Film ID:
NEFA 21114



Visitor Tabs


An amateur film made by A.H. Robson recording events and activities as well as the many changes taking place in and around the town of Bishop Auckland in County Durham in the early 1980s. The film includes the construction and opening of the Newgate Centre which is not shown in chronological order.

Title: Around the Town

Credit: Produced by A.H. Robson

The film opens with a shot of tomato plants growing on a window sill. A young couple walk past a parked car and down an alleyway; the man flapping his arms.

General view of a corner shop, the ‘Blayney Wine Shop’ and an area of grassland nearby now being used as a car park. The area was once a street of terraced houses, now demolished, but the ends of two of these houses still remain standing. A man walks along the demolished street towards a 60’s office block in the near distance, two boys on bicycles ride past the wine shop.

A street sign attached to an end corner building reads ‘Edward Street’ which changes to show an image of man filling a plastic bag, a logo in the corner of the picture relates to Winfield Supermarkets.

A woman flicks through a magazine which changes to show a railway line. The film changes to a building in Market Place which is now the Mining Art Gallery.

A man walks across a pedestrian bridge passing by a large crane, possibly part of the road construction site below. Nearby is a building site across the road from the Odeon cinema on Tenters Street. An excavator loads a lorry with sand. The film changes to show a small building site next to the Job Centre on Newgate Street followed by a view of a Fine Fare supermarket. The film changes to show another road construction site, possibly the town by-pass.

Views follow of a number of churches in and around the town starting with St Peter’s Church along Princes Street, the Baptist Church on the corner of Westfield Road and Cockton Hill Road which changes to show a sign outside the General Hospital and School of Nursing also on Cockton Hill Road. This is followed by the Methodist Church on Newgate Road and general views of around the exterior of St Andrew’s Church on St Andrews Road, South Church.

A brass band marches along a road in front of a vintage car, a woman in the car in a pink dress wears a sash that reads ‘Queen’. She waves at the camera as she passes. Following behind her come a series of juvenile jazz bands including the ‘The Bishops Woodhouse Close Estate’ and the ‘New Bancepeth Juvenile Revellers’ as well as a number of decorative floats with various large banners reading ‘Bringing Bishop to Christ’ and ‘I.B.P Cockton Hill Scout Group’.

The film cuts to an elevated position looking down on market stalls and traffic, mainly buses, moving along Market Place on market day. Stalls have been erected in front of St Anne’s church also on Market Place. The film changes to show views along a number of narrow streets followed by two women shopping for linen items from one of the market stalls on Market Place. General views show people walking around the many stalls and crossing the busy road.

The film changes to show views around the entrance of Auckland Castle including the Auckland park gates and the exterior of the Bishops Palace which during this production is surrounded with scaffolding.

The film changes agaon to show two men working on building a brick wall beside a pedestrian bridge followed by various bus destination signs on Market Place near to the town hall. A series of buses and coaches travel past from various locations around the centre of town. On Market Place a number of buses are parked up by their respective stops.

A view of the Odeon cinema on Tenters Street basking in the sunshine is followed by a number of cars turning right through a set of traffic lights. The film changes to show a supermarket ‘Shoppers Paradise’ followed by traffic moving along Newgate Street at dusk with the Methodist church in the near distance. The camera pans along the empty Newgate Street towards Market place passing a number of shops and businesses including the local Job Centre, Peter Lorimer Sports and Gregg’s the bakers.

General views of the exterior of the General Hospital change to show a large crane on the horizon. The film cuts to show a large construction site showing a number of reinforced concrete pillars. A sign attached to the crane reads ‘Douglas’.

A Datsun car drives along a terraced street as the camera pans right to show a row of derelict houses nearby. Attached to the wall of one of the derelict houses is a street sign; ‘Wood Street’. General views follow of demolition work with men loading roof slates onto a lorry and excavators being used to pull down a wall. Another street sign attached to wall identifies the location as George Street.

A man fishing in the river Wear beside the Newton Cap or Skirlaw’s bridge. This is followed by views of both the Bishop Auckland Viaduct as well as well as the Newton Cap Bridge where he man seen previously is still fishing. Traffic crosses the Newton Cap Bridge.

A view of a lorry going under a bridge is followed by pedestrians walking past the Midland Bank on Newgate Street. The film changes again to two men working on scaffolding to repair a roof followed by a view of the rear of the Newgate Centre which is still a building site. At the front of the centre a man walks past a large hoarding attached to one of the units that reads ‘Opening Tuesday at 9.00’. General views inside and out show workmen preparing the centre for opening.

The film cuts to three young women smiling at the camera as they make their way into the Newgate centre. They pass a sandwich board sign that reads ‘Fine Fare Now Open’. Inside general views show customers walking around and passing through the Fine Fare checkouts. Back outside more people make their way inside while at the rear of the centre a large excavator continues work clearing a site of tarmac and earth and loading it into a waiting lorry. Two men in yellow vests walk through the site.

The film changes to the entrance of the Odeon cinema on Tenters Street. A poster advertises ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ while letters above the door state the ‘Gandhi’ is currently playing.

The film cuts to the building site of the Newgate Centre and a bucket of concrete being lifting into the air by the large Douglas crane. From scaffolding bricklayers and other workmen work to complete the new shopping centre.

Back on Market Place passengers get on and off various coaches and buses followed by general views around the Bishop Auckland railway station. A train departs from the station and two people on the platform wave as it moves off into the distance.

The film returns again to Market Place on a sunny day and people walking around the market stalls, many carrying bags. On Newgate Street pedestrians walk along the road which appears to be closed to traffic.

The film changes to show a sign for the A688 by-pass followed by the construction site of a tunnel being built as part of the by-pass road project. The film ends on views of construction work on the site including a small bridge crossing a river.