In all honesty, sometimes keeping up this feature can be a real struggle. Trawling the net for interesting and relevant video footage that isn’t taken from a mobile phone and hasn’t been crassly disfigured by some kind of hardcore dance-beat or unnecessary graphics is a long hard slog with little to shout about, a bit like watching Rovers take corners come to think of it. Anyway, through luck more than judgement I’ve stumbled across an excellent resource tucked away on youtube that brings you not only this week’s instalment, but I suspect many more to come too.
At the start of the 20th century Mitchell & Kenyon was a small film company making dramatisations and early short narrative films. However, at the time they were also taking their cameras out and about to document life at the time, filming street scenes, community events and parades, factories and most crucially for us, the boom of association football. These films lay undiscovered for decades until a hoard of Mitchell & Kenyon footage was discovered in 1995 and subsequently restored. The Mitchell & Kenyon archive has since become property of the British Film Institute and the BFI have recently begun uploading some of the Mitchell & Kenyon works into the public domain.
This week’s Viva Video showcases one of these such films, as Mitchell & Kenyon’s camera pans around Trent Bridge for a 1902 fixture between Rovers’ last away opponents and their next opponents (yeah, thats the tenuous link) Notts County and Middlesbrough. Its a truly fascinating piece of cinematography and I hope to find excuses to bring of these films to you in the coming weeks.