This film is part of Free

Bootle May Day Demonstration and Crowning of the May Queen (1903)

May Day revellers brave a wet and windy day in Edwardian Merseyside.

Non-Fiction 1903 18 mins Silent


Scenes of maypole and morris dancing intermingle with an ornate pageant in this picturesque film. The floats are a fascinating roll-call of local traders, reminding us of the Merseyside town's maritime connections. In one eye-catching example, a man in a diving-suit stands next to his mates who 'fish' for coins on behalf of the lifeboat service. In another, a flotilla of model yachts rolls by.

The weather was inevitably the talking point of the day. Said the Bootle Times (9 May 1903): "The children, in order to avoid the drenching which would have been inevitable had they remained in their respective positions on the uncovered lorries, rapidly dispersed to obtain shelter wherever possible. Thus in a moment was undone the work which it had taken so lengthy a period to build up."