Sunday, February 26, 2023

British Pathé: Jemima's Journey Through Switzerland ( 1963 )

Jemima's Journey Through Switzerland is not one of the usual British Pathe newsreel clips that we share. This seven-and-a-half-minute film follows in the footsteps of a group of people who are re-enacting the trip taken by Ms. Jemima Morrell in 1863, a young woman who journeyed to Switzerland and wrote of her adventures in a diary. It was to mark the 100th anniversary of her trip. Obviously, the sight of a group of people dressed in period costumes going around Switzerland in 1963 caused quite a commotion because she drew crowds wherever she went. 

The narrator of this clip, Tim Brinton, talks with Jemima ( portrayed by Janet Edwards ) as though she were alive at the time. She relates her thoughts about the customs, people, and landscape of Switzerland as she saw it then. 

The film has some beautiful footage of the Alps and gives its audience a wonderful look at what it must have been like to travel throughout the Alpine region in the mid-1800s. My sister and I are restoring photos and paintings for our Alpine Collection project on Kickstarter and, judging from the photographs that we have seen, this is exactly how it was then. Women often went mountain climbing with the men in their wide skirts with just a little walking stick to guide them. 

At the end of the clip, the narrator asks Ms. Morrell whether she would like modern times and she replies that "I should be happy here. I should be happy in company with people like those," ( referring to the men and women playing the parts of her contemporaries ) to which he replies, "But clothes don't make those people Victorians, their values are different." How true! Times changed quite a bit between 1863 and 1963 and have changed even more from 1963 to 2023. 

Ready to watch Jemima's Journey Through Switzerland? Simply click on the link below: 

Jemima's Journey Through Switzerland ( 1963 ) - 7:34 minutes

Similar British Pathé newsreels: 

Victorian Beach Dance ( 1961 ) - 3:14 minutes

Victorian Fish Bar ( 1962 ) - 2:06 minutes

Victorian Hardware Shop ( 1963 ) - 1:38 minutes 

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