This film is part of Free

Opening of the St. Aloysius Infant School, Hebburn

A vivid portrait of a tough working Tyneside community in Hebburn at the opening of a Roman Catholic infant school.

Non-Fiction 1928 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


The multitudes of faces are remarkably distinct in this unique local topical film of Hebburn at the brink of the Great Depression, home to many Irish Catholic migrant families who worked in the coal mines and shipyards. In July 1928 battalions of Catholic school children march down Prince Consort Road to the blessing of the new St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Infant School by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. One poor little chap who seems to have rickets has a mishap.

This local topical no doubt drew big audiences when screened at the Theatre Royal on Lyon Street, Hebburn. The theatre wrote to the St Aloysius priest, Father Witty, in July 1928 agreeing to future shows. An article in the annual trade publication Cinematograph Exhibition Diary of the same year promoted the topical as the biggest business booster for cinema managers. Tell them they will probably see themselves on the screen and you wont be able to find seats enough to accommodate the crowd anxious to pay their admission money. Hebburns Theatre Royal opened as The Grand in 1897. By August 1900 it was managed by Arthur Jefferson, father of the great movie comedian Stan Laurel.