For many decades, the Pathé company supplied short newsreel footage for screening in cinemas. Today, these films offer a wonderful glimpse into bygone days. Over 3,500 hours of the vintage footage is available online and you can spend hours wallowing through the immense collection of London footage. Alas, the videos cannot be embedded, so you'll have to settle for links to the best stuff. But plenty more where this came from.
When Ghandi met Charlie Chaplin in the East End thousands turned out to see the 'famous little men'. (1931)
Aged MP ogles the ladies at Hyde Park Lido (1931)
Prince Arthur (who he?) requests funds to help complete Middlesex Hospital. Poignant as neither Middlesex nor the hospital now exist. (1933)
An interwar fighter plane lands in Hyde Park after narrowly missing Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, we don't see the swoop, but worth it for the concluding sentence. (1933)
That 'dreadful old tunnel' at Bank station is replaced by a travelator, to much pompous fanfare. (1960)
Workers cause an 'industrial schmozzle' by marching down Oxford Street in favour of the British tea break ("one man spoke on behalf of coloured workers") (1961)
The Good Ship Bounty sails through Tower Bridge (1962)