ENTERTAINING THE ROYAL AIR FORCE ~
The "Ast ra Gazet te" Newsreels : 1951 - 1959
The Royal Air Force Astra Gazette newsreels were made by Pathé 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!
The 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.
Most of the Astra Gazettes used a newsy format with short items
featuring many young ladies in swim suits to keep the lads happy!
But 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 Stanford Tuck.
By 1953, Pathé 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.
The 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.
These 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.
1. 1951 Special Edition- Graduation Parade
2. 1951 Astra Gazette Number Eight
3. 1952 Presentation of The King s Colour
4. 1952 Astra Gazette Number Twelve
5. 1952 Astra Gazette Number Thirteen
6. 1953 Astra Gazette Number Nineteen
7. 1953 Astra Coronation Review- Special
8. 1953 RAF Halton Queen s Colour
9. 1953 Astra Gazette Colour Collection
10. 1955 Astra Gazette in Colour
11. 1955 Astra Gazette, Biggin Hill Closes
12. 1956 Astra Gazette in Colour Return to
13. 1957 Rubber Masks- Turko Bath-
14. 1958 Kat on Trial- Chimps Boxing Dog
15. 1958 Pylon Men- Car Museum- Peter
16. 1958 Emet s Ideal Home-Scooter
17. 1958 Motoring Inn-Old Cricket- Spaghetti
Contest- Mushroom Farm with Bob
18. 1959 Ejector Test-Houseboat Girls-WRAF
19. 1959 RAF Waddington Freedom of The
City of Lincoln