Film ID:
NEFA 9691

ABOUT BRITAIN: FUN FOR ALL

1976

Visitor Tabs

Description

A Tyne Tees Television documentary, shown in the ITV series About Britian, looking at the development and community involvement of the 1976 Newcastle Festival. Includes footage from the communities of Byker and Jesmond and interviews with televsion and film personalities Diana Dors, Bill Pertwee, John Le Mesurier, Frankie Vaughan and Jack Haig. The programme was originally broadcast on 22 August 1976. 

Title: TTTV logo Tyne Tees Colour

Title: About Britain

The film opens with a view of a sailing ship, the Charlotte Rose, making its way towards the Tyne Bridge, marking the beginning of the 8th Newcastle festival.

A parade takes place along Northumberland Street led by a band dressed in hunting pink uniforms followed by other marchers and display floats. A lawn is crowded with stalls and amusements for festival goers

Title: Fun For All

An old Parisian coach is parked in a suburban street. On the platform at the back, a couple of girls have soft drinks. A notice board on the side lists destinations pertaining to Paris.

Interview with Andy Hudson.

Title: Andy Hudson Festival Director

Sitting on Newcastle Quayside he gives a broad description about the scope of the festival.

Marching bands and floats advertising or promoting events parade by. The lord mayor passes the camera in his official coach pulled by horses. A small sports car is followed by men and women dressed in 19th century costume. A group of Morris dancers follow a decorated horse and cart as it passes the monument at the Haymarket to head down Northumberland Street.

General view of a terrace of houses built on a steep slope. Andy Hudson the festival director walks down past the back yards of the houses. He comes to a series of posters pasted on the wall advertising a number of famous city festivals from across the country. He speaks about these festivals. Among the posters is one for the current Newcastle festival which will run from the 18th of June to the 4th July 1976.

A group of women sit together in a community centre or club singing the Blaydon Races.

Outside Newcastle’s Civic Centre, a group of young girls stand to attention dressed in the turquoise uniform of a juvenile jazz band. The lord mayor approaches the chairman of the Byker Festival Committee who is standing next to the girls. The chairman presents the mayor with a large spill or taper so that he can light the torch which will be used to launch the Byker festival. A man standing next to the mayor holds the torch for the mayor to light. The torch is lit and the man runs along the concourse away from the civic centre. The Byker festival is one of ten area festivals sharing the limelight with the city centre festival.

General view of a street in Byker, then to construction work as part of the Byker Wall housing project. The camera pulls back to show the whole of the Byker Wall. The man with the torch is joined by other runners and children as he makes his way along a street, past applauding crowds. He uses the torch to light a pile of wood acting as a beacon to start the Byker Festival.

Beside the fire, the local juvenile jazz band in their distinctive turquoise uniform begin to sing a song which celebrates Byker. General views follow of Byker streets.

In another part of Newcastle, a view of a street and the accompanying sound of a piano. Outside in the street people have gathered outside a house to listen to the music. The camera picks out an open window on the first floor of the house. Inside a girl and older women play a duet version of ‘An English Country Garden’ on a grand piano. A small crowd listen to the home concert in the street, and applaud. The two performers wave from the bedroom window.

In a grass arena two swordsmen are in mid combat, watched at a safe distance by a crowd of onlookers among flags and bunting with a number of stalls selling items and produce. A juvenile jazz band starts playing.

Title: Hugh White Lord Mayor

Hugh White Lord Mayor of Newcastle is interviewed on camera. The interview is intercut with a shot of medieval knights fighting with large wooden staffs as a crowd watches.

A juvenile jazz band marches past with its banner on display. At the perimeter of the field a miniature railway gives rides to passengers. A wedding takes place at a nearby church, the bride and groom pose for the camera.

Stills of people celebrating, at street parties follow.

Outside beside old terraces in Newcastle, Catherine Cookson reminisces about ‘street teas’. The absence of men in the pictures she explains is because they were still at work.

Title: Catherine Cookson

She continues with her description of the street tea. Another still photo shows another typical tea, some men also in the photo.

A downhill soap box derby starts. Three entrants take part with two boys per soap box, one pushing, the other steering. Down the steep hill where former terraces stood, the drivers now on their own negotiate a special course, some travelling at speed.

Andy Hudson addresses the camera in Byker.

A man with a sledge hammer hits a long chisel or spike into the ground. Others prepare marquees among parked trailers and caravans on derelict ground not far from the Byker Wall.

Two clowns, one carrying a plank make their way down a street. One chases the other after being hit by the plank. They stop to speak to some women, one of them sitting on her doorstep in the sunshine. The clowns carry on running down the steep slope of the street. One front door along the terrace is painted with a Union Jack. The clowns stop and salute.

Shot of a David Hockney painting. A poster announces an exhibition of his paintings at the Laing Art Gallery, from June 15 to July. A number of the paintings are shown. In one of the gallery spaces in the Laing Gallery, visitors look at the paintings.

The next sequence is of the traditional Race Week holiday at Gosforth Park with racing, crowds and bookmakers. The town moor Hoppings travelling fair is then pictured at dusk, colourful lights on the rides and the silhouette of the helter kelter and other amusement rides crowding the moor.

A woman carries a shallow box full of portions of pies and peas, which is distributed amongst the women enjoying themselves in a community hall or club. Spontaneous singing breaks out, a rendition of ‘Keep Your Feet Still, Geordie Hinny’

A passenger plane taxis on the apron at Newcastle airport. The first person down the gangway is Diana Dors, the well known British film actress. Andy Hudson steps forward to greet her.

People enjoy a drink in a bar, most of them well-known names from the entertainment world, including Jack Haig. Haig is chatting to Dad's Army star John Le Mesurier. Another Dad’s Army actor Bill Pertwee is also there. Popular singer and entertainer Frankie Vaughan is also in the bar. Interviews follow with Diana Dors, Bill Pertwee, Frankie Vaughan, Jack Haig, David Kossoff and John le Mesurier. They all give their support to the value of these community festivals.

A change of scene and pace as four armed cowboys walk across open grassland at Eldon Square. One of them takes a drink from a hip flask. Another set of cowboys speak among themselves near a wooden fence made of upturned pallets. Guns are suddenly drawn and fired. One cowboy falls to the ground and a gun fight follows. Some of the crowd watching look bemused.

The film moves on to a fashion show, called ‘Fashion 1976 Forum’. The audience watch the male and females models exhibit the latest fashions that may eventually appear in high street shops.

This is followed by traditional singing and dancing from a number of groups dressed in their national costumes. Taking part are Turks, Indian, Welsh, Irish and Italians, all resident in Tyneside.

Title: Sid Mendelson Community Relations Councillor

Interview with Sid Mendelson about helping different ethnic communities forge links with the wider community by organising cultural events.

Swordsmen continue to perform fights for the crowd.

A group of children have funon a bouncy mattress..

Andy Hudson sits near the fountain at Newcastle’s Civic Centre and talks on camera about the progress of the festival and some of the things that can go wrong.

A man gets drenched after a boy kicks a football against a target, which releases a bucket of water over a willing participant. A baby is sheltered from the summer sunshine by an umbrella. Older children try their hand at painting pictures outside. A local couple are interviewed.

A woman makes her way slowly up a steep Byker street carrying her shopping. One of the Byker festival organisers speaks on camera about communities breaking up due to redevelopment. The festival can be bring people back together again, and also provide entertainment in an increasingly time-poor society.

Another soap box race is about to start which includes the two clowns seen earlier driving their own vehicle creation. The race starts and the two clowns are left behind. They lift the bonnet to attend to the ‘engine’. They start a small petrol motor which stops as soon as they’ve got back in their 'car'. One of the clowns still in make-up but out of costume speaks on camera.

Title: Rudi Enos

He talks about the Byker festival in comparison to the city festival.

Back in character the two clowns try and stop their car rolling down the hill, they sit down exhausted in front of it, and the radiator springs a leak.

A general view of Newcastle follows taken from Gateshead.

Title: David Dougan Northern Arts

On camera David Dougan assesses the success of the festival.

Title: Peter Stattersfield Newcastle Festival Trust

On Northumberland Street Peter Stattersfield gives his view of the festival.

Andy Hudson and his family stroll through green space in the city. Seated on a park bench, he speaks about the successes and the trials and tribulations of running the festival. Andy’s partner speaks about the festival from her point of view, especially the lack of job security.

The Byker juvenile jazz band prepare to march. Their banner displays their full title: ‘Byker and St Peters Imperials’ with a picture of the Byker Wall on the banner and the date 1970.

A view follows of the Tyne Bridge, the High Level Bridge and the Swing Bridge, in the distance. A bonfire or beacon burns on the hill where the soap box derby took place. The juvenile jazz band is playing ‘Amazing Grace’ on their kazoos. People gather on the hill to watch.

The two clowns stand on the river bank waving in the general direction of a small sailing boat on the river.

End credit: narration Gareth Morgan

End Credit: research & script Heather Ging

End Credit: camera Dave Dixon, Eddie Crooks, Fred Thomas F.R.P.S., Norman Jackson

End Credit: sound Bob Rhodes, Ray Hole

End Credit: film editor Mike Pounder

End Credit: executive producer Leslie Barrett

End Credit: director Tony Kysh

End Credit: Tyne Tees Television Logo

Tyne Tees Colour

© Trident Television Ltd. MCMLXXVI

[Jack Haig, a Londoner, appeared regularly on early Tyne Tees Television shows such as the One O'Clock Show. He played a comic character called 'Wackie Jackie' and was very popular with regional viewers.]