Live updates

Bygone age- curiosities in the South from the Pathe archive

What do an elephant's ear muffs, Britain's biggest family and a two year old parachutist have in common? They're just some of the more unusual stories filmed by Pathe newsreel cameras in the South during the middle of the last century. Made to be shown between feature films in cinemas, they were the Meridian "and finally" stories of their day. Rachel Hepworth looks at some of the more curious stories making the headlines. (And if you feature in any of these stories, we'd love to hear from you- especially the two year old parachutist!)


Down the pub in a bygone era - Pathe gems in the South East

The plight of the local pub is never far from the headlines, with hundreds in the south east closing every year. But the sad truth is, we don't use them in them in the way we used to, in the days before television and digital technology.

As historic newsreels show, the pub really was the centre of community life. Rachel Hepworth's been looking at a bygone way of life, in the Pathe archives

Amphibious caravans and the last Spitfire

More Pathé News reels from the 20th Century, giving an amazing insight into quirky modes of transport in the south east. Here we see the final piece of the last ever Spitfire being put into place, as well as a caravan - that could be used on water.

Caravan racing at Brands Hatch in 1966

Caravan racing at Brands Hatch, a 'Tipsy Taxi' service for inebriated drivers and cycling vintage bikes from London to Birmingham. These old Pathé News reels give an amazing insight into 'life on wheels' in the south east during the 20th Century.

Make sure you know how to tow. New video highlights what can go wrong our motorways

CCTV footage just released shows a caravan snaking out of control, narrowly missing other traffic on a motorway, before overturning and colliding with the safety barrier.

Last year, there were 764 incidents involving a caravan, trailer or other towed vehicle on the strategic road network in the South East with over two thirds of these incidents taking place between April and the end of September.

The Highways Agency say the causes of towing incidents include overloading the caravan or trailer, a mismatch with the towing vehicle, tyres which have burst because they have not been checked or replaced where needed and poor towing technique.

The Highways Agency advises anyone towing a caravan or trailer to:- Carry out a final maintenance check before setting off - Pay particular attention to the condition and pressure of the tyres on both vehicles- Check that loads are secure, that the weight is evenly distributed and is not excessive

  • Be aware of how towing affects the vehicle’s performance, particularly braking distances

  • Use extended mirrors when towing wider trailers

  • Check they have an appropriate driving licence for the vehicle and trailer combination

  • Know the correct speed limit for the vehicle and roads- Make sure they have proper breakdown cover in place