Title ID 1530Collection ID477
TitleReigate Carnival
Date1930, 1933
CollectionNorth Downs Film Unit
Genre/TypeAmateurCine/Video clubNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeCommemoration Transport
KeywordsChildren Parades Carnivals Fancy dress Transport Leisure Time Activities
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionNorth Downs Cinematograph Society
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration10 min. 31 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Scenes filmed at Reigate Carnival in 1930 and 1933 by members of the North Downs Cinematograph Society. Elaborate floats and fancy dress costumes feature throughout.


A man in fancy dress costume and blackface makeup tends to the crown atop "The British Empire" float. Three men in top hats and fancy dress drink from a bottle in the street. Three others, dressed as animals, recline on a float. Another float reads "Gay Friar Chutney". Children are dressed up as tramps, soldiers, sweeps and Pearly Kings and Queens. One young girl sports and sign round her neck that reads "come up and see me sometime, I'm no angel." A young boy is dressed as "Miss 1935." A man is squeezed into a pram as a "Jubilee Baby." Bunting decorates the streets. A mounted policeman arrives. A woman dressed as a pirate bursts into laughter. A crowd of participants all in fancy dress walk in the parade, followed by motor vehicles, a Reigate bus and floats celebrating Jersey Dairies, Gin, Electricity, Davies Estates, Johnnie Walker and the fire services. Some participants are dressed as American Indians and others less culturally specific non-Western "natives." A couple smile from a boat float. Horses and donkeys are seen in a field before further footage of costumed men and women and a marching band follow.

Contextual information

For later footage of Reigate Carnival see [Borough of Reigate Centenary Film] (1963), also produced by members of the North Downs Cinematograph Society. The 50 minute film details events held during the centenary celebrations of Reigate's local government. Marching bands in uniform, floats, the carnival queen in a tiara, horse and cart, women in bikinis standing on a float, participants dressed as dogs in a schoolroom, mermaids, and The Clarendon Players are among the participants seen from an elevated position. Starting at Reigate Heath, the carnival continues down to Redhill, passing spectators lining the streets.

Further, footage of Reigate Carnival in 1926 and 1927 is included in [Reigate Borough Carnival] produced by J. Bancroft of the Hippodrome Cinema. See [Reigate Carnival] (1928, 1935) for footage of Reigate Carnivals in 1928 and 1935, produced by the North Downs Cinematograph Society. Screen Archive South East holds a number of factual films, homes movies, actuality footage and fiction films, produced by members of the NDCS from the 1920s to the early 1980s.

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Related resources


Surrey History Centre

The Surrey History Service collects and preserves archives and printed material relating to all aspects of the history of Surrey. The Centre also has a selection of films from the Screen Archive South East, and its collections catalogue is searchable online.


Screen Search Fashion: Fancy Dress

Clips and information concerning inter-war leisure activities in the South East.

Screen Search Fashion: Carnivals and Pageants

Clips and information concerning inter-war leisure activities in the South East.