Amazing colour footage of London in the 1920s

"They built an arch of marble, and called it Marble Arch."

From the minute the lush green landscape panned to reveal the Tower of London sitting in the middle of it, not a skyscraper in sight, I knew this would be good. Uploaded three years ago, but brought to my attention by Jason Kottke, this colour footage of London in the 1920s is astonishing:

London in 1927 from Tim Sparke on Vimeo.

"The entrance to London's lung", reads the caption as the camera tucks into Hyde Park and films the "hunting ground for Cupid and other young things". And then, a painful reminder of a different time: footage of "how London takes care of its sparrows". There aren't many of them left in the capital.

Shot by "an early British pioneer of film named Claude Frisse-Greene", the video is capped off with a visit to Petticoat lane market, a tremendously unencumbered cricket match at the Oval, a walk down the Embankment and a final slow pan of the Houses of Parliament.

Photograph: BFI/Vimeo

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.