Film ID: NEFA 13690 Video of NEFA 13690 Blaydon Races Centenary Celebrations BLAYDON RACES CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS 1962 Visitor TabsDescription An amateur film made of events taking place to celebrate the centenary of the Blaydon Races in 1962. The film records various events including a road and bicycle race, a military band performing in Eldon Square, Newcastle as well as a procession of floats and marching juvenile jazz bands passing St Cuthberts church in Blaydon. The film also shows a sulky [harness] race taking place in Blaydon and ends with a fireworks display. The film opens on a painted sign that reads: 'Blaydon Races, British Railways'. The film cuts to a procession of vintage cars traveling along a suburban street. Two young boys on bicycles speed past. As one of the cars passes, a man sticks his thumb up at the camera. A sign attached to a lamppost reads '1/2 Mile to Go'. General view of a piece of scrub land beside a road. A large flag pole stands in the middle of the scrub where four cars are parked. A number of cars and pedestrians travel along the road. General view of a large crowd filling a street. A number of people are seated on the flat roof of a shop. Two competitors in running outfits race past the crowd. A man in mayoral chains stands in front of a F.W. Woolworths Ltd shop surrounded by a large crowd of people. He applauds and the crowd cheers as a number of runners pass. A man holding a small film camera records the event. A 'Callers' van with a large speaker on the roof drives past. A number of runners either walk or race past the camera. Behind them is a red bus. General view of a decorated shop window with a number of women standing beside it. In a street a large group of riders prepare for the start of a bicycle race. The race gets underway as a number of riders pass the camera. An older man holds the hand of a small girl in a white dress with one hand while in the other he holds a camera on a wooden pole. The little girl waves at the camera. The film cuts to a red Mini-Cooper car driving down a hill as a number of bike riders travel in the opposite direction. General views from the road as bikes pass the camera. A large banner hanging across a road reads: 'The Northern Goldsmith’s Silver Tankard Cycle Road Race'. Large crowds line the road underneath the banner. A man waves a chequered flag followed by a second man marking the road with white chalk. The riders speed cross the finishing line as the crowds clap and cheer. The film cuts to Eldon Square in Newcastle where a military brass band in red jackets and black caps with white trim perform beside the war memorial. A Union Jack flag hangs limply from a flagpole. There are various views of individual members of the band and the conductor. General view of people laying on the ground or seated on benches listening to the band. The film cuts to a group of three men and a woman dressed in Victorian costumes. Two of the men drink beer from a bottle. A military marching band turns right out of a junction watched over by large crowds on both sides of the pavement. They are followed by a unit of sailors in dress uniform who continue straight ahead along the road. The film changes to another road where a horse and cart travel past.The wagon is being driven by a man in a kilt while in the back three young women perform the can-can dance. On the side of the wagon is a sign that reads: 'Balmbras Can-Can Girls'. The Blaydon Bus travels past; along the side of the coach is an advertisement for Newcastle Ale. Onboard men and women in Victorian dress wave at the crowds lining the road. At the rear of the bus a woman in a green dress and wearing a crown also waves at the crowd. A float drives past on which a man in Victorian costume is swinging a football ratchet. Behind him a man dressed as a jockey is riding a model of a Newcastle Brown Ale bottle. A policeman on a large black horse leads a bagpipe band as they turn left into Garden Street, Blaydon past St Cuthbert's church. Behind them is a decorative float with a sign along the side that reads: 'Piper: Limited Caledonian'. They are followed by a green lorry on which a woman in a grass skirt is waving to the crowd. They are followed by the float for 'Sunblest' on which a number of women and young girls dressed in white are sitting waving at the crowds. Three women in bathing costumes are laid out on the roof of three cars that turn into Garden Street. The Guinness horse drawn coach races around the corner; it's costumed passengers wave at the crowd. A traditional Whitbread delivery wagon pulled by two large shire horses turns into Church Street followed by three Ringtons Tea horse-drawn delivery vans. They are followed by a number of decorated horses being lead past St Cuthbert's church. A group of people in traditional folk costumes dance on the back of a flat-bed lorry as it drives past St Cuthbert's church Blaydon. Members of the Winlaton Derby-Joan Club wearing Victorian costumes are seated atop of a flat-bed lorry. As they drive past they can be seen ringing hand bells. Teenagers dance the twist on the back of another flat-bed lorry. Leading their bands into Garden Street majorettes for The South Shields Cleadonaires Juvenile Jazz Band and the Hylton Castle Guards Juvenile Jazz Band twirl their batons in the air. Behind them comes their respective banners and musicians all marching in unison. A third band in peach colored uniforms marches towards Blaydon, St Cuthert's church. Four young women sit atop an open-top car. Along the side of the car is a circular sticker that reads: 'Michael Derrick'. A floral arch separates the passengers from the driving side of the car. One of the women is wearing a blue sash with the words "Miss R..." written on it. They all wave at the crowds as they are driven past. A fourth juvenile jazz band marches past behind their banner and a twirling majorette . As they pass a members of the group are seen playing kazoo's or banging a large drum. The film cuts to a large crowd of people gathered in a field surrounded by terraced houses. A large flagpole is in the centre of the field with two blue wings hanging from it The four young women seen previously in the open top car smile at the camera. They are surrounded by a large crowd. They wave at the crowds as the car pulls away. A small sign reads: '1 1/4 Mile. Start'. Competitors in a sulky [harness] race pass the start sign and travel around a circular course at speed. They are being watched by large crowds. General views of the horses racing around the track. A man holds the harness of a horse and sulky. Beside the racetrack a man points at a horse written on the chalk board. A painted sign above the board reads: 'Holliday Bros of Bishop Auckland'. The man and places a bet. The film cuts to views of a firework display. The shadows of two men are silhouetted against the dark sky as a series of rockets fire into the air. General views of various fireworks. The film ends on a firework display that reads: 'Good Night'. Context Tyneside celebrates the Blaydon Races Centenary in raucous style. The Blaydon Races Centenary of 1962 was a spectacular week of street parties, beauty queens, cycle, road and sulky racing, sing-alongs, folk dance, juvenile jazz bands and fireworks - crowned by a 3 mile long parade to Blaydon from the legendary Balmbra’s Music Hall in Newcastle. Amongst the colourful and eccentric floats pictured, a jockey rides triumphantly through the street on a giant bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. This amateur film shot by Ron Harper captures the celebrations initiated by T. Dan Smith, Labour leader of Newcastle City Council, who harnessed the recent folk revival and media interest in the North East’s vernacular culture to encourage business and promote his big plans for a cultural renaissance in the region. Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell was the VIP guest. The centenary marked George Ridley’s first Balmbra’s Music Hall performance of ‘The Blaydon Races’, long known as Tyneside’s national anthem, which tells in dialect the story of a mad-cap omnibus journey (filled with local characters) to the original horse race and fair on 9 June 1862.