This Week in 1935: 19-25 May

19-25 May:

On the 24th of May thousands of children throughout the country had a day off school to celebrate Empire Day. This day of festivities was introduced in the early 1900s with the aim, ‘to nurture a sense of collective identity and imperial responsibility among young empire citizens.’ Children attended fetes, sang patriotic songs and were told daring tales of adventure about the likes of General Gordon, Clive of India and Wolfe of Quebec, great heroes of the empire. In Lowestoft hundreds of children took part in a performance where every child wore a particular colour and  were then choreographed to form different shapes and patterns. The show concluded with them forming a Union Jack.

This week also saw the first ever cinema on a train. The London and North Eastern Railway Companies, in conjunction with Pathé Equipment and Pictures Limited, enabled passengers on certain express trains between London and Leeds to watch an hour-long film. The cinema coach was run first on the 10.10am train from Kings Cross to Leeds and then on the 3.15pm back again.


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