Getting the Beers In for Bristol’s Own William Friese-Greene

Saturday 7th September: William Friese-Greene Beer Launch
2 Southleigh Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BH
Free Admission / 14:00pm – 11:30pm

South West Silents are proud to announce, in collaboration with the Bristol-based brewery Dawkins Ales, the very tasty return of the wonder that is the Friese-Greene beer! Both companies have joined forces to bring back this very special beer back to Bristol area for the autumn season. The beer is in celebration one of the great film pioneers of British Cinema and one of Bristol’s least celebrated sons: William Friese-Greene.

Born in Bristol on 7th September 1855, William Edward Green (the Friese-Greene was added later) is classed by many as one of the founding fathers of British Cinema and a key figure in the early development of cinematography as a whole. In some circles he is celebrated, while in others he is damned for filing patents on devices he allegedly didn’t invent.

07/04/2010 william friese green

A successful photographer, Friese-Greene opened a number of photographic studios in Bristol, Bath, and Plymouth, before moving his business to London. While managing these shops as well as his business partners, Friese-Greene was experimenting on new forms of colour photography, as well as capturing motion pictures. This particular part of his life became the subject of the 1951 feature film The Magic Box starring Robert Donat, Margaret Johnston, Richard Attenborough and Laurence Olivier.

Over the years Bristol has celebrated Greene by erecting three plaques to the man: firstly a black plaque which can easily be missed when walking past a night club on the Triangle in Clifton. Another was placed outside the Orpheus Cinema in 1939 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his being awarded the guaranteed patent for his own Kinematograph in 1889. Finally a plaque was unveiled at his home at 12 College Street in 1955, which was later moved when the council knocked the building down in 1959. It now sits next to College Green. All told, I think we could do better than just a few plaques here in Bristol!

Donat, Robert (Magic Box, The)_NRFPT_03

So on Saturday 7th September 2019 (Greene’s birthday in fact) we will celebrate Friese-Greene’s birthday by launching a beer dedicated to the great man. The beer, named, The Friese-Greene will be launched at the Dawkins’ pub The Victoria, Clifton (next to the Lido) with a selection of films inspired by the work of William Friese-Greene as well as early colour films. The launch party starts at 2:00pm and will (as always) end late.

Check out the artwork for the Beer Pump Clip:

Friese Greene 2018 FINAL

So come and join us and celebrate one of the great film pioneers who ever lived, William Friese-Greene!


Dawkins Ale LogoBristol_City_of_Film_logo

4 thoughts on “Getting the Beers In for Bristol’s Own William Friese-Greene

  1. Happy Birthday William and well done South West Silents for hosting such a smashing party in his honour! I screened The Magic Box in Brighton on this day last year and I wish I could attend your Bristol celebrations. I hope you all have a great time and I shall raise my glass to you! 😀


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