Dir: Arthur Melbourne Cooper
Starring: Arthur Melbourne Cooper

A comic caricature Highlander visits his cousin in London and causes havoc in the house with a golf club

Arthur Melbourne Cooper was one of the founders of the British film industry and the creator of the world’s first animation films (or “trick” films, as he called them). He worked with a number of pioneer cinematographers of the era, including Birt Acres and Robert W Paul, and his productions were notable for their innovative use of parallel action and tracking shots. Macnab’s Visit to London is one of his early comic productions that has survived. Born in St Albans, Cooper had established the Alpha Trading Company in his hometown in 1904, and it is appropriate therefore that the production features an opening scene filmed in the forecourt of St. Albans (LNWR) station, renamed St Albans Abbey in 1924 and still open today. Thanks to Roger Taylor and The Smallford Station and Alban Way Heritage Society for information about this early gem.

Arthur Melbourne Cooper stands at the entrance to the platform at St Albans (LNWR) station. This is a wonderfully crisp image given the age of the film. Points of interest include the early LNWR coaching stock in the platform and the period signage.
A horse and carriage arrives onto the scene. The London & North Western Railway carriages in the platform are painted in the company’s much admired ‘plum & spilt milk’ livery.