Crewe Hospital Procession and Pageant (1907) (1907)

This record of a Cheshire pageant from travelling filmmakers Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon is a carnival for the eyes.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way.

Film details

  • Country

    United Kingdom

  • Year

    1907

  • Genre

    Actuality film

  • Type

    Film

  • Category

    Non Fiction

Alternative titles

  • Mitchell and Kenyon 484 Crewe Hospital Procession Archive
  • Mitchell and Kenyon 484 Crewe Hospital Procession and Pageant (1907) Alternative

Introduction

The local pageant was an Edwardian craze, kicked off by playwright Louis Napoleon Parker with the Sherborne pageant of 1905. The Crewe Hospital Procession and Pageant was founded the following year by Workers of the London and North Western Railway company to fund–raise for the Crewe Memorial Cottage Hospital.

In a time before purpose–built cinemas, this intriguing film was shot by Mitchell & Kenyon for showman Pat Collins, for a cinematograph show which was part of a travelling fair temporarily stationed in Crewe’s Queen’s Park.

This surviving footage is an early example of a constructed narrative. It features participants in historical and national costumes as well as cross–dressers, and is dominated by black–faced minstrels, a popular entertainment imported from America.

Research undertaken by the National Fairground Archive tells us that this was both a civic event, advertising local businesses and services, and a carnival procession with numerous dance troupes. The carnival took over an hour to make its way through the town’s streets. Mitchell and Kenyon made of this an 11–minute film, arranged in no particularly logical order, to show the best of those who had taken part, focusing on prizewinners.

Cast & Credits

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