This film is part of Free

Children Leaving Christ Church Schools, Rhyl

Children Leaving Christ Church Schools, Rhyl

School’s out, and gleeful pupils spill out onto the street, with much leapfrogging, piggybacking and larking about.

Non-Fiction 1902 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales

Overview

Pupils pour from their narrow doorway onto the street, the rain dampening no-one’s spirits as they leapfrog and piggyback on the thoroughfare, amid carts and passers-by, a chimney sweep lounging decoratively centre-frame. A boys’ ‘strong horse’ formation soon falls apart but it hardly matters, as the point is to look lively for the camera – it will all draw people to the local cinema!

Arthur Cheetham (1865-1937) was an entrepreneur, cinema proprietor and pioneer filmmaker - the first in Wales to film scenes and events for his own shows. 12 of his 47 films, shot mostly from 1898 to 1904, survive partly or wholly. In turn-of-century Rhyl, elementary education was denominational, with schools being ‘British’ as seen here (Nonconformist) , ‘National’ (Anglican), and Catholic. In 1983 Mrs Adelaide Owen (the chimney sweep’s niece) recalled helping Cheetham, as a young teacher, film pupils emerging from the schools: ‘I kept every child on the go. So there was a constant stream’.