Never such innocence again
January 7, 2005 3:17 AM Subscribe
The Mitchell and Kenyon collection
consists of 800 rolls of nitrate film documenting scenes of everyday life in England between 1900 and 1913. This extraordinary archive, now painstakingly restored
by the British Film Institute, includes footage of trams, soup kitchens, factory gates, football matches, seaside holidays and much else besides. Here are some sample images
and a short clip of workers at a Lancashire colliery
, all astonishingly evocative and reminiscent (to me) of Philip Larkin's poem MCMXIV
: 'The crowns of hats, the sun / On moustachioed archaic faces / Grinning as if it were all / An August Bank Holiday lark .. Never such innocence, / Never before or since .. Never such innocence again.'