CIVIC UNIFORMS

FIRE SERVICE AND CIVIC ROLES

Title: [Glimpses of Pre-war Worthing and Everyday Folk]
Date: 1938-1939
Film-maker: Eric Sparks

The above clip shows a procession of police, firemen, a Mayor and judges. The Mayor wears traditional robes and the judges wear legal dress including wigs. Ede and Ravenscroft has been making legal dress for over 300 years. Their website covers how legal dress has changed over time.

A British Pathé film issued in 1932 shows a procession of the election of London Mayor Percy Greenaway and dignitaries in full regalia.  (British Pathé Film Id: 659.19).

The firemen in the film shown here filmed in Worthing in 1938/9 wear brass helmets. This style was called a Merryweather and was in use from the Victorian period but phased out from the late 1930s. The procession also includes firefighters wearing peaked caps with their double breasted woolen tunics. The firemen also carry an axe at their side as part of the uniform. The London Fire Brigade website provides a brief history of uniforms in the service.


POLICE

[Reigate Borough Carnival] (1926;1927)
Title: [Reigate Borough Carnival]
Date: [1926; 1927]
Film-maker: J.Bancroft

This film shows a policeman in uniform comprising coat, trousers and hat and also gives an insight into everyday civilian dress. The crowd appear fashionably dressed, though their clothes are likely to be either homemade or ready-made. The fashionable silhouette was easier to emulate in the 1920s, which made it harder to distinguish between different classes. The policeman wears white cotton gloves, which were re-introduced to the policeman’s uniform in 1911.

To find out more on policeman and uniforms, visit the Old Cells Museum in Brighton and the Surrey Police Force Museum.


FIRE SERVICE

Title: [Glimpses of Pre-war Worthing and Everyday Folk]
Date: [1938-1939))
Film-maker: Eric Sparks

The film clip shows firemen hurtling past the camera on a fire engine. They wear woollen tunics with a double row of vertical brass buttons, oilskin trousers and cork helmets. The London Fire Brigade website offers a brief history of Fire Service helmets.


RED CROSS NURSES

 Title: [Broadstairs & St. Peter's Items] Date: (1936-1937)
Title:
[Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Items]

Date: (1936-1937)
Film-maker: Enid Briggs

The still from a 1936/7 Bognor Regis film shows Red Cross nurses undergoing an inspection. They wear the standard Red Cross uniform of a dress, apron and cap. The majority of nurses‘ caps are tied at the back of the neck leaving a small train. Only a few wear the caps loose. The organisation’s logo of the Red Cross is emblazoned on the front of the aprons. The uniform reflected the ideals of cleanliness in nursing that were established by Florence Nightingale in the second half of the nineteenth century.

In the interwar period, the Red Cross embarked on a programme of peacetime activities at home and abroad and The British Red Cross Museum and Archive have collections of photographs from this period.

St. Bartholomew’s and The Royal London Hospital’s museums and archives also hold nurses’ uniforms in its collections. See their website for more on their collections.