The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
This film is part of Free
Minehead's Obby Oss Festival
A-maying at the Obby Oss Festival
News 1977 2 mins Silent
From the collection of:
The Obby Oss Festival has been celebrated in Minehead since 1465, also synonymous with Padstow the celebrations take on a similar theme. Celebrated on the first of May the festival can last up to four days and nights with the tradition of the Hobby Horse dancing in the streets with three rivals appearing on day one ‘Show Night’, saluting the sunrise at the crossroads on day two, and ‘Bootie Night’ takes place on days three and four.
The ‘horses’ are boat shaped frames surrounding the dancer with colourful ribbons attached to the top, with a long tail, the face of the dancer is covered with a large pointed hat. The so-called Obby Oss in local dialect and its visits upon the town are presumed good luck. The horses of Minehead are called ‘Original Sailor’s Horse’, ‘Traditional Horse’ and ‘the Town horse’. May Day festivities are traditional and celebrated as the first day of summer in the Northern hemisphere. Dancing around the Maypole and crowning the Queen of May which John Collier adapts to Queen Gueneviere and her ‘a-maying’ in his poem are the traditional English May Day celebrations.
News 1976 5 mins Location: Knebworth Ho
Free food' and 'free religion' is the mantra of some festival goers ahead of the Rolling Stones' appearance at Knebworth. And for the local publican, it's big business!
News 1970 7 mins Location: Sidmouth
International folk bands and troupes put on an act at Sidmouth
Short documentary 1963 13 mins Location: Aldeburgh
By 1963, Suffolk's Aldeburgh Festival was very much on the world music map but the annual invasion of 'foreigners' didn't go down well with all the locals.
Documentary 1997 12 mins
Partying like it's 1997. We follow a rave DJ instigator rigging up decks in abandoned warehouses, a nosebleed 'techno tourist' who chases the hardcore around Europe and a girl addicted to... partying.
Amateur film 1991 4 mins Silent Location: Heaton Park
Sunday in the park with Frank Sidebottom and the Manchester music mob.
Amateur film 1976 2 mins Silent Location: Notting Hill
Music, dancing and community characterise this short film from Notting Hill Carnival, 1976.
News 1966 6 mins Location: Minehead
Clive Gunnell takes Mrs Sotherton on a convincing tour of Butlins Minehead.
News 1962 3 mins Silent Location: Minehead
Billy Butlin expands his empire by opening a new resort at Minehead.
News 1978 1 mins Silent Location: Minehead
Shire horses compete and farmers compare furrows
Amateur film 1932 45 mins Silent Location: Minehead
A Somerset holiday with prolific amateur cinematographers the Tigg family
News 1963 1 mins Silent Location: Minehead
Competition for trailing heavy horse drawn equipment enthuses ploughmen
Travelogue 1916 1 mins Silent Location: Cheddar Gorge
Pure tranquillity in rural Somerset, a world away from the war raging on the continent.
Drama 2020 21 mins
A young Palestinian woman crosses the Israeli border illegally to find her long-lost brother, who she hopes will be her ticket to a new life.
Charity appeal 2020 2 mins
Beautiful NHS fundraiser, setting Michael Rosen’s poem to powerful archive images.
Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent Location: Woking
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Comedy 1914 9 mins Silent
A vicar is caught flirting with an improperly-dressed chorus girl in this saucy silent comedy.
Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901) Manchester's Welcome to the Imperial Yeomanry (1901)
Non-Fiction 1901 4 mins Silent Location: Manchester
A volunteer cavalry regiment is enthusiastically welcomed home after active service in South Africa.
Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins Silent Location: Liverpool
All ashore! Passengers disembark and crew offload after a long Atlantic crossing.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location