Film ID:
NEFA 21640



Visitor Tabs


A home movie by Betty Cook of the Cleveland Cine Club of a family caravanning holiday in 1975. The primary focus of the trip was to attend the British Grand Prix taking place at the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire on the 19th July and includes footage of James Hunt giving autographs to fans. As well as the Grand Prix the film also includes a visit the Donnington Collection, the world's largest  museum of Grand Prix cars in Derbyshire and a visit to the canals and waterways near Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire and Bourton on the Water in Gloucestershire.

The film begins at the Donnington Collection museum at Castle Donnington in Derbyshire where a number of classic Formula 1 cars are being displayed on plinths.

Behind the wheel of the family car Arthur Cook and family friend Peter Whitaker in the backseat, look over a map.

On a canal views show various pleasure boats. A large sign reads ‘The Barley Mow’. A young man fishes from the rear of a canal barge. Another barge crosses over a bridge. A sign beside the water reads ‘Stony Stratford Angling Section. Private Water No Day Tickets’. Martin Cook followed by his father Arthur and Peter Whitaker walk along a pathway besides the canal.

At the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire Arthur and Martin Cook look out onto an empty racetrack. In the distance, a large banner across the track reads ‘John Player Grand Prix’. There are views of buildings around the circuit all adorned with John Player Grand Prix insignia.

An American Winnebago reverses, a logo on the side reading ‘Hesketh Racing’. The side door of the Hesketh Racing lorry is partially open and inside can be seen the rear fin of one of the Hesketh-Ford Formula 1 cars. Two racing cars are unloaded from the lorry and manoeuvred by hand into a garage. Views of a number of other Winnebago’s, one in black and gold with the ‘John Player Special’s’ logos adorning it and the other a small Fiat car with the name Graham Hill written across the side.

General views of the racing circuit and men working on the track making it ready for racing.

At a caravan park, Martin Cook sits on the ground beside the family car and caravan. A number of other caravans are parked up next to the Cook’s. Above them the Good Year Airship passes over the caravan park. A tractor drives past along a muddy track.

Back at the Silverstone Circuit spectators position themselves to view the race. Some are standing behind barriers, while others sit on scaffolding platforms underneath umbrellas. A television camera records a race as cars speed past.

Two men in racing gear walk into a caravan. A crane lifts car number 10 driven by German driver Hans Joachim Stuck. In the doorway of a small building with a ‘Dunlop’ sign over the top Arthur Cook sits relaxing. In the near-distance a driver is being interviewed for television.

A man in a Hesketh Racing white shirt stands on ones side of a barrier speaking with a spectator on the other. James Hunt makes his way along the barrier signing autographs for fans.

Beside their John Player Special Winnebago a group of people in yellow shirts sit under umbrellas. A man in a white shirt, possibly another driver, walk by and into a caravan.

Martin Cook approaches another driver sitting on a box beside one of the garages and gets his autograph. Martin get’s signatures from a number of other people around the circuit.

There are views of people and activities taking place around the circuit before a race. A stall sells crepes while another sells badges and souvenirs.

The Red Arrows aerobatic display team perform over the circuit. They fly past in various formations, coloured smoke coming from the rear.

On the track, more activity as the teams get ready to race. Spectators stand watching from behind a high fence. Cars speed past watched by the crowds.

A driver is helped through the fence and in the distance a man waves a red flag. On the track an ambulance drives up and someone is helped into the back. A racing car is pushed off the track. A crowd gathers around another ambulance before being driven off.

In the distance the winner of the race, Emerson Fittipaldi of McLaren-Ford, sprays the crowd with Champagne. On the track a flat-bed lorry drives past with Emerson Fittipaldi sitting on top with a large laurel wreath around his shoulders. He waves at the crowd.

A man, possibly one of the drivers, walks past holding the hand of a woman. On the track a number of racing cars drive past attached to pick-up trucks.

A view of the empty track after the race and crowds leaving, heading back to their cars. A helicopter come into land is followed by a large sign that reads ‘Silverstone’.

Betty Cook climbs into the family car and there is a phantom car journey as she rides around the circuit.

Back at the caravan park Martin and Arthur attach the caravan to their car and they drive away.

The film cuts to a visit to a miniature village and people look around at the various buildings.

Views follow In an aviary showing a number of colourful birds. A parrot climbs onto Martin’s arm and walks across his shoulders. Views of pink flamingos are followed by the parrot seen previously now on the shoulder of Betty Cook and that of another man believed to be Peter Whitaker.

A sign reads ‘Birdland’ and on a river, swans are filmed being fed. A pleasure boat gets stuck under a low bridge at Bourton on the Water and the film ends with Arthur, Martin and Peter Whitaker on the riverbank looking out at a boat as it passes.