Larking about during Church Lads' Brigade drill and parade in Morecambe.
Morecambe Church Lads' Parade at Drill (1901)
(UK, DVD, 2005) British Film Institute
Moving pictures were already a popular entertainment in Morecambe by 1901, and this film was apparently a hit when shown alongside other local films, including Mitchell and Kenyon's Panoramic View of the Morecambe Sea Front, at the Lancashire resort's Winter Gardens. "Needless to say these pictures are followed with intense interest," said a Morecambe Visitor reporter who was in the audience.
Like several other films in the Mitchell & Kenyon collection, this film was shot not by Mitchell & Kenyon themselves but by Thomas-Edison Pictures, the company run by flamboyant showman and regular M&K collaborator AD Thomas. The Church Lads' Brigade was formed in 1891, inspired by the Boys' Brigade (formed eight years earlier). Similar youth organisations, typically with a quasi-military ethos, were on the increase during the Edwardian period, which also saw the rise of the Girls' Brigade and the Scouts movements.
What is fun about this one is that the camera took time to film the audience for the "see yourself on film" effect, adding more to the practice of the Church Lads as well as during the parade itself. The practice is made fun because the boy in the front loses his hat by mistake, and the other boy follows suit thinking it is a fun prank for the camera. Other than that, lots of happy faces in here as well as different camera angles to mix it up which makes it a joy to watch as well as quite entertaining.