This film is part of Free

Hull Fair (1902)

The ornate pavilions of cinematographs, boxing booths and menageries at Hull Fair.

Non-Fiction 1902 4 mins Silent


Hull's was Britain's largest fair, held annually since the Middle Ages. This film gives a real feel for the atmosphere of its spectacular shows - Bailey's American Circus, Bostock and Wombwell's Menagerie and Randall Williams' Cinematograph. Two black men are among the fighters luring the punters to Hughes' boxing booth. Alfred Hitchcock's 1926 boxing film The Ring has a strikingly similar scene.

The black faces - not the only ones to be found in the Mitchell and Kenyon collection of films - remind us that Caribbean immigration into Britain didn't suddenly start with the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.