This film is part of Free
Diving at Port Skillion, Isle of Man
Victorian athletes demonstrate their diving skills at the pool - until an interloper makes the wrong kind of splash
1897 1 mins Silent
Open-air swimming pools were a Victorian innovation, and this one, built in Port Skillion in 1884, was one of the first. The pool was for men only, although it was said to attract a few female onlookers, and in this short film, men in skimpy Victorian bathing trunks demonstrate their prowess with a series of increasingly complex dives. It's quite an impressive show, until a cheeky chap drops in to join them, suited, booted and utterly clueless in the water.
The company that made this movie, Paul's Animatograph Works, made many similar 'actualities' at this time, before moving on to specialise in 'trick' films using early special effects. Director Robert W Paul was one of Britain's earliest filmmakers. He was a successful instrument-maker by trade and became the co-inventor of the country's first moving-picture camera in 1896. He built a studio in London's Muswell Hill in 1898 and continued to make films there until around 1910, when he turned his focus back to instruments and military technology.
Non-Fiction 1896 2 mins Silent Location: Bradford
The earliest surviving footage of bustling Victorian Bradford.
Non-Fiction 1901 1 mins Silent 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.
Non-Fiction 1901 9 mins Silent Location: Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Did he bowl or did he throw? A fascinating record of an early cricketing controversy.
Children Leaving Tyldesley Catholic School, Lodge Road (1901) Children Leaving Tyldesley Catholic School, Lodge Road (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Tyldesley
Edwardian boys and girls leave school, shuffled along by their earnest teachers.
Interest film 1899 1 mins Silent
A two-wheeled convoy of Victorian gentlewomen in a charming early film enigma.
Non-Fiction 1901 3 mins Silent Location: Irvine
Dock workers unload grain from a cargo ship in Edwardian North Ayrshire.
Isle of Man
Home movie 1950 15 mins Silent Location: Blackpool
The Collin family of Chadderton, Oldham, enjoy life to the full.
Non-Fiction 1902 1 mins Silent Location: Isle of Man
Crowds clamour for a view of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra (on tour) in the Isle of Man.
Industry sponsored film 1960 24 mins
A new luxury express is put through its paces. This film looks over the shoulders of the select band of craftsmen, engineers and operators, whose combined skills try to ensure that a train journey is a delightful experience.
Documentary 1973 15 mins
British Transport Films record the varied daily lives of their neighbours as seen from the high roof of their building in London’s Marylebone.
Industry sponsored film 1957 20 mins
Illustrating the efficiency of express freight trains, and how they link manufacturers with their customers at the other end of Britain.
Documentary 1952 30 mins
Examining a day in the life of what was then the busiest railway system in the world – British Railways.
Travelogue 1953 21 mins Location: York
The Stationmaster at York guides us through a typical day, from dawn to dusk.
Industry sponsored film 1957 9 mins
A 1957 film examining the future for British Railways, and some of the opportunities provided by a new modernisation plan.