This film is part of Free

Drive Past of Four-in-Hands

Tally-ho! A display of driving skill, Victorian-style, with horse-drawn carriages impressing crowds at a country fair

Non-Fiction 1899


Film pioneer Cecil Hepworth made several films such as this early in his career: short glimpses of local colour that amused contemporary audiences but which he felt sure wouldn't have any lasting worth. On the contrary, this snippet is a fascinating demonstration of a now-rare skill. Driving these four-in-hand carriages requires one person to handle all four horses. So in this parade, the drivers shows off their skill, and the crowd enjoys the spectacle of the carriages dashing by.

Hepworth has positioned his camera so that the audience can enjoy the thrill of the carriage rushing straight towards them, but as the coaches turn, can also take in a view of the horses in motion. It’s a deft way to cram as much visual excitement and movement as possible into a short piece of footage captured with a fixed-position camera.