Film ID:
NEFA 10488



Visitor Tabs


This home movie made in 1945 by amateur filmmaker Tom H. Brown records a family holiday in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, shortly after the end of the Second World War. The film shows many historical sites, landmarks and monuments around Berwick-upon-Tweed. These include the three bridges that span the River Tweed, the Elizabethan military fortifications around the old town and the ruins of Berwick Castle. In addition, there is good footage of local salmon net fishing in Berwick-upon-Tweed harbour.

Title: Berwick on Tweed.

The film opens with a hand drawn map of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Arrows point to the locations visited.

Title: Royal Border Bridge, Opened By Q. Victoria In 1850.

There is a view of the arched railway viaduct of the Royal Border Bridge across the River Tweed.

Title: Ruins of Castle Built About 1100.

An arrow marks the location of Berwick Castle on a hand drawn map. A steam train crosses the Royal Border Bridge at some speed. There are ruins of Berwick Castle with the rail bridge to the right. View of a grassy motte and the ruined keep walls.

Title: The Water Tower Guards River.

A woman dressed in fur stoles walks into the ruins of a Berwick Castle tower. A young Helen Brown then walks into the tower.

Title: The Silver Tweed.

Brief picturesque sequence of swans on the riverbank of the River Tweed estuary.

Title: The Bell Tower.

An arrow marks the location of the Bell Tower on a hand drawn map.

Title: The Lord’s Tower Built 1555.

The film continues with a shot of the stone octagonal four-storey Bell Tower, with figures moving around the base. The tower is appears in the background off Northumberland Avenue. A view of buildings nearby and a grassy area in the foreground, proably a moat, follows Helen Brown walks across this area.

Title: The Lord’s Tower Built 1555.

An arrow marks the location of the Lord’s Tower on a hand drawn map. Two children walk up the grassy mound to the circular tower in the background. The scene cuts to a closer view of the children beside the stone wall of the tower. A child points towards a window. The film cuts to a close up of the window.

Title: The Scots Gate Rebuilt 1850

The next scenes are of the stone arch and walls of Scots Gate on a busy high street, Marygate. There are many cars parked on the street. There is a view of the Town Hall (Guildhall) in the background. The film switches to a close-up of the inscription on the base of a statue that reads 'Annie Lady Jerningham Of Longridge Towers, Berwick-upon-Tweed Obit 9 Oct. 1902 Presented To The Town Of Berwick Upon Tweed By Sir Hubert Jerningham, K.C.M.G. Late And Last member For The Borough.' The full white marble monument depicts a naturalistic young woman resting on a rock with two dogs at her side, the larger one looking up at her, its paw resting on her knee. The monument stands in gardens at Bank Hill, Berwick upon Tweed. The next shot shows the monument under a blue covering. There is a bleached out shot into sunlight and the camera then focuses on a general view of a steam train crossing the viaduct of the Royal Border Bridge, with buildings of Berwick upon Tweed beside it. Next, there is a shot of the bend in the Tweed estuary and the viaduct bridge in the background.

Title: The Royal Tweed Bridge, Opened By Prince of Wales 1928.

The next scene records footage of the four concrete spans of the Royal Tweed Bridge with a view of the older Royal Border Bridge viaduct through its arches. There is a close-up of the road sign for Love Lane.

Title: The Old Bridge, Built In The Reign Of James 1.

The next section shows the stone built Old Bridge over the River Tweed, also known as Berwick Bridge. There is a close up of a blue plaque sign that reads 'Charles Dickens Stayed At This Hotel On 26th Sept. 1858 and Nov. 1861. On The Latter date He Gave A Reading In The Adjoining Assembly Rooms.' Two women and a child walk past the Kings Arms Hotel and look at the camera.

Title: Kings Arms Hotel

Title: The Shoregate, Leading To Quay & River Mouth

A woman walks through the Shoregate arch, one of the gates in the town walls. The old town area of Sandgate is glimpsed through the arch of the gate.

Title: The Walls From The Boat Landing

A woman walks along the path beside the banks of the Tweed outside the town walls. A small passenger boat, the Tweed ferry, pulls onto the shoreline and passengers get off.

Title: Georgian Houses On The Walls

These sequences show a row of stone Georgian terraced houses with people passing in the street.

Title: A Gun Platform

Helen Brown looks through the gun platform of the town walls onto the River Tweed. The scene then cuts to a misty sunlit shot of a fishing boat sailing up the River Tweed.

Title: Georgian Walls 1765

Next, there are general views of the quay walls beside the River Tweed.

Title: Russian Cannon Captured In The Crimean War

Helen Brown climbs onto a Russian cannon, Wellington Terrace, a trophy of the Crimean war that was gifted to the town. Close-up of the girl sitting on the cannon.

Title: The Ness Gate Built 1816, Leading To The Pier.

Helen walks through the arch of the Ness Gate on Ness Street.

Title: Victory Day August 1945.

Different flags fly from a makeshift pole construction, a memory of Victory Day celebrated by states of the Soviet Union as the official end of the Second World War. Overhead view from town of Berwick Lighthouse located at the end of the pier on the mouth of the River Tweed. Waves crash onto the beach from the North Sea and there are two distant figures on the beach.

Title: From The Cliffs To The Greenses Harbour.

An arrow marks the location of Greenses natural harbour on a hand drawn map. There is a close-up of Helen Brown looking out from the low cliffs at Greenses harbour, overlooking the North Sea. A view of the sea and headland at the entrance to the harbour follows. A woman and two children walk down the steep path and there is a good view across Greenses harbour with walled pool and breakwater in foreground.

The next scenes are of an old man in suit and bowler hat making sandcastles and playing on the sands in the harbour, probably a young Tony Brown, the filmmaker's son, with his great uncle Willie. There are more shots of waves breaking across the breakwater.

Title: The Breakwater Greenses Harbour.

Boys play on the breakwater at Greenses harbour with stormy seas in the background.

Title: The Town Hall.

This section shows the Town Hall with a close up of the tower with spire and clock. A sign reads 'Stocks Last Used 1857' and shots of the stocks follow. There are views of a grand eighteenth century stone town house named Palace Green.

Title: Jamie Strength, Border Minstrel D. 1844. Aged 115.

Various shots of a dilapidated statue with missing arm outside a boarded up building that commemorates Jamie Strength.

Title: Cowport Gate, Leading To Pastures & Sea.

People walk through Cowport Gate towards the pastures and sea.

Title: A Flanker.

View of a flanker. A section of fortified wall projects out into a grass pasture with coastline visible in distance. There is a further shot of the stonework of Cowport Gate as a woman and two children walk through the arch. Detail of the stonework follows. Boys play football in the pasture outside the ramparts.

Title: Entrance To Flanker.

Helen runs towards a caged entrance to the flanker beneath a grassy mound. Helen turns at the entrance and looks towards the camera. Close-up of a tunnel that leads to the flanker. Several sequences depict the layout of the Elizabethan walls.

Title: Queen Mary’s House On The Ramparts.

Helen walks past Mary Queen of Scots House.

Title: The Parish Church, Built During The Commonwealth.

Shots of Church of the Holy Trinity, or Berwick Parish Church, and the churchyard follow.

Local fishermen set up salmon nets in Berwick-upon-Tweed harbour and bring in the catch. The closing shot is of a rainbow overhead.

End title: The End
End Credit: Photography By T.H. Brown