This film is part of Free

Preston Egg Rolling (c.1901)

Easter Monday festivities in Avenham Park, Preston.

Non-Fiction 1901 3 mins Silent


Mitchell and Kenyon filmed several local traditions, including this Easter custom in Preston's Avenham Park, which dates centuries and is still observed today. One of the showmen who commissioned the film doffs his top hat to the camera before gamely joining in. It's a communal occasion and a time to show off - one mother displays a baby nearly smothered in its swaddling clothes.

The movement for public parks peaked in the late Victorian and Edwardian years, fuelled by a belief that the mingling of the classes would be good for social cohesion, and by the need to provide the working classes with outdoor spaces away from the sinful pleasures of the tavern or music hall. Eleven parks can be seen among the films in the Mitchell and Kenyon collection, each of them an arena for physical exercise and civic pride.