The Lost (& Found) World of Mitchell & Kenyon

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Mitchell and Kenyon were a pair of pioneer UK Filmmakers from Blackburn.

In the early days of cinematography the pair trekked from town to town mostly across the North West but often farther afield. They filmed the day to lives of the people they encountered, along with many of the celebrations, carnivals and processions of the time.

Their work might have gone largely unremembered if it were not for someone in 1994 uncovering a major stash of their original, long lost reels of the day. Their collection now comprises the largest resource in the world of non-fiction films from the Edwardian era.

They were active around the turn of the 19th/20th century and the stash of films discovered included a gorgeous film of Morecambe’s promenade and the people on it, from a moving wagon.

Few if any photos of Mitchell and Kenyon themselves appear to see a few have survived. It’s interesting to ponder therefore if this lovely old postcard scene which we came across in our research for High Teas and Holidays might just depict the pair at work, here in Morecambe!

The postcard depicts the Charterday Procession along Marine Rd and is post-dated 1905. The Charterday procession actually took place in 1902, right around the time they were known to have worked in Morecambe. The scene shows two figures in the foreground standing on a low flat-bed horse-drawn wagon. A camera tripod is clearly visible on the wagon and it appears to be operated by one of the pair.

This is such a cool postcard and if it turns out that it actually does show Mitchell and Kenyon at work it is also a pretty fantastic find!!

You can see more of Mitchell and Kenyon’s work on the BFI website.