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On the Move

Britain in the early 20th century was a society in a hurry - and transport was changing fast.

The era of mass transportation launched by the Victorians gathered pace in the Edwardian age, with horse and steam power increasingly giving way to electricity and petrol. Countless horse-drawn coaches, buses and carts, not to mention bicycles and trams (and the very occasional car) find their way into Mitchell and Kenyon's films. But there are also a number in which transport is the star of the show. Among them is footage of seaports, boats and ocean liners. But the most frequent images, and among the most magical, take us on a journey into the heart of Britain's towns and cities. 'Phantom ride' films like these - shot from the front of a train or tram - were a very popular early film form. Mitchell and Kenyon made a handful of films from trains, but their particular speciality was the urban tram. These films glide us through a living Edwardian city, almost as if we were there. Digitisation of this collection was funded by The National Lottery.

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Panorama of the River Avon to Portishead (1902)
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Panorama of the River Avon to Portishead (1902)

Non-Fiction19029 minsSilent Location: Portishead

A fine variety of views of the Avon gorge taken from various positions downstream from the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Phantom Ride on the Furness Railway (1901)
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Phantom Ride on the Furness Railway (1901)

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent Location: Furness Abbey

A driver's view of the Furness Railway through Furness Abbey Tunnel and Station.

Tram Ride through Sunderland (1904)
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Tram Ride through Sunderland (1904)

Non-Fiction19043 minsSilent Location: Sunderland

The thrill of a ride through central Sunderland to the sea at Roker.

Liverpool As Seen from the Front of an Electric Car from the Pierhead to the Circus (1901)
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Liverpool As Seen from the Front of an Electric Car from the Pierhead to the Circus (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

A fascinating film tour into the heart of Edwardian Liverpool.

Scenes at Egremont Ferry (1901)
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Scenes at Egremont Ferry (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Egremont

Edwardian tourists and businessmen hurry off the ferry and down the long pier at Egremont on the River Mersey.

Beautiful Panorama of Railway Ride from St. German to Milray (1901)
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Beautiful Panorama of Railway Ride from St. German to Milray (1901)

Non-Fiction19013 minsSilent Location: Plymouth

Views from an Edwardian railway trip, filmed just east of the Devon-Cornwall border and over the Tamar.

Cunard Mail Steamer Lucania Leaving For America (1901)
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Cunard Mail Steamer Lucania Leaving For America (1901)

Non-Fiction190116 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

The luxurious RMS Lucania is bound for New York in one of Mitchell & Kenyon's most elaborate and striking films.

Tram Ride into Halifax (1902)
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Tram Ride into Halifax (1902)

Non-Fiction19024 minsSilent Location: Halifax

A breathtaking winter journey in the Pennines, from country to town and back again via electric tram.

Panoramic View of the Morecambe Sea Front (1901)
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Panoramic View of the Morecambe Sea Front (1901)

Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent Location: Morecambe

Crystal-clear views of town, sands, sea, tourists and locals at the Lancashire resort.

Ride on a Tram Car through Belfast (1901)
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Ride on a Tram Car through Belfast (1901)

Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Belfast

Downtown Belfast is easily recognisable in these scenes from a tramcar ride in 1901.

Over the Tay Bridge on an Express Train (1901)
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Over the Tay Bridge on an Express Train (1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Tay Bridge

A journey across the well-known Scottish railway bridge, filmed from the engine front.

Ship Departing from Port (c.1901)
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Ship Departing from Port (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent

A large liner draws away from the quay, but where is she headed?

Tram Ride through the City of Sheffield (1902)
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Tram Ride through the City of Sheffield (1902)

Non-Fiction19025 minsSilent Location: Sheffield

An excellent 'phantom ride' through the heart of Edwardian Yorkshire's 'Steel City'.

Lytham Trams and Views Along the Route (1903)
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Lytham Trams and Views Along the Route (1903)

Non-Fiction190311 minsSilent Location: Lytham

The inauguration of the Blackpool to Lytham tram route on 28 May 1903.

Ride from Blarney to Cork on Cork & Muskerry Light Railway (1902)
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Ride from Blarney to Cork on Cork & Muskerry Light Railway (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent

Tranquil scenes of rural Edwardian Ireland, on a rail journey with views of Blarney Castle.

Class of '74
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Class of '74

Documentary197438 mins Location: Sowerby Bridge

It's the last year of school for three 16 year old girls in Sowerby Bridge, and they have important decisions to make.

Opening of Accrington Electric Tramways (1907)
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Opening of Accrington Electric Tramways (1907)

Non-Fiction190710 minsSilent Location: Accrington

Cheering crowds and much jubilation greet the launch of the Accrington to Oswaldtwistle electric tram service.

Tram Ride from Port Soderick to Douglas Head (1902)
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Tram Ride from Port Soderick to Douglas Head (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Port Soderick Glen

A panoramic voyage along the breathtaking Isle of Man coast.

Snowdrop Ferry at Seacombe (1901)
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Snowdrop Ferry at Seacombe (1901)

Non-Fiction19015 minsSilent Location: Seacombe

Ferries across the Mersey show Edwardian workers on their daily commute to and from Liverpool.

Tram Ride from King Street to Patrick's Bridge, Cork (1902)
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Tram Ride from King Street to Patrick's Bridge, Cork (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent

A swift ride through the centre of Cork on an early electric tram.

Electric Tram Rides from Forster Square, Bradford (1902)
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Electric Tram Rides from Forster Square, Bradford (1902)

Non-Fiction19029 minsSilent Location: Bradford

An epic tour of the places and people of Edwardian Bradford.

Panorama of Queenstown Harbour (1902)
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Panorama of Queenstown Harbour (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent

Edwardian images of County Cork's famous port, filmed from a bobbing boat.

Phantom Ride through Southport (1902)
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Phantom Ride through Southport (1902)

Non-Fiction19021 minsSilent Location: Southport

A headlong tram ride passing Southport's finest emporia.

Cattle Market in Derry (1902)
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Cattle Market in Derry (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Derry / Londonderry

Bustling scenes show Edwardian Derry-Londonderry before industrialisation took hold.

Rochdale Tram Ride (1905)
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Rochdale Tram Ride (1905)

Non-Fiction19055 minsSilent Location: Rochdale

Splendid views of Edwardian Rochdale from the front of a tram after a recent dusting of snow.

North Sea Fisheries, North Shields (1901)
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North Sea Fisheries, North Shields (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: North Shields

Girls gut herring on the quay at North Shields while a Showman tries to stir up trouble.