Chartered Surveyors: The Movie

Cathy Linacre

Head of Reference Service (RICS)

A recent online search on the term “Chartered Surveyor” brought to light this film held by the BFI (British Film Institute) and made for RICS in 1964. I have known of its existence for a long time as its technical director, Alan Gillett, has often told me about it. Incidentally Alan is in the video as the man up a ladder checking a balcony about 7 minutes in - take a look.


100th anniversary celebration

The film was commissioned in the lead up to our 100th anniversary in 1968 and outlines the work of Chartered Surveyors. It still holds up well as a description of the diverse work of the profession.

I love the section where it follows a young couple buying a house and discusses the ways different types of surveyors can help them. However it is sad to hear the optimistic discussion of the UK mining and steel industries.

A changed profession

Some things have changed and we now have a more diverse membership. At the start of the term of office of our second female president it is particularly strange in the section on housing managers to hear with a sense of surprise “this work is often carried out by women too”. 

I am also amused at the amount of paper everywhere. I’m not sure many of us have managed “the paperless office, yet but most of us have a lot less than this and I don’t think I spotted one computer! 

The film could be hired from the production company, Town and Country Productions Ltd, to show at company or branch meetings at a fee of 25s (£1.25) plus 17s 6d (87p)  for each subsequent day. It seems to have provided popular as two more were commissioned “A Matter of Property” about the work of the General Practice surveyors and “Surveying a Century” on the history of the RICS.

We are trying to see if we can track these down. I don’t suppose any of you out there have a copy?

Over to you

Do you recognise yourself in the video? is your firm shown or do you recognise any of the buildings?

We’d love to hear from you - please comment below.

Comments (5)

  1. I recognise the shopping area at the very beginning of the film as being Princes Square, East Kilbride Town Centre. The shops are all still there but It no longer exists as a pedestrianised shopping street, and has now been covered over and known as Princes Mall for over 20 years.

    Alan Cowan Alan Cowan, 31 August 2016 31 at 08:39AM

  2. Great!!

    Oluwaninyo Abolarinwa Oluwaninyo Abolarinwa, 8 September 2016 8 at 10:20AM

  3. I went to College to study surveying in 1966. I can't remember the film but I was influenced by a pamphlet issued by the RICS which I found in the School Library and which echoed many of the messages from the film. It certainly influenced my choice of career and I have never regretted the choice so thank you RICS.
    David Pogson, Fellow

    David Pogson David Pogson, 25 September 2016 25 at 11:55AM

  4. Cathy thanks for making this available to everyone -in turn I have shared a link to it with my contacts on Linkedin etc. Fascinating to watch and it was films like this and other promotional material that RICS developed in the 1970s that influenced my choice of career back then!

    William Jones William Jones, 9 October 2016 9 at 03:50AM

  5. Awesome. Time for a sequel.

    Kevin Niamath Kevin Niamath, 18 October 2016 18 at 22:16PM

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