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Mitchell and Kenyon: Trafalgar Day in Liverpool (1901)


Main image of Mitchell and Kenyon: Trafalgar Day in Liverpool (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon 404 & 423: Trafalgar Day in Liverpool
35mm, black and white, silent, 256 feet total
Production CompanyMitchell and Kenyon
Commissioned byRalph Pringle

Celebrations in Castle Street on 21 October 1901.

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This film of the 1901 Trafalgar Day celebrations in Liverpool, was commissioned by the exhibitor Ralph Pringle from the Mitchell and Kenyon Company. Pringle's rather confusingly named North American Animated Photo Company covered a circuit extending from the Midlands all the way to Scotland and down to the South West. The film of this elaborate public event was intended to be shown locally in Liverpool.

Trafalgar Day is an annual celebration of the great victory of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson's British fleet over the combined French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805. It was widely commemorated by parades, dinners and other events throughout much of the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Liverpool, as one of the great British ports, would have particular cause to display its patriotism on this day. It is notable that the merchant navy is prominently included in the parade, which would explain the multiracial mix.

Trafalgar Day survives to this day as a focus for the Navy to celebrate and a day for the naval cadets to parade in Trafalgar Square. It was widely celebrated during the bicentenary of the battle in 2005, including a full review of the Fleet at Spithead by the Queen.

Bryony Dixon

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Video Clips
Mitchell and Kenyon 404 (2:45)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Earl Roberts and Viscount Kitchener (1902)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Employees Leaving Alexandra Docks (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Everton v. Liverpool (1902)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Liverpool Street Scenes (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: SS Saxonia in Liverpool (1901)
Topical Budget 270-1: Trafalgar Day (1916)