Film ID:
NEFA 21259



Visitor Tabs


A home movie that records a year in the life of dance band musician George Cummin and his girlfriend Norah, shot in 1936. The film includes New Year Eve’s celebrations with friends (some are members of Newcastle ACA); the Northumberland Plate Festival at Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park, and the Town Moor Hoppings, both in June; shots of Peter Cummin as a baby and toddler; and a short trick film for Christmas. The couple were both members of Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA). 

Credit: G.C. Pictures Present

Title: The G.C. Unsound News

Title: An Unreliable Review of the Year

Title: Enter 1936

Portrait shot of an elderly man toasting with a drink. The camera pans along a line of Newcastle ACA friends, hands joined, singing in the New Year. High angle shot of the row of friends celebrating New Year’s Eve. There’s another shot of the friends in the dark. The group toast the New Year with a drink. Brief shot of George Cummin pretending to drink straight from the bottle.

A hand points to the date on a wall calendar – 21st January

Title: Ah! George’s birthday, and here he is from charming childhood to painful present

A sequence of frames on a length of cine film show stills of photographs of George Cummin, from child to adult. [Out of focus]

George Cummin walks across a seafront square. Portrait shot of George in his trademark round glasses, wearing a false beard and smoking a pipe in a serious manner.

Title: February – March. Dance season still. Going strong.

George plays his saxophone. Profile shot of George speaking into a microphone. Shots of his dance band follow with individual portraits of the musicians and band leader.

Title: April – May. Dance musicians begin to feel the draught.

An old man in a flat cap and overcoat plays a recorder in the street. A portrait shot reveals this to be George Cummin down his home street in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Title: June. Brings the roses – Sometimes – but the races always.

Norah picks her horse for a bet on the Northumberland Plate from the sports pages of a newspaper.

Next, a general view of Gosforth Park racecourse, Newcastle upon Tyne, shows the huge crowd during the 3-day Northumberland Plate Festival. Norah places a bet. Horse race action intercut with crowd shots follow. Norah collects her winnings at the ‘Pay Out’ window. A horse and jockey practice on the course.

The scene cuts to Norah on an old fashioned carousel at the Town Moor Hoppings, Newcastle. Various shots of the rides follow including the Chair-O-Plane and helter skelter, waltzers and the Moonrocket ride. There’s a blurred shot from one of the rides and a night time shot of the lights of the fairground. People whizz around on a ride.

Title: July. Cameraman on hiking holiday

Title: September. GC baby parade, all cute kids, but Peter Cummin breaks record

Shots of a baby, and a toddler walking. Portrait shot of Peter Cummin holding a vinyl record.

Title: October – November. FOG!

Title: December. Preparations for Christmas

A group of people sing carols, conducted by George Cummin(?). Close-up of a Pools form he is reading whilst conducting. The next sequence is a short ‘trick’ film. Santa Claus magically appears from the fireplace. He waves his hand and socks appear at the end of a bed. He then conjures up presents, which fill the socks. He disappears back into the fireplace.

Title: So, ‘Goodbye 1936’ and ‘Welcome 1937’ May it be –

Norah makes a toast with a glass of sherry.

Title: A Happy New Year