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Scenes on the Cornish Riviera

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Scenes on the Cornish Riviera

From Saltash to St Ives, a whirlwind tour of Edwardian Cornwall.

Advert 1904 19 mins


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“Cornish holidays are happy holidays”! Our whirlwind tour kicks off at Plymouth station before crossing the Tamar to take in Saltash, Looe, Polperro, Newquay, Truro, Falmouth, The Lizard, Penzance and St Ives - and town, rural and coastal scenes, beaches, cliffs, fields and villages, fishing, farming, light industry, sport and leisure. Altogether, it’s an amazing visual record of Edwardian Cornwall.

This is also a valuable case study in Edwardian film. It’s an early example of sponsored filmmaking: its producers Kineto were pioneers in developing this source of financing as a lucrative market. The railway industry - in this case, the Great Western Railway - was an important early client base. In its form, it combines previously separate genres (landscape views and railway ‘phantom rides’) into a longer composite, and draws on pre-cinematic media, such as scenic postcards, while prefiguring both the great lush travelogues of the likes of British Transport Films and, more indirectly, TV travel shows. Its budget was clearly not insubstantial: the valuable shot (at 08:00) of an operator feverishly cranking his camera suggests that at least two cameras were involved in shooting it.