Film ID:
NEFA 21394



Visitor Tabs


This documentary study compares traffic congestion in central Newcastle upon Tyne during the Christmas period in the early 1960s with the city centre in the late 1960s after urban re-development. Footage includes the busy shopping street of Northumberland Street, the main A1 England to Scotland road at the time, and the city centre around 1967 when pedestrian schemes and the start of the urban motorway programme demanded by city leader T Dan Smith were underway. This film is part of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) collection.

[Black and white footage]

Pedestrians cross a busy rush hour New Bridge Street and Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, full of traffic including city trolley buses, one advertising Binns department store. Overhead wires are visible overhead. A police traffic officer is on point duty at a busy crossroads, directing traffic, despite traffic lights operating, possibly at the intersection with Northumberland Street, New Bridge Street, Pilgrim Street and Blackett Street. The Pearl Assurance building on Cook’s Corner is seen in one shot, as is a window in Thomas Cook’s travel bureau. A street seller sells fruit and veg from a barrow. Shops seen on Northumberland Street include shoe stores Freeman Hardy and Willis and Dolcis, Weston's and Tru-Form. The Tatler cinema is at the top of the street. Close-ups of some of the passing pedestrians follow. The Black Swan pub is glimpsed down another street.

A street market is busy on one road, the upper part of a building on the corner of Bigg Market and Grainger Street advertising Dormie (a men's wear hire service located above Manfield shoe shop). Various shots of the street vendors, street signage and parking follow. Despite the signs, the many parked vehicles add to the traffic congestion. Cars are parked along both sides of a busy Market Street (or Grey Street?), Binns department store seen in the background. These central Newcastle streets seem in gridlock. Close-ups follow of a Tyne Tees Television Channel 5 van parked on one street and an RAC sign pointing to the “Xmas Car Park”. Framed in shot, a Ford Anglia (car registration 9145 NO) pulls away from camera to end the sequence.

[Kodachrome footage]

Filmed around 1967, various shots document Northumberland Street, busy with shoppers and lined with stores including Jackson the Tailors, Fenwick, Marks and Spencer, Callers, Michaels.

View down Market Street with road works, a sign indicating ring road system heading south towards the River Tyne.

A new 60s office block stands on the left and Anderson House is located on the right.

View down Northumberland Street towards Fenwick’s department store from the corner of Pilgrim Street and Blackett Street, the Northern Goldsmiths shop glimpsed on the corner. A pedestrian bridge crosses the bottom of Northumberland Street. One side of the bridge is on Blackett Street and the other on New Bridge Street. The Burton’s art deco shop frontage can be seen on the corner of Blackett Street and Northumberland Street.

General view of the Theatre Royal on Grey Street, looking across Market Street. Shot of Grey’s Monument. The film ends with a view down Grey Street towards Grey’s Monument.