Pavements thronging, traffic pressed nose to bumper (or tail) - the Edwardian street buzzed with life.
Much of Edwardian life was lived in densely packed public spaces. The industrial revolution had swollen the populations of Britain's towns and cities, and the evidence was there to be seen - and filmed - on the streets. 'Street scenes' were a staple of early filmmaking, and many of Mitchell and Kenyon's, restored from original negatives, are particularly stunning. They teem with life and historical detail, revealing how our ancestors behaved, dressed and moved in public and how their towns and cities were organised. These streets have a bewildering chaos to them. The full onslaught of the motor car still lies ahead, but in a time before traffic lights, the tide of vehicles never lets up: horse-drawn carts, bicycles, omnibuses and trams (some of them electrified). Miraculously, the pedestrians weaving between them always seem to emerge unscathed. We may never hear the sounds of the city - or smell its smells - but the images alone still have the power to astonish. They evoke a society in rapid change: an urbanised, increasingly mobile, consumer Britain not so very different from our own. Digitisation of this collection was funded by The National Lottery.
Manchester Street Scenes (1901)
Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Manchester
A rare glimpse of early Edwardian Manchester when the horse-drawn tram still reigned supreme.
Scenes at Monument Bridge in Hull (1900)
Non-Fiction19002 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull
A melee of traffic, carts, trams, bicycles and people of all ages squeeze past the camera in Victorian Hull.
Scenes in Hull (1901)
Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull
A street scene in Edwardian Hull is dominated by advertising for an event to celebrate returning soldiers from the Boer War.
Liverpool Street Scenes (1901)
Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Liverpool
Traffic and pedestrians - including an early motor car - in Edwardian Liverpool.
Street Scenes in Halifax (1902)
Non-Fiction190210 minsSilent Location: Halifax
Many views of busy, bustling Halifax, including a handsome, horse-drawn steam fire engine.
Proclamation of King Edward VII, Market Place, Accrington (1901)
Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Accrington
The Edwardian era kicks off with the proclamation of the new King.
Mayor Entering His Carriage Near the Town Hall, Halifax (1902)
Non-Fiction19023 minsSilent Location: Halifax
A richly detailed snapshot of Edwardian street life in the West Yorkshire town.
Comic Pictures in High Street, West Bromwich (1902)
Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: West Bromwich
Boisterous Edwardian lads jostle for a place in front of the camera in the West Midlands town.
Views of the Grand Parade, Cork (1902)
Views of St Patrick's Street and Grand Parade in Cork, awash with people and traffic.
Workpeople and Girls on Stoney Street, Nottingham (1900)
Non-Fiction19002 minsSilent Location: Nottingham
Edwardian laceworkers hasten home at dinner time.
Scenes of Ashton under Lyne (1901)
Non-Fiction19013 minsSilent Location: Ashton-Under-Lyne
Aspects of the Lancashire market town, with policemen, small girls, dogs and passers-by.