This film is part of Free
Employees Leaving Alexandra Docks, Liverpool (1901)
Edwardian workers leave the Liverpool docks at the end of another long shift.
At the turn of the 20th century, Britain's shipbuilding yards were the envy of the world. Docks in Liverpool and elsewhere were twice as productive as their American counterparts. The steel columns of the overhead railway, the famous 'dockers umbrella', make this unmistakeably Liverpool. The workers weave through the oncoming traffic towards the camera, a hard day's labour etched in their faces.
Like most of Mitchell & Kenyon's commissioned work, the emphasis here is on capturing as many of the faces of these potential filmgoers as possible as they go about their business. This film, though, is less effectively stage-managed than others. The workers trickle rather than flood past the camera, and at one point two carts, loaded with sacks, stop in mid-frame, blocking much of the view.