This film is part of Free

Workers Leaving Haslam's Ltd., Colne (1900)

Hungry and cold, Lancashire cotton workers trek home through the snow at dinner time.

Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Silent


When this film was made, Colne in Lancashire was home to 55 cotton mills and the Haslam Brothers Spring Gardens Mill, featured here, was one of 27 located in the Waterside area of the town. The low vantage point gives a good view of the works and hill beyond. The female workers fend off the January cold with their thick woollen shawls while a few mischievous youngsters throw snowballs.

The snow confirms the January 1900 date inscribed in the original negative, making this the oldest surviving actuality footage shot by filmmakers Mitchell & Kenyon. Perhaps egged on by the filmmakers, one young man livens the scene with a snowball fight. Unusually, Mitchell & Kenyon made a second visit to Haslam's in Colne the following year.