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The Old School Yard

Little angels and little devils: Edwardian children line up for the camera.

As Mitchell and Kenyon knew well, children can be relied on to brighten a scene. And if those children might not pay up to sixpence to see themselves on the screen, their proud parents surely would. These films of more-or-less formal school parades present a more regimented Edwardian childhood than the one which so often bursts into M&K's other films. Characteristically, the cameramen cram the films with fresh faces, though the watchful teachers keep any high-jinx to a minimum. These films capture a transitional moment in British education, with classroom provision extended in 1902's Education Act. They give glimpses of different educational models: local authority or church-run (Anglican or Catholic), disciplined or (relatively) informal. Viewing these films in the light of history, It's hard not to be reminded that much of this new generation, so full of life and hope, was destined for the trenches of World War I. Digitisation of this collection was funded by The National Lottery.

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Loreburn School, Dumfries (c.1901)
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Loreburn School, Dumfries (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Dumfries

Dumfries schoolchildren take their turn in the spotlight.

York Road Board School, Leeds (1901)
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York Road Board School, Leeds (1901)

Non-Fiction19013 minsSilent Location: Leeds

A small battalion of Yorkshire schoolchildren lines up for a playground photograph.

Football Match Between St Stephen's Football Club and Moss Street School (1904)
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Football Match Between St Stephen's Football Club and Moss Street School (1904)

Non-Fiction19041 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

The proud winners of a Blackburn school football match pose for posterity.

Schoolchildren at St. Ignatius School, Preston (1904)
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Schoolchildren at St. Ignatius School, Preston (1904)

Non-Fiction19042 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

Jubilant schoolchildren spill out of a Catholic primary school in Edwardian Preston.

Treat to 5000 Poor Burnley Children (1905)
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Treat to 5000 Poor Burnley Children (1905)

Non-Fiction19055 minsSilent Location: Burnley

Deprived Edwardian kids of Burnley enjoy some midsummer fun in the park.

Audley Range School, Blackburn (c.1905)
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Audley Range School, Blackburn (c.1905)

Non-Fiction19051 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

Lancashire children perform physical education exercises in (almost) perfect unison.

Children at St Barnabas School, Blackburn (1905)
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Children at St Barnabas School, Blackburn (1905)

Non-Fiction19051 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

Edwardian primary schoolchildren are marshalled along the streets of Blackburn in strict formation.

Day School Sports at Park Avenue in Bradford (1902)
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Day School Sports at Park Avenue in Bradford (1902)

Non-Fiction190213 minsSilent Location: Bradford

Barrels of laughs and sackfuls of fun at a school sports event in Edwardian West Yorkshire.

Schoolchildren at Dalbeattie Public School (c.1901)
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Schoolchildren at Dalbeattie Public School (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Dalbeattie

Scottish primary schoolchildren parade for the camera in well-regimented groups.

Children Leaving Tyldesley Catholic School, Lodge Road (1901)
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Children Leaving Tyldesley Catholic School, Lodge Road (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Tyldesley

Edwardian boys and girls leave school, shuffled along by their earnest teachers.

Procession of Children at Tyldesley Church School (1901)
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Procession of Children at Tyldesley Church School (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Tyldesley

Waves of children fill the frame in an Edwardian school parade.

Public School in Annan (c.1901)
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Public School in Annan (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Annan

A continuous stream of children dash joyously past the camera in the Scottish town of Annan.

Scholars Leaving St Andrew's Roman Catholic School, Dumfries
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Scholars Leaving St Andrew's Roman Catholic School, Dumfries

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Dumfries

A lively group of Scottish primary-school children plays up for the camera.

Parade of Schoolchildren (c.1902)
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Parade of Schoolchildren (c.1902)

Non-Fiction19032 minsSilent

Can you identify this street corner, or perhaps a young face in the parade?

Birmingham University Procession on Degree Day (1901)
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Birmingham University Procession on Degree Day (1901)

Non-Fiction19019 minsSilent Location: Birmingham

Female graduates and gents sporting spectacular Edwardian whiskers take part in Birmingham’s first Degree Day ceremony.