Film ID:
NEFA 21393



Visitor Tabs


A compilation of documentary footage shot between 1929 and 1936 by Newcastle Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) of various film shoots at Ravensworth Castle on 7 April 1929, the Lake District in 1929, and a staged pagan ritual in 1936. Also features two cine club outings to the seaside at Cresswell in Northumberland in 1929 and 1930, with choreographed Busby Berkeley-style routines on the beach.

Title: Miscellaneous shots taken at an outing of members of the Newcastle Branch of the Amateur Cinematographers Assoc.

Title: When on location at Ravensworth Castle on April 7th 1929

The members of Newcastle ACA organise themselves for a group portrait in the fields around Ravensworth Castle, Lamesley, near Gateshead, then have a picnic. Some of the male actors begin to get ready for their location shoot. One man applies make-up to one of the male actors. Some of the men are holding up hand-drawn posters, props for the film shoot. The set has been prepared, with makeshift reflectors, cine cameras on tripods, and the director giving instructions to his actor. A small group of members watch the action. The actor, in character as a rough peasant type, lounges against a fence smoking a cigarette. The ruins of Ravensworth Castle stand in the background as the next shot is set up, and one member of the film crew holds out a placard that advertises: “All on this Counter 6d”. The full group of ACA members dance around in a conga style line, some holding placards. The man at the front holds up his placard to camera. It reads “The Actual Modes in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle Dress Judging Contest”.

General view of Ravensworth Castle, its lake in the foreground. Portrait shots of two of the female members of the Newcastle & District ACA. Some of the members begin to arrange gear in a car, the amateur filmmaker George Cummin walking towards camera smoking a pipe. The film crew and actors begin to co-ordinate shots using cars.

Title: Practising for a shot of a stolen sports car

A car careers round a corner on a road in the grounds of Ravensworth Castle. A couple of women actors practise their parts in a film set-up.

Title: The A.C.A. at Keswick 1929

Heading from their lodgings in Keswick in the Lake District, a couple race together in perfect step down a garden path. Other members of the ACA follow, some of the men in baggy knickerbockers. They walk along a path into a field. The first couple run across the field. The rest of the group walk steadily across the field and through a stile. Group portrait of the film crew and actors. They walk along a well-maintained path to Derwentwater, the lake south of Keswick.

They climb aboard a boat for a cruise on the lake, larking about jovially on the boat, and falling over as the boat sways. There are various shots of the jokey group as the boat prepares to leave, some of the men wearing the women’s hats, and the group merrily fooling around at the wheel and having fun. Two of the men lean far over the boat railings as it speeds across the water, pretending to be sick, possibly a sequence for a film.

Title: Frolics at Cresswell 1929

Wearing knitted swimsuits, two women and a man in a sun hat run along the beach towards camera at the seaside in Cresswell, Northumberland. A group of men and women from the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association then enjoy splashing and swimming in the sea in the sunshine. They dance around holding hands.

Back on the beach, a chorus line of seven Newcastle ACA women do a high-kick routine together in front of one of the men who is buried in the sand, dressed in something of a mock Egyptian outfit and hat. The women are then seated in a line on the beach, each behind the other, performing a synchronised dance movement replicating the axle of a moving train. Synchronised arm movements follow. Standing in one line, the women then perform synchronised knees-ups. As if on an inspection, a man draped in towel, toga and headdress walks slowly past the girls. They fool around jokily after he has passed by. Next, both the men and women together perform the synchronised train choreography, the men in white shirts and ties, the women still in swimsuits. They all collapse backwards together. Overhead shot of the group all running across the beach towards letters in the sand spelling ACA. They arrange themselves to spell out the letters (like a Busby Berkley spectacle). The women roll down a sand dune in their swimsuits. Later on in the day, they all relax on the beach together for tea, the women now changed back into their dresses.

Title: And during 1930

Men and women in one-piece swimsuits from the Newcastle & District ACA fool around in the sea at Cresswell, Northumberland.

They lounge around in the sand dunes after the swim. Then they play a game of rounders on the beach at low tide, the women in summer frocks.

[Kodacolor footage]

The next scene was possibly a location shoot for a film. A line of men and women enact some pagan ritual, led by a woman dressed in a glittery gown with a fake sun on her head, carrying a staff. She is followed by women in peasant outfits, hair tied back in scarves, and a man carrying a scythe. Seated in a group, a series of rituals are performed, with various women characters dancing before the sun goddess, one possibly Dianne, another with a fake snake. Men and women then dance in a ring around the woman with a snake. They bow down to the sun goddess. Brief portrait shot of the smiling sun goddess.