• Short Summary

    Wonderful documentary about the history of Liverpool.

  • Description

    Reel 2. 1914 - bugler calls men to arms. Men march through the streets in uniform. The dockers formed the nucleus of one of the battalions. "The Pals" are seen marching through the streets. A woman faints and is carried away. Kitchener inspects the Pals from the steps of Liverpool's St George's Hall. marching band processes past Kitchener. Shot of soldiers boarding a train. Another angle of the train with men waving from the windows.

    The women of the City were "keeping the home fires burning in every sense." A large group of women seem to be at a garden party or fund-raising event. Lovely shots of a group of women skipping rope together. Narrator talks of how as well as looking after the children, the women also made munitions, swept the streets and generally did jobs "that would have horrified them a few years before."

    Fund-raising for war charities. A woman pins something onto a policeman's uniform - nice shot. He smiles at the camera. "it was just as difficult to say no to a girl then as it is now..." Two other fundraisers stand with collecting boxes and receive a donation. Row of nurses stand in rows for inspection. Florence Nightingale and Edith Cavell are mentioned. Liverpool's pioneering achievements in nursing are discussed on the soundtrack. The mayor inspects nurses and ambulances. General Pershing leads the first contingent ashore at Liverpool from the Old Baltic. The Mayor accompanies the soldiers as they walk down steps from the ship in 1917. Former Liverpool docker Private William Ratcliffe (commentator calls him "Rigby") is awarded the Victoria Cross at a ceremony at his old school. Children cheer and wave. Twin ships the Iris and the Daffodil return to Liverpool rather war damaged after the raid on Zeebrugge. Lieutenant Stanfield is the only Officer to return with the boats. The mayor and his wife shake hands with people coming on board. Various shots of people milling around on deck being shown the war damage. C/U of Lieutenant Stanfield. Large crowds watch the unveiling of the Cenotaph - performed by Lord Derby. Mayor and dignitaries walk around the Cenotaph.

    Various shots of slum housing in Liverpool. A family with 13 children stand in their doorway with the children all lined up. Men work to smash the walls of a house from inside. Montage of shots showing the demolition of houses by very basic means (hand tools, ropes etc.) Voiceover talks of Liverpool's housing policy being the envy of the world. Two shots of new house being built.

    The Princess Royal - then Princess Mary - arrives at a building and lays a foundation stone and then inspects the local girl guides. Lord Mayor attends a competition organised by the RSPCA - Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The Mayor and a young boy hold onto a struggling donkey. Mayor inspects a row of donkey carts.

    The RSPCA was founded in Liverpool - it was originally the Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Wanton Cruelty to Animals. Man with a trophy shakes the foot of a horse - presumably the winner of a competition for horse drawn cart. May Day Parade - lots of shire horses on display in a city square. The horses are led along - they are heavily dressed with flowers and ribbons.

    M/S of a post box being fixed to the front of a tram - the postal service on City trams was an idea that didn't catch on. A man and a woman approach the tram and put a letter in the box. A child is lifted up and he posts a letter into the box. L/S of tram being driven through the streets. 1925 - work began on the Mersey Tunnel in an attempt to alleviate traffic problems and create employment. Shots of men working underground - they drill and blast the riverbed. Lady Salvadge or Salvidge (?) opens the power station. Various shots of the exterior of the power station. Metropolitan Vickers name visible. Edge Lane - foundation stone of world's largest Tramway Depot was laid. Shots of the ceremony and stone. This building changed its role from servicing of tram cars to maintenance of buses. Panning shot of the building being constructed.

    1927 - Liverpool's "first and only" woman Lord Mayor was elected - Miss Margaret Bevin (sp?) We see her holding a baby amongst a group of young mothers. King Amanullah of Afghanistan is welcomed to Liverpool by Miss Bevin. King Ammanullah inspects some naval troops. Miss Bevin opens the Mersey Tunnel. Various shots of the Lady Mayor, Lady Salvadge and other dignitaries dressed in sou'wester's arriving at the entrance to the tunnel and going down in the lift. Sir Archibald Salvadge (or Salvidge) breaks through a thin wall to join hands with the Mayor of Birkenhead. The Lady Mayor, the Mayor of Birkenhead and Sir Salvadge shake hands in the tunnel.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1896 - 1929
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:21:13:00 / 01:29:32:00

Comments (3)

  1. Unknown user says

    Paragraph 3 - "Former Liverpool docker Private Rigby (?) is awarded the Victoria Cross" - this name is provided by the commentator. However there has not been a Victoria Cross winner named Rigby.

    After some research I believe it is instead Private William Ratcliffe. Freeze at 03:03, and compare his image with the photograph of William Ratcliffe on this page here......


    Note that William Ratcliffe was a Liverpool man, and was known after the war as "The Dockers VC", so the story seems to add up......

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  2. Unknown user says

    My belief that the VC winner featured in this clip is William Ratcliffe is confirmed - I've just found him again in another clip, named this time, (although mis-spelt as Radcliffe), in clip 1890.34.

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  3. Unknown user says

    Excellent research - thanks very much indeed.

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