This film is part of Free

Tottenham Still Going Strong in Tea Fights August 30, 1919

Street fights in Tottenham - the start of the traffic-stopping tradition of a sit-down kids feast

Documentary 1919 8 mins Silent


A document of street fights in North London, but not in the way you might think. August 30 1919 saw a wave of street parties across the country to celebrate peace. Like many areas of London, Tottenham residents engaged in a friendly competition to see who could put on the best shindig. The children filmed pouring out of Central Hall Picture Palace later in the film would almost certainly have returned there to see themselves on screen.

Although street dressing with banners and bunting was a long-running tradition, the Peace Tea appears to be the first example of a sit-down street party for children with food and refreshment. Repeated for VE Day and royal coronations, jubilees and weddings, it's a custom that has brought many changing communities together ever since.