WATCH: 1980's Kildare housing experiment recalled in ESB archive film

Film shot by Austrian who was interred in the Curragh during World War 2

Conor McHugh

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Conor McHugh

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conor@leinsterleader.ie

WATCH: 1980's Kildare housing experiment recalled in ESB archive film

A still from the film

A 19 minute film about what was for its time, an experimental new housing scheme in Kilcock is one of several films included in a newly launched ESB Film Archive.

The ESB was formed in 1927 and the film archive is being launched to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the establishment of ESB’s Public Relations Department.

One of the films in the archive is ‘Tomorrow’s House Today’ which depicts the planning and construction of six houses in Kilcock, each fitted with various different electrical and insulation systems.

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The results were monitored and analysed by ESB to ensure that the most efficient building and insulation techniques will be used in the future - and much of the technology discussed in the film are part of everyday standard building regulations now.

Another Kildare link to the films is that from the 1950s to 1980s, ESB employed the services of acclaimed Austrian filmmaker George Fleischmann who incidentally crash landed in Ireland while on a surveillance mission during World War II. Interned at the Curragh Camp, he produced 15 films for ESB.

The vintage ESB film

He remained in Ireland after the war and filmed many documentaries and commercials as a Director of Photography and also as a Producer. In his latter years he moved to Canada where he died.

The films are hosted here are previously un-nseen, some of which date back to the 1920’s. They offer a unique insight into the social, cultural and economic development of Ireland at this time and up to the 1980s.