This film is part of Free

Surrey Frolics on the Green

Carousels, doubling up on the helter skelter and an enormous key feature in this fabulous film of the annual funfair on Mitcham Green

Non-Fiction 1927 1 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


The highlight here is surely the scenes from the helter skelter, with two women at a time tumbling down the slide, skirt askew and hair amok. There are also shots on the carousel and flying saucers, as well as of the opening ceremony, with a gigantic decorated key being held aloft before huge crowds. This was a tradition dating back to around 1911, itself said to be revival of an Elizabethan ceremony when the gates to the fair were opened by a golden key.