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The British Film Institute is doing a great job of preserving documentaries, with multiple volumes of DVDs collecting COI, British Transport Film Unit and GPO shorts.

London in the Raw (1964) is released as part of their Flipside series and is a seedy exploitation film in the style of Mondo Cane. It’s interesting in itself, and features lots of footage of bars, pubs and clubs in the 1960s, including an extended sequence set in the Waterman’s Arms.

For those with an interest in beer and pubs, though, the real treat is the short documentary Pub (1962) which appears as a bonus on the disc. It’s only 16 minutes long and was filmed by a Londoner, Peter Davis, for Swedish television. It’s set in the Approach Tavern near Victoria Park in East London and shows a typical evening in the pub.

A couple of things stand out. First, it looks cold — people are dressed in hats, coats and heavy sweaters throughout. Were pubs unheated back then? Secondly, they drink a lot of bottled beer, and a fair bit of it is stout. Labels for Guinness, Courage Bristol Stout, Worthington White Shield and Meux Friary Ale are all visible at one point or another.