Film ID:
NEFA 8248



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Billingham Film Unit cine-magazine that celebrates the ICI Billingham Synthonia Club, covering a 1957 sports day event, the club's use by 13,000 members and its rebuilding after World War II. Includes a short evocative history of the bombing of the first Synthonia Club with the memory of the night on voice-over.

Credit: ICI
Credit: Billingham Division
Title: Presents
Title: Ace of Clubs

Title: In the year 1922 near the old-word village of Billingham there worked a small band of men - a great task before them

Title: And in those days between those men there grew up a spirit that still lives today

Title: We call it the Billingham spirit

The film opens with a panorama of the Synthonia Club sports field where athletes run round the track, and men, women, and children throng the terraces. Scenes of the crowd at the event. A woman licks an ice cream slowly.

Scenes of sporting activity follow: judo, cricket. A hockey player sits next to a neatly coiffured woman in a blue and white polka dot dress. A toddler enjoys an enormous yellow lolly. A women’s sprint sets off. A men’s sprint finishes. Middle aged men take part in a tug o’ war. Young boys in black shorts and naked to the waist vault a wooden horse. Various shots of Billingham Synthonia Rugby Union match action and football.   Women play hockey.

The pages of an ICI magazine flick past. Voice-over of an extract of an article from August 1930, and the film moves to reminisce about the events, which saw the destruction of part of the original Synthonia Club building in the Second World War. Poppies rustle in the wind. Panorama of house-building. Red flowers populate the foreground of a low angle view shot of the new Synthonia Club building.

Sir Alexander Fleck arrives. Mr Warton and Mr Bruce Neale meet him outside the canteen.

There are various architectural shots of the Synthonia Club. The commentary states: “What a fine building it is, and how satisfying to the eye this combination of elegance and dignity”.

Mr Ward, president of the club, mouths a short introductory speech. Dr Evans, the chairman also speaks.

The film ends with a close-up of the club badge.