HARKING BACK TO THE ‘SWINGING SEVENTIES’
THE two Swedish dolly birds don’t put in an appearance until 20 minutes into City on the Move. But they’re worth waiting for. They groove it at a disco; they wander the woods in their mini-skirts; they lounge on their hotel beds in flimsy nighties. Truly, as the voice-over says: “The Sheffield of the Seventies swings.”
It was 1971, the mood was buoyant, and a bright new head of publicity called Peter Wigley had recently been appointed.
He decided that Sheffield needed a promotional film to show people that it wasn’t, as he put it, “in the middle of a barren wasteland”. The result was a relentlessly upbeat half-hour assuring the world that, put simply, Sheffield was the best place in it.
Between shots of apple blossom and beds of tulips, the film, which can be seen as part of Jo Peel’s exhibition, showed a city brimming with confidence.
The film did the rounds of conference halls and community centres, but after 10 years it was pensioned off. As the old industries declined, the city on the move had stalled.