London’s Screen Archives enables Londoners see their past come alive on film. Managed by Film London, we are a unique network of historic film collections that cares for, collects and screens heritage film across the city. Together we preserve London’s rich film heritage from feature films to home movies, public information films, newsreels, and records of the capital’s many different industries.
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
From the collection of:
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.