Film ID: NEFA 18451 Video of 18451 Wedding Bells at Houghton-le-Spring WEDDING BELLS AT HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING 1926-1927 Visitor TabsDescription Local topical newsreel showing the weddings of Una Victoria, Olga and Sybil Lishman, daughters of Mr & Mrs John Lishman, at St Michael’s Church in Houghton-le-Spring between 1926 and 1927. John Lishman was a Houghton entrepreneur who opened the Coliseum and Grand theatres. The film shows guests, the bride and her father arriving at the church, followed by shots of the happy couples leaving the church. Title: Wedding Bells at Houghton-Le-Spring August 18th 1926 Miss Una Victoria Lishman Daughter of Mr & Mrs John Lishman Weds Joseph Owen Nurse Of Hetton-Le-Hole Wedding guests arrive at the church: the men wear top hats & tails, and spats; the women wear hats, dresses, and fur. The guests are filmed as they approach from their cars parked at the church gate. Bridesmaids in matching outfits each carry a bouquet of flowers. Confetti is thrown over the bride and groom. As the wedding car pulls up, it is mobbed by the surrounding crowd. Title: Houghton-Le-Spring Marriage of Olga Daughter of Mr & Mrs John Lishman of Houghton-le-Spring To Mr Cyril Arthur Smith, B.A. Son of the Rev. J & Mrs Smith, M.A., of Hetton-le-Hole 7th September 1927 Similarly, this section of the film opens with wedding guests and their children arriving at church. A Sunderland District Transport bus parks at the side of the road. A small dog stands in the way of the bride and groom as they approach the church. Out on the street, the roadway is filled with faces as people clamber over one another to wave their hats at the camera. With confetti thick on the shoulders of the bride and groom, they mount the wedding car, surrounded by a great crowd of onlookers. A Northern bus (registration CN 2088) moves through the crowd, the conductor gesturing people out the way. A crowd of people are leaning, smiling and waving their hats, over the wall of a house whose gate is labelled Roselea. Title: A Well-known Wedding at St Michael’s Church Title: Bridegroom Dr R.C.F. Smith, M.B., B.S., Son of the Rev. F. Smith, M.A., Rector of Hetton-le-Hole And Bride Sybil Lishman Daughter of John Lishman, Roselea, Houghton-le-Spring View of a church, the same one as in the previous two wedding sequences. Again, guests arrive and walk past the camera up to the church. Two bridesmaids arrive, accompanied by two very young children wearing all white silky outfits. A view of the crowd waiting out on the roadside follows. Confetti is thrown over bride and groom. The bride’s train is carried by a young child. The bridal car (registration BR 3483) pulls away. In a marquee, the bride and groom are standing behind their wedding cake. Slices of cake are passed down a long table by the wedding guests. Outside the marquee, the bride and groom kiss for the camera, twice. Two newly-wed couples then pose for the camera and kiss. A panoramic view of all the guests and bridesmaids ends the film. Context Three stylish weddings in the ‘flapper’ age For richer for poorer - curious crowds mob three local celebrity weddings in Houghton-le-Spring in the 1920s. The presence of a movie camera excites the crowds jostling for a place in the picture at three celebrity weddings in the mining town of Houghton-le-Spring in the 1920s. The first event took place soon after the General Strike, with coal mines still closed until November 1926. These unique ‘local topical’ films probably screened at the Coliseum cinema on Newbottle Street, co-owned by well-known Houghton entrepreneur John “Jack” Lishman, also father of the stylish brides. The Houghton entrepreneur John Lishman was the first tradesman in Houghton to light his business with electricity, which, according to the Sunderland Echo in 1960, ‘caused quite a stir in the township at night’. Cashing in on the popularity of picture houses and an expanding local population, Lishman and partner Norman Robinson opened the third cinema in town on 3rd August 1921, the purpose-built, modern Coliseum, (Coli for short) designed by Newcastle architects Percy L. Browne and Glover. His empire expanded with the opening on 21st April 1930 of the art deco Grand, built on the site of the Old Gaiety Theatre, and finally closed in 1975.