.

Questions & Activities


  • What does the Social Relations Officer do?
  • How has the economy of Livingston changed in forty years?
  • How has the role of women changed since the making of this film?
  • What type of industries make up the current Livingston economy?
  • Do people working in Livingston enjoy a better life than those who stayed in Edinburgh and Glasgow?


Local History / Social History / Enterprise: Try to take photographs or digital video from exactly the same places depicted in the film and write or make a documentary incorporating both sets of footage to show how Livingston has changed since the sunny Sixties. Discuss your thoughts and feelings about the town and school and how it has developed and changed. Make this part of an enterprise project about your local environment.

History / Modern Studies / English: Did Livingston live up to its promises. Work in teams to write your own contemporary narration for this film and add your own soundscape. You may also wish to find interview some adults who moved to Livingston as children in 1969 about their experiences.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-279-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Date 1969
Genre Documentary, Promotional, Sponsored
School Subject History, Social History, Modern Studies, English, Media Studies
Subject Matter Local History
Who Charles Gormley (narrator), Films of Scotland and Livingston Development Corporation (sponsor), IFA (Scotland), Ltd. (production company)
Where Livingston
Event Construction
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 6:50
Film Length 20:00