A temperance society decries the demon drink on the streets of Edwardian Manchester.
Manchester Band of Hope Procession (1901)
(UK, DVD, 2005) British Film Institute
CategoriesActuality Film Black and White Charity Documentary Parade People Procession Short Silent Film Temperance Temperance Movement DocumentaryShortActuality Film, Black and White, Charity, Parade, People, Procession, Silent Film, Temperance, Temperance Movement
"Christian charity the Band of Hope was formed in Leeds in 1845 and encouraged people to sign 'the pledge' to abstain from alcohol. It was particularly concerned about the number of children frequenting alehouses, which is no doubt why there are so many taking part in this procession. Its slow progress gives us a nice opportunity to admire everyone in their Sunday best."
Of all the parades films made from early film, this was definitely the most interesting one. Temperance was a hot topic and children were encouraged to take the pledge against alcohol - resulting in a mass movement. In this parade, there are lots of children together with adults, and half the fun is to watch all the creative paroles and banners that are shown. The whole film, at BFI, is 7 minutes long and not 3 as most sources tell, so there is a lot to watch. The high point may be the children that carry a baby on a throne with the text "No beer in this child's home" or the "Buy bread instead of beer" banner. There is so much going on here that it's well worth a watch as preserved history.