Film ID:
NEFA 10978



Visitor Tabs


An edition of the Tyne Tees Television Close Up series on the 1st Newcastle Festival which ran between the 3rd and 18th October 1969. The film features a number of professional and amateur musicans perfoming, often in Eldon Square . Some of those featured include Jake Thackray and Richard Stilgoe as well as the jazz fusion group Colosseum performing at Newcastle City Hall.

[The first section is without sound.]

The film begins with a view of the Newcastle skyline. There is a view of the Tyne Bridge. A diesel commuter train crosses the High Level Bridge into Newcastle. A BEA airplane comes into land at Newcastle Airport. Overhead shot from a bridge of a boat travels up the river Tyne. A car drives out of the Tyne Tunnel.

A sign for the Newcastle Festival hangs from a building. Advertisements for the festival adorn a double decker bus and a Rington's horse and cart as it travels past Grey's Monument.

People come down a set stairs from an airplane. Amongst them is the American musician Ray Charles who climbs into the back of a Rolls Royce car and is driven away. There is close up of him inside the car

General views of traffic and views from inside a car as it drives across the Swing Bridge.

A group of men erect a metal marquee. Quick cuts showings various building around Newcastle including the Hancock Museum, Newcastle City Hall and the Civic Centre.


In Eldon Square a town crier announced the 1st Newcastle Festival which will run between the 3rd October and 18th October 1969. 

A sign for the Newcastle Festival hangs above the Thorne Paperback Shop on Percy Street. Inside an office a woman answers a telephone. A man in the office takes the call and discusses the festival with the person on the other end of the line.

In Eldon Square a man speaks into a public-address system about the festival. A large crowd of people sit or stand nearby listening. A man plays Flamenco guitar.

A poster reads: "The Last Will and Testament of Jake Thackray".

Jake Thackray stands and looks at a window display in the festival shop. Amongst the events advertised is that of "The Last Will and Testament of Jack Thackray".

A young woman in a mini-skirt walks across the grass in front of Newcastle Civic Centre.

General views of Jack Thackray walking around the Civic Centre looking at various sculptures. He walks along Pilgrim Street and turns into an alleyway. Above the alleyway is a large sign for The Old George Inn. A song sung by Jake Thackray about the Newcastle Festival plays over this sequence.

An old woman is watched by a large crowd as she sings to a piano accompaniment. Two men, one in costume, perform to a crowd in Eldon Square. A man wearing a homemade dog collar reads a Geordie poem to the crowd.

Aerial view of Eldon Square and surrounding area.

From behind a lectern Sid Chaplain talks about where he gets his inspiration; from the people in the street.

A newspaper clipping reads: "Festival bans poet after police end recital".

A man believed to be Tom Pickard speaks to a large crowd of mainly young people in Eldon Square about being banned from the Newcastle Festival. He then recites his poem.

A poster reads: "Newcastle Playhouse - The Wrecker". On stage two actors perform a sequence from the play. One of the performers is Malcolm Terris.

An old couple sing to a watching crowd in Eldon Square. A young couple laying on a grass bank and kiss. A small child plays on the steps of the war memorial. Pigeons feed from a hand.

A number of artists paint murals a long hoarding that surrounds a building site. Vox pop with artists about their work and with local people who generally don't like it.

Various metal pods surround Eldon Square. Around the square young people sit or lay on the grass while older people sit on benches.

A man plays the Northumbrian Pipes.

A man in costume sings opera accompanied by piano. 

In a basement area a four piece folk group led by a female singer perform.

An old man sings to a crowd in Eldon Square accompanied by piano.

Jazz singer Cleo Laine and band performs on a small stage.

A young man on mouth organ and an older man on violin perform to a crowd in Eldon Square.

The town crier standing in Eldon Square announces a performance of "Those Who Are About To Die Salute You" by Colosseum at Newcastle City Hall. A poster read: "John Hiseman - Collosseum".

Collosseum perform on stage watched by a large crowd of young people. As the performance ends a number of young people stand by the stage clapping and waving.

A man seated in a chair says that [the Newcastle Festival] has been a fulfilment of a creative urge between the public and the arts.

Various vox pops with local people on what they think of the festival. Interview with two of the event organisers, one of whom says the festival will be back next year.

The programme ends in a graveyard overlooking the Tyne Bridge and Richard Stilgoe performs a song about the Newcastle Festival.

The credits for the programme run as painted murals. A mural of man and woman reads: Alex Murchie and Rodney Pybus.

End Credit: Cameramen Fred Thomas FRPS, Norman Jackson.

End Credit: Editor Bill Oxenham.

End Credit: Sound Ray Hole.

End Credit: Producer Leslie Barrett.

End Credit: Director Ken Stephinson.