The Pageant of Birmingham [Version 2]


The Pageant of Birmingham held in Aston Park in 1938 to celebrate the centenary of the Charter of Incorporation for Birmingham.





Film type:

Colour / Silent


Amateur Film

Master format:



After a shot of the pageant master Gwen Lally we see views from the pageant beginning with the prologue which depicts the stone age with cave men battling mechanical dinosaurs. This is followed by the Druid religion of the Bronze age with brief views of a woman being dragged towards some sort of sacrificial device. The next section re-enacts the granting of a market charter to Birmingham in 1156 by King Henry II and Queen Eleanor followed by the Battle of Crecy of 1346 and the crowning of the Black Prince. We then see a re-enactment of a visit by Charles I to Aston Hall during the Civil War, the siege of Aston Hall followed by the Restoration of 1660. Dramatic scenes follow with the burning of a mock up house during the Priestley Riots of 1791 which is followed by a visit to Aston Park by Queen Victoria in 1858. At the end we see scenes from the finale which include people dressed as famous men of Birmingham, a health and beauty parade, brief shots of the dance of the jewels and a parade of Birmingham industrial products led by a group of cyclists.


A Bill Picture


The inter-titles and a shot of pageant master Gwen Lally are the same as another film of the pageant held by the archive suggesting that these shots were available commercially.

The film was shot by Ron Bill who owned Bill Switchgear Limited.