Film ID:
NEFA 9076

ACCESS: HERBIE SUTHERLAND

c.1975

Visitor Tabs

Description

The filmed element of an edition of the Tyne Tees Television programme 'Access' that follows Herbie Sutherland from Newcastle Polytechnic as he enjoys a walk to work from home at High Heaton in Newcastle. With the increasing encroachment of new roads and other developments impeding his progress, he raises concerns for the pedestrian who tries to negotiate his or her way around the city.

The film opens with Herbie Sutherland leaving his house in High Heaton to begin his walk to Newcastle Polytechnic where he teaches. He walks along Jesmond Park West near Heaton School. At the end of Jesmond Park West, he encounters very busy traffic. The film shows shots of heavy traffic coming from both directions. A low angle shot follows of the Armstrong Bridge. Herbie walks across the bridge explaining that this now former road bridge is now for exclusive use by pedestrians. Herbie looks over the side of the bridge down to Denton Bank. He comments on a derelict area nearby that was the site of Jesmond Playhouse, now earmarked for a new motorway. More shots follow of heavy traffic. Herbie approaches a road junction with a traffic island in the centre of the road. Herbie speaks to camera reminiscing about a near accident he had at this junction. Herbie walks further away from the junction and crosses the road at a safer point. The film cuts to more busy traffic scenes. This location is the beginning of the 'idiot quarter of a mile' to Sandyford Road. Traffic moves over a pedestrian crossing, the last designated crossing before traffic lights on Sandyford Road. Another shot of the pedestrian crossing shows children walking across. In the background is the junction to Churchill Gardens. The camera pulls back showing a single decker bus on the opposite side of the road and in the background a parade of shops and a church. Herbie continues walking towards the camera along Jesmond Road. He observes there are graveyards on either side of the road. The next shot shows the entrance to one of these cemeteries. This is an imposing sandstone structure and and through this entrance Herbie has entered the cemetery. The camera shot shows an area which has been cleared of gravestones for a proposed new road development.

The camera cuts to a shot of Herbie reaching the end of Jesmond Road, where it meets another major road heavy with traffic. The camera pulls back to show a roundabout with a busy junction to the left. Herbie walks along the road leading up to this junction to cross at much safer point away from the junction at the roundabout. From here he crosses the road. The cameras pans slowly left, following his progress to the other side of the road where there are some advertising hoardings. The camera pans left again and follows Herbie as he negotiates another junction at the same roundabout. He crosses onto a traffic island, and waits until the traffic eases so he can cross. At this point he points to the gable ends of some terraced houses nearby, and comments that the remedial work done, presumably after some earlier demolition work was ' cheap and very, very nasty'.

The film cuts to another road Herbie has to negotiate. He crosses to the centre of the road where there is a central 'island' which is made of cobbles. He comments on the danger to pedestrians from such an uneven surface. The next shot shows Herbie walking towards the camera along Sandyford Road, in the background a construction site, possibly works associated with the Tyne & Wear Metro. He continues down Sandyford Road past the Civic Centre. The next shot shows Herbie arriving at his place of work in a group of older terraced houses. On the steps outside the entrance to his office, Herbie explains how much more pleasant his walk to work was two or three years ago. Herbie then turns away from the camera and enters the building.

The film cuts to a long shot of  Newcastle Central Library [Basil Spence - Opened 1968, Demolished 2007]. Herbie considers how he might walk to the central library from the polytechnic. The camera pans left showing showing the route of an elevated pedestrian walkway. The shot shows that the walkway is incomplete, so that no one can ever use it. Another shot follows with a close up of the incomplete end of the walkway. The film cuts to traffic flowing along John Dobson Street. The camera pans left showing Herbie about to cross the road at a junction running off John Dobson Street. He crosses the road walking towards the camera. A long shot follows showing Herbie going up some steps, then negotiating a sloping walkway past an advertisement hoarding. The camera follows his progress up the walkway and eventually he reaches the entrance to the central library. Herbie enters the library. A low angle shot shows the structure of the library building. The film then cuts to Northumberland Street where groups of people rest on the public seats which are a feature of the street. Herbie, to camera, explains that he wants to get to the Laing Art Gallery. He climbs a set of steps which takes him to an upper level near the library. A shot follows showing empty drinks cans thrown onto a nearby safety net. Herbie walks down another set of steps, continuing on his way walking towards the camera he ducks under a steel girder. The next shot shows Herbie walking along the pavement to the entrance of the Laing Gallery, which he enters.

The film cuts to a shot of pedestrian crossing signals, with people walking across the road. The next shot shows the lights of the crossing changing. The following shot shows a group of people which cuts to a shot of the pedestrian signal, then someone pushing the 'wait' button on the crossing control box. Herbie is seen on the other side of the road. The green man on the crossing is displayed and an audible signal bleeps. The next shot shows a red traffic light, pedestrians cross the road. The next shot shows the green man signal flashing. More shots of people walking across the road towards the camera. Herbie runs across the road. A local woman is interviewed by Herbie, giving her views of the difficulties that young and old pedestrians experience in the city. More shots follow of pedestrians walking across the road at 'Pelican' crossings. To camera, Herbie summarises the challenges for the pedestrian in Newcastle. The film ends with Herbie running across another busy pedestrian crossing.