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“Astra Gazette” Newsreels : 1951 – 1959
Royal Air Force “Astra Gazette” newsreels were made by Pathe in the
1950’s to be shown to serving RAF personnel in the RAF’s very own Astra Cinemas
that were housed on their air bases all over the world!
surviving editions start with the young Princess Elizabeth taking the place of
her sickly father, King George VI at the graduation parade at RAF Cranwell way
back in 1951.
of the Astra Gazettes used a newsy format with short items featuring many young
ladies in swim suits to keep the lads happy!
it is the Astra Gazette’s “insider” round up of RAF news stories
which afford such a fascinating insight into the RAF of the 1950’s and include
many of the key service personalities of the time such as Douglas Bader and Bob
1953, Pathe were filming all the items in full colour such as Ejector Seat
Testing, a Sunderland flying boat rescue and the 1955 closure of the famous RAF
Fighter Station at Biggin Hill.
reports end with RAF Waddington receiving The Freedom of the City of Lincoln
with some stunning shots of the Vulcan in 1959.
Film stars of the time also feature heavily
including Peter Cushing, Jill Day, Jack Hawkins and Lee Patterson.
surviving “Astra Gazettes” are included here just as they would have
been seen by the serving RAF personnel of the 1950’s in the RAF’s airbase
“Astra Cinemas” that they are named after.
Total Running Time – 182 Mins
1951 Special Edition- Graduation Parade
1951 Astra Gazette Number Eight
1952 Presentation of The King’s Colour
1952 Astra Gazette Number Twelve
1952 Astra Gazette Number Thirteen
1953 Astra Gazette Number Nineteen
1953 Astra Coronation Review- Special Edition
1953 RAF Halton Queen’s Colour Presentation
1953 Astra Gazette Colour Collection
1955 Astra Gazette in Colour
1955 Astra Gazette, Biggin Hill Closes
1956 Astra Gazette in Colour – Return to Biggin Hill
1957 Rubber Masks- Turko Bath-Sunderland Rescue
1958 Kat on Trial- Chimps Boxing – Dog Champs
1958 Pylon Men- Car Museum- Peter Cushing
1958 Emet’s Ideal Home-Scooter Jousting
1958 Motoring Inn-Old Cricket- Spaghetti Contest- Mushroom Farm with
“Bob” Stanford Tuck
1959 Ejector Test-Houseboat Girls-WRAF Horsewoman
1959 RAF Waddington Freedom of The City of Lincoln
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