Film ID: NEFA 19826 Video of NEFA 19826 Floral and Musical Fete 1961 FLORAL AND MUSICAL FETE 1961 1961 Visitor TabsDescription This film records the Floral and Musical Fete held at Exhibition Park in Newcastle between 26 and 29 July, 1961. The film features views of the exhibition show ground; the planning committee in a meeting; youth organisations preparing for the show, practicing displays, and building floats; the release of racing pigeons following the crowning of the 1961 Floral Queen; and the parade. Finally, the Floral Queen presents winners of the flower and vegetable show with trophies. Shots of the Tyne bridges Title: City and County of Newcastle Upon Tyne (over shot) A shot of the Castle Keep and the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas Title: Floral and Musical Fete 1961 (over church lantern) Shot of a sign outside Exhibition Park advertising the fete between July 26-29 1961. The poster lists the attractions: Norse sports, jumping and gymkhana, working model railway layouts, budgerigar, topical fish and bee keeping displays. Admission is 2/6 for adults. View of Exhibition Park, Caremont Road entrance, scaffolding towers and flags. People enter the gates. An interior shot of the fete committee in discussion follows. Uniformed boy scouts practice marching in formation, perhaps in a school yard. There's another brief shot of two members of the fete committee in discussion. Girls are instructed in and practice Scottish country dancing. Scotswood Youth Club boys build a carnival float, hold a rock band practice, and paint parts for the float. Scotswood Youth Club girls sew and make small models. Boy cadets practise military drills with rifles down a street, then are inspected by a major or general (?) with a handlebar moustache. The troupe then march through a suburban estate (?), groups of young children watching and following. Views of Rye Hill Youth Club making a float using paper flowers on SS Friendship, cultures of the world theme. One girl holds a sign for "Holland". At the fete in Exhibition Park, on a windy day, the Floral Queen is crowned on stage and makes a speech. baskets of pigeons are released in front of the stage. Shots of the open air audience. The Floral Queen and local dignitaries, including the Mayor in ceremonial chains, descend the podium and walk amongst the large marquee tents populating the fete. The parade assembles in Cattlemarket on Scotswood Road. Cadets, Sea Cadets, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, etc., assemble and practice marching. Police on horseback, the Lord Mayor's coach and horses line up for the start of the parade. The Floral Queen competitors climb aboard their float. The parade moves off. Views follow of the Lord Mayor's carriage, Floral Queen float, Sea Cadets (juniors and cannon), Sea Cadets (seniors and band). Views of the following floats: Girls Life Brigade, Scotswood Methodist Youth Club, three floats for the "Hands across the sea - international fellowship"?, Rye Hill School, a health and safety-themed float supporting a nurse and bandaged child in a hospital bed with a banner reading "No cycling test - Result". A line of young spectators smile and laugh beside the roadside. The Northumberland Cadet Force, marching bands, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, and Sea Cadets follow in the parade. Spectators at Exhibition Park entrance. Views of the floats again, this time also including Newcastle Co-Operative Youth Club (Pathfinders). Views of the marching bands and uniformed organisations, joined by St John's Ambulance women, Boy Scouts (in shorts) and Girl Guides. In Exhibition Park, the Lord Mayor emerges from his carriage in full ceremonial dress and watches the floats passing, along with the Floral Queen. The youth regiments are assembled in the park. They are inspected by the Lord Mayor, who then departs in a carriage. Mounted police perform a demonstration. Cub Scouts demonstrate their flag waving skills as a mounted policeman rides through their two lines. There are marching bands, a girls' marching demonstration, girls' skipping demonstration, and Scottish country dancing. Next, the film documents the huge variety of stalls and displays inside the marquees. These include the Catholic Women’s Guild, Northumberland and Tyneside Association of Women’s Social Service Club, Newcastle upon Tyne TG Federation, and Newcastle Women's Co-Operative Guild. First aid demonstrations take place by St John's Ambulance members. Stalls display knitwear, embroidery, jam, flower arrangements, vegetables, cakes and buns, baskets, ceramics, modern sculptures, and all manner of crafts. Flowers and vegetables are judged. There are further shots of stalls including Weights and Measures Department, Newcastle City Libraries, City Health Department Training Centres, Workshops for the Blind. The dog show takes place, young competitors handling their dogs on leads, or holding them. The Floral Queen strokes and feeds tidbits to a poodle held by a contestant. Highlights of the gymkhana (with show jumping) are shown. The Floral Queen presents trophies to show winners. View up Cloth Market towards Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas. Title: The End (over spire of the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas) Context A floral affair in 60s Newcastle A spectacular parade and crowning of a Floral Queen launches a village green fete on a grand scale in Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. According to Chambers’ Book of Days “the more city-pent the population, the more eager apparently the desire to get among the flowers”. In the 60s Newcastle revived the vibe and atmosphere of traditional fetes of the past with their Floral Fete, garlanded floats set against the backdrop of booming brass bands on parade, Exhibition Park like a village green on a grand scale. The mythical North East love of pigeon racing is also celebrated at the crowning of the Floral Queen. The Floral and Musical Fete was one of a number of festivals held by the city council in the 1960s and 70s, which attempted to revive Newcastle’s fortune as a destination city and capture elements of earlier exhibitions such as the great North-East Coast Exhibition of 1929, opened during the Great Depression by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII. The area known as Bull Park on Newcastle’s Town Moor, one of the great open spaces of urban Britain, was transformed to a public park during 1887 and renamed Exhibition Park to honour Queen Victoria's Jubilee.