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Blackpool High Tide

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Blackpool High Tide

Hardy holidaymakers brave the weather during a blustery Easter bank holiday, 1913.

Documentary 1913 15 mins


Shot one blustery bank holiday, this stunning film of Blackpool is like a set of souvenir postcards - full of sublime views and stormy seas. We see trams traversing the promenade, the Palace Theatre, Central Pier, and the foot of the famous Tower, boasting the Easter line-up. Hardy holidaymakers in overcoats stare intensely into the camera, while a family tries to dodge the breaking waves.

The film was shot by acrobat-turned-filmmaker Will Onda from nearby Preston, who made over 100 local topicals around Lancashire in the early days of cinema. Seaside scenes were popular subjects for early filmmakers, but Onda was clearly interested in capturing faces as well as scenery - making Blackpool High Tide stylistically similar to the films made by Mitchell and Kenyon, also based in Lancashire.