Glimpse history through old images of Warrington, Cheshire.
Warrington Hero 1918
It’s a great shame we don’t know the name of this soldier returning from the First World War (or Great War, as it was then known). He may be William Young V.C.
He’s standing on a balcony with the heavily moustached Lord Mayor, and several well dressed people. Sadly, the writing on the placard is completely blank on the film.
As the Lord Mayor shouts and waves his hat around, it’s clear he’s leading the unseen crowd in cheers for the soldier.
Then we see a beautiful shot of the main street and hotel entrance, with crowds of soldiers and spectators as far as the eye can see, way into the distance. The Lord Mayor’s carriage is in the middle of them all.
Finally, we see the soldier and the Lord Mayor fairly close up, in the back of the waiting carriage. The soldier looks directly at the camera and chuckles. It is a very touching moment.
Reception For Warrington Vc (1914-1918)- British Pathé (YouTube)
Locomotive Move 1930
In 1930, a Vulcan locomotive had to be conveyed through Warrington, on the way to its destination in India. A transporter with 26 wheels from M.R.S.Ltd was needed for the job. This was such a big event that the newsreel cameras turned out to film it.
I particularly liked the shot where the only other vehicles at the road junction are an old fashioned car, an old fashioned van, and a shire horse with cart behind it.
Locomotive driven through Warrington on giant motorised transporter (1930) – British Pathé (YouTube)
Pageant of Colour 1932
When British Pathé filmed the Warrington “Walk” in 1932, the event already dated back 50 years to the 1870s.
The number of people taking part – especially children – is breathtaking.
There are also some nice background shots of the locations.
The Lord Mayor and his wife also appear.
Warrington “Walk” (1932) – British Pathé (YouTube)
Fatal Train Crash in 1934
In 1934, a London to Blackpool train was travelling at 60 miles per hour near Warrington when it collided with a local train. 10 people died, and a further 21 were admitted to hospital.
Train accidents were surprisingly common at the time.
The commentator is unduly cheerful and excited about this terrible event, which ripped apart the vehicles and closed the line for 18 hours.
Fatal Train Crash Near Warrington (1934) – British Pathé (YouTube)
Royal Visit 1950
5,000 schoolchildren gathered on the lawns opposite the Town Hall, to welcome the “gay and smiling” Princess Elizabeth. Less than two years later she would be crowned Queen Elizabeth II.
It’s worth seeing this 21 second clip just to be amazed at the size of the crowd of children.
Warrington (1950) – British Pathé (YouTube)