Film ID:
NEFA 21293



Visitor Tabs


An amateur record of the national motorcar racing events held at the Winfield circuit in Berwickshire, Scotland in 1951, which describes the types of cars involved, the background of some of the drivers, and gives several post event commentaries. Includes footage of well-known racers such as Reginald Parnell and Gillie Tyrer. This film was commissioned by St Andrew’s Motors, Newcastle upon Tyne, and produced by George Cummin and colleagues of Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA).

 Title: Bonnets over the Border

Credit: Made for St Andrew’s Motors Limited by the Newcastle and District Amateur Cinematographers Association

 Credit: Photography: Donald Nichol

Production Continuity and Commentary: George Cummin

The film opens with a general view downriver looking towards Berwick Bridge, also known as the Old Bridge, and the Royal Border Bridge that span the River Tweed in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. A general view of Marygate and the Town Hall in Berwick, busy with traffic and shoppers, probably shot from Scots Gate. The commentary mentions national car racing on the Winfield circuit, 6 miles to the west of Berwick in Scotland.

 An opening shot records the Winfield grand prix circuit paddock where caravans, tents and cars are parked. Spectators, drivers and mechanics mill around. The Jaguar racing car driven by John Waugh is having a last minute tyre check before taking its place for the race line-up. The car is parked next to a van advertising Dunlop.

People stroll around looking at the competitors’ cars. The crew of an MG competing in the last race of the day check over the car. The Cooper car of Glaswegian car dealer Ninian Sanderson (contestant 77) stands alone, without crew or admirers. A Goodwin Healey, car No. 57, is surrounded by admirers, “a picture of gleaming sleekness” according to the commentary. The No. 18 car is also parked up ready for its event.

General view of the watchtower viewing platform, decorated with advertising slogans, including “McBains for Service”, from which John Stenhouse will report on the event.

Cars begin to move up the two-mile perimeter circuit for a race for over 1500cc’s and “all super-charged jobs”. Various shots record cars racing clockwise round the tarmac circuit, past the grandstand of spectators, around the Horndean corner, and straight into the hairpin bend.

 In the watchtower, Roger Fish is now reporting on the race at a microphone, an observer with binoculars beside him on the platform.

 General view of the circuit. Scottish driver Ian Stewart’s Jaguar wins the race, passing the finish line. AJ Dick Penny brings down the flag on the competitors as they pass the finish line.

 In the pits, “Curly” Dryden is pointing at parts of his GBS car engine to Reginald Parnell. Parnell chats to Dryden over the car, as a cheeky-looking young lad stands beside them.

 Competitor No. 23 in a BMW is given a push to the start. There’s a shot of car No. 83.

Cars line up at the start of the next event, which includes Johnny Brown in an HWM. The starter brings down a Union Jack flag and the cars are away on a 50-mile race. On the first lap, the Cooper entry, Johnny Brown and Joe Kelly in an Alta are placed first. On the next lap, Gillie Tyrer in car No. 23 is in the lead. Joe Kelly follows and Johnny Brown remains in third place. A photographer stands by the track smoking, his camera slung around his neck. Brown rounds the Horndean corner, his car wiggling slightly. Two other drivers are neck and neck in the race. Next, Johnny Brown passes by in the lead.

The crowd push forward to see who is in the lead on the circuit. A policeman also stands on the grass watching the race. Tyrer rounds a corner in the lead. Brown follows him down the straight. General view of spectators beside the track as cars whizz past. The commentator mentions a collision. Tyrer’s car then drives by with a bad dent. He still finishes first.

 Cars are lining up on the circuit for the Formula 3 race. Smoke rises as their engines turn over. They are flagged off.

 Back in the pits, two men with an MG car are celebrating with a drink after their race.

Two cars, including No. 11, an AJB Special, are parked in the grounds. The commentator reports: “The initials stand for A J Butterworth, who is looking at his engine, making last minute adjustments.” Close-up of a boy (or man?) seated in No. 11, John Brown’s car. This is now being used by Reg Parnell in the big race coming up. Tyrer’s car No. 23 is being checked over before the race.

The scene cuts back to the winner of the Formula One race, Peter Collins in a JBS crossing the finish line. A recovery truck tows away another car, driven by Curly Dryden.

A man climbs into the watchtower.

The flag is lowered for the start of a 50-lap 100-mile race, run to Formula One regulations. One of the cars, an HWM-Alta driven by Reg. Parnell, leaves the start line for a few yards then stops (apparently due to a broken drive shaft).

General views of the race follow, David Murray out in front in a Maserati. Cars speed around the circuit, spectators standing quite near the track. Archie Butterworth is racing in second place in an AJB-Steyr The commentary then reports that Butterworth has dropped out of the race due to engine trouble. Some spectators stand on their car bumpers to get a view of the action. General views follow from different positions at the track. David Murray speeds along the back straight in his Maserati 4CLT with a big lead. General views of the race from a distance.

 Roger Fish is now broadcasting from the tower. The commentary reports that David Murray is out of the race (after 40 laps). One of the racers named Parker [actually Philip Fotheringham-Parker?] speeds by. Further laps of the circuit are filmed. The flag comes down as Parker wins the King’s Arms Trophy and the £300 first prize in a Maserati 4CLT/48 '1593'. Other contestants pass the finish line. Gillie Tyrer comes in second driving his BMW 328 sports car. Portrait shot of Parker wearing a winner’s garland around his neck. Shot of Parker’s winning car.

 The last race takes place. The flag is downed and a standing start takes place with competitors running to their cars from a standing position. One after another, the cars sets off on the circuit, with all cars away for a 30-mile race.

 Curly Dryden’s car is being loaded into a truck.

 The racing cars are rounding the circuit, Melvin clipping the side of the track. The starter flag brings the race to a close.

 The crowd start to head home at the end of the motor racing events at Winfield.

 Title: ACA. The End