Film ID:
NEFA 8978



Visitor Tabs


Tyne Tees Television documentary on Brendan Foster, world record breaker and European gold medallist, in his capacity as Recreation Director of the Sports Department of Gateshead Borough Council, and the impact on the town of the sports stadium and new recreation and sports facilities developed by the council. Includes footage of the Gateshead Harriers winning the A.A.A. National 12 man Road Relay at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield in 1975 and Brendan Foster’s world record run in the 3000 metres at the 1974 Rediffusion Gateshead Games.

Credit: Tyne Tees TV Colour

Title: About Britain

The documentary opens with various general views over the town of Gateshead. Brendan Foster leaves his house in his yellow tracksuit for a run before work. He runs from his home in the 60s housing estate in a hilly area overlooking Gateshead.

Title: Everyone's A Winner in Gateshead

Foster runs down the central grass reservation of a main road, then on through Saltwell Park, the Boer War memorial in the background. He runs past the statue of Alderman John Lucas, his tracksuit sporting 'Kenya' as a slogan on his back.

Foster answers the phone in his Gateshead Borough Council office.

Title: Councillor Bill Collins

Title: Leader Gateshead Council

Councillor Bill Collins talks about the impressive application and interview from Brendan Foster to be the new Recreation Director of Sport. He says that Foster wasn't given the job because he was a world champion, but it happened to be a bonus.

Title: William Miles Chief Executive Gateshead Council

Miles talks about Gateshead getting more publicity than it has had in the previous 12 years since the appointment of Foster, and it’s all been good publicity.  A man crosses a steep terraced street in Gateshead running down towards the Tyne. Newcastle’s three Shieldfield Towers on the horizon. The road is in bad repair.  General views follow around Gateshead: washing on a line in the back yard, a cobbled back alley, the corner of Cromwell Terrace with tower block looming in the background. High angle view of old terraces and a high rise block beside the railway lines. In voice-over, Miles talks about the town as a product of the industrial revolution and describes it as ‘not the most attractive town” in which to live in the mid-1930s. He believes the council made great strides in slum clearance and redevelopment since then. Various general views record Gateshead Highway, busy Ellison Street looking towards the Tyne Bridge with Shephards department store located at a corner of the street and a couple of double decker buses advertising ‘Shop at Binns’ parked at bus stops. Another general view follows of residential terraced streets surrounding a football pitch. The voice-over notes that the council can turn their attention to leisure in the borough now some of the housing issues have been resolved.

A group of men in suits head to the changing rooms at Gateshead Stadium. Small groups jog around the track together at one of the weekly sessions. In voiceover Brendan Foster talks about the health benefits of jogging on the stadium’s brand new tartan track, which he thinks is the best track in the world. Overhead view of the new spectator stands. Athletics coach Stan Long encourages the joggers and runs along with them.

Foster chats to some of the men that have been coming along to the sessions. Portrait shot of one of Britain’s star athletes David Jenkins strolling along the track, former 400 metres European champion and Olympic silver medallist. He is also on Foster’s council team. Foster runs along the track lapping some of the runners. Jenkins performs a 400 metre sprint around the track in training.

A car pulls up beside wasteland, a modern council housing estate in the background. David Jenkins and a development officer, Veronica McHale, with Gateshead Borough Council get out of the car to examine the site in Felling that the council are considering developing for a kick-about site for young people with floodlighting. Jenkins explains the Recreation department’s plans with her on-site.

Foster discusses the urban aid programme with team members at the council offices. Jenkins reports to team members at the management meeting.

A bunch of young people take part in an intensive coaching course at a local municipal swimming pool during the school holidays. Alan Wilson coaches children at cricket in a local gym. John Caine, one of Britain’s best middle-distance runners from Burnopfield, County Durham, is training youngsters in shot put technique.  Stan Long is coaching runners at an athletics track. A girl practices the javelin. Brendan Foster chats to some of the children taking part on a cold breezy day at the athletics ground in Gateshead. One boy mentions his favourite long-distance runner. Stan Long instructs children as David Jenkins runs through his training techniques on the track before sprinting.

[black leader]

General exterior view of Gateshead Town Hall. Inside the Town Hall, Foster puts his department’s recommendations to the Parks and Recreation committee about the urban aid programme.

A good crowd of young people of different ages in the Gateshead Harriers club train at Gateshead Stadium with Stan Long. Foster talks about the success of the Gateshead Harriers in voiceover. Foster and Stan Long discuss the upcoming 3A’s National 12 man Relay at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. Long is optimistic.

Archive video footage of the 1974 Rediffusion Gateshead Games where Brendan Foster sets a world record for the 3000 metres in front of ‘tens of thousands screaming Geordies who had never seen athletics at that level before’.

Interview with Councillor Bill Collins who describes Foster’s achievement with pride.

The Mayor of Gateshead opens a new indoor bowling centre with Foster and other Gateshead council workers in attendance. Retired men play a game of bowls in the centre, watched by other male and female members. A couple chat to Brendan Foster.

Brendan Foster, Stan Long and the other Gateshead Harriers athletes arrive in their minibus on the day of the A.A.A. National 12 man Road Relay at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield. Before the start of the race, the runners limber up from the many different clubs such as Liverpool, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The local mayor wields the starter flag and the teams’ first runners set off. Gateshead Harrier Lindsay Dunn runs the first stage. A good crowd lining the route cheers the athletes on. John Mills, National Youth Cross-Country champion, prepares to run as second in the relay for the Harriers. First men hand over to second leg runners. First leg runners look tired. John Mills runs past camera taking the team into fourth position in the race. Spectators mill around a signpost with directions to Keepers Pool and other areas of the Sutton Park. Stan Long shouts Charlie Spedding along in the fifth leg of the race, who puts the Harriers in the third position. Someone sounds a bugle. A dapper man in a suit shouts encouragement to his team runner. Foster warms up along a quiet park path. One of a group of joggers is in Union Jack shorts. Dennis Coates, a 3000 metre steeplechase international athlete, races past on the ninth leg of the race for the Gateshead Harriers. Brendan Foster gets ready for the hand-over from Dennis Coates. They are in first position now. The Edinburgh runners hand over in second position. Foster races past a park pond in the lead for Gateshead. Foster hands over to the twelfth man. Gateshead have a 30 second lead. David Lowes, international 5000 metre runner, takes over from Foster. A group of supporters hold a banner that reads ‘Gateshead Howay the Lads’. The crowds of athletes and spectators await the athletes on the final leg of the relay race. Athletics coach Stan long looks nervous. At the final tape, the crowd is excited. Gateshead Harrier Alex Amos comes in first. The Gateshead Harriers surround and congratulate him. The second place runner finishes. Stan Long holds the trophy up and everyone cheers. A delighted Foster leads everyone in a celebratory song.

In the last sequence, Brendan Foster is training back in Gateshead, racing past the Osram Lamp Works and Alexandre industrial unit in the Team Valley along Kingsway North.

Credit: Research and script Michael McHugh [over Foster running down an avenue of trees]

Children swim the crawl in lanes at a municipal pool.

Credit: Camera Norman Jackson, Dave Dixon [over Foster running down an avenue of trees]

Two women and a man jog past camera.

Credit: Sound Bob Rhodes

A group of men continue their game of indoor bowls.

Credit: Film Editor Mike Pounder [over Foster running down an avenue of trees]

A girl is coached and throws a shot put at a sports ground.

Credit: Executive Producer Leslie Barrett [over Foster running down an avenue of trees]

Gateshead Harrier youth train at the Stadium.

Credit: Director Jeremy Lack

Credit: Tyne Tees TV Colour ident