Film ID:
NEFA 20552



Visitor Tabs


Comprehensive amateur city documentary on Newcastle upon Tyne, filmed in the 1950s. The film records Newcastle's historical architecture and monuments; annual ceremonies such as Remembrance Day and a church parade; health services; shopping and the Sunday morning market on the Quayside; factories; colliery; transport and Central Railway Station; industry and docks on the River Tyne; sporting events such as Newcastle United at St James' Park, Gosforth races, the Newcastle Race Week Festival, known as the Hoppings on the Town Moor; and Newcastle nightlife featuring rock and roll dancers at the Walkerdene youth centre.

Title: A Frandean Film
Title: Home is their Castle
Title: In the reign of Emperor Hadrian the Romans built a bridge across the River Tyne
Title: Near the site of the present Swing Bridge
Title: So began the history of Newcastle over 1800 years ago …

High angle views of the Swing Bridge in Newcastle, one taken from the Castle Garth.

General view of Tyne River looking towards Gateshead.

Various shots of a steam engine pulling into a colliery.

Title: The Keep & Black Gate

View of Keep and Black Gate, a Diables Snooker sign on the building in the foreground. Shots of the Keep walls.

Title: Plummer Tower

Views of the tower.

Title: West Wall

Various shots of sections of West Wall, including details.

Title: Remains of Ever Tower
Title: Heber Tower
Title: St Nicholas Cathedral

Tilt down from tower of cathedral.

Title: St Thomas Church

General views of the church, and traffic on St Barras Bridge (or St Mary's Place.)

Title: St John’s Church

Tilt up church tower.

Title: St Andrew’s Church

Tilt down church tower.

Title: Remains of Black Friars

A man wearing overcoat and hat walks past Blackfriars. Shots of window detail follow.

Title: Bessie Surtees House

A man looks up at the first floor window of the house. High angle shot of the house and street.

Title: The new blends with the old

Views of streets busy with pedestrians and traffic. A sign reads “Old Gold Silver Coins War
Medals Pistols Etc. Brass Copper Bought.” Shot of two men looking into shop window. A traffic policeman guides traffic.

Title: Trolley buses have replaced trams

Double decker buses drive by. Three women in wide skirted coats pass by camera chatting to each other.

Title: Tribute to the past.

Title: Those who gave all in defence of the Castle

Brief shot of memorial statue figures.

A bishop leads a procession of civic dignitaries, including one carrying the ceremonial mace, to an Armistice Day (Remembrance Day) service commemorating the dead of the First World War, held at the memorial statue in Old Eldon Square.

Officers stand to attention at the memorial site as a man in tricorn hat lays a wreath.

Civilians place small crosses with poppies attached at the base of the memorial.

Shot of Charles Hartwell's bronze statue of St. George and the dragon atop the stone memorial.

Groups of people lay wreaths at the memorial.

A child looks up at the monument.

Title: That others may live in freedom.

View of the war memorial 'The Response 1914' designed by Sir William Goscombe John, which depicts soldiers marching off to war watched by an angel while women and children bid them farewell. The monument is situated near St Thomas Church, at Haymarket.

People sit on a bench at the memorial and feed pigeons.

General view of  people and traffic around the war memorial in old Eldon Square.

Shot of the bronze reliefs of 'Justice' and 'Peace' on the memorial plinth.

People are relaxing and sunbathing in the gardens around the statue.

Medium close shot of three women seated on the grass amongst other people enjoying leisure time in the square.

A woman in the foreground eats an ice cream.

Shot of two women lying on the grass in the sun. They look towards camera.

Title: Lord Armstrong public benefactor

View of the Lord Armstrong Memorial on Barras Bridge and Claremont Road.

Shot of the Hancock Museum. Close-up of the plaque for the Laing Art Gallery.

The film cuts to a close-up of the sign for the Carliol (or Weaver’s) Tower at the North East corner of the Town wall, “removed in May 1880 and this public library was erected in its place.”

Exterior view of the Old Public Library and Laing Art Gallery in New Bridge Street.

Title: The Enemy within the Castle - Disease
Title: Hospitals have cared for the sick since early times
Title: Holy Jesus Hospital. Founded 1681

Exterior views of the hospital and details of some of the architectural features.

Title: The Keelmen’s Hospital Built 1701

Exterior views of the hospital.

Close-up of the sign for “Royal Victoria Infirmary.”

Shot of the hospital exterior. An ambulance drives out of the hospital forecourt. Close-up of the ambulance.

Title: Other medical services

Shot of neon “Pharmacy” sign in window.

Title: One of many providing Castle with medical supplies

Shots of pharmacy staff making up prescriptions.

Title: Dispensing prescriptions

Male and female pharmacists are at work, weighing out compounds, mixing them together for medicines.

Shot of a chemist shop window filled with old style glass apothecary jars. A sign with a mortar and pestle reads “National Health Dispensing.”

A female pharmacist shows medicines to a man.

Title: The Opticians

A male optician tests a woman’s eyesight using various methods. The woman is provided with glasses, which she tries on, checking her appearance in a hand mirror.

Title: Many medical students are training at King’s College

Shot of the road sign for College Road on the wall of the King’s College.

Medium shot of the students in front of the Kings College building. In the foreground, three students consult papers in front of the Kings College building.

Portrait shot of a female student with Kings College building in the background. She smiles towards camera.

General view of college buildings on street lined with cars and bikes
Title: Factories provide work for many on Tyneside.

Exterior views of the art deco style Wills’ Tobacco factory with facade lettering W. D. & H. O. Wills, opened in 1950 and situated on The Coast Road from Newcastle upon Tyne to the Billy Mill roundabout in North Shields.

Shot of factory chimney belching out smoke and factory buildings.

Panoramic view of a factory site.

Shot of long horizontal ribbon windows in low brickwork factory building.

Title: Coal – power for the factories

Shot of colliery pithead gear with winding house framed against the sky.

View of slag heaps or coal heaps.

A steam engine and train pulls into a colliery yard. A worker stands beside the track as the steam engine heads towards camera.

Title: Stephenson Engine turned coal into power

View of the George Stephenson monument on a traffic island at the junction of Collingwood Street, Westgate Road and Neville Street.

Title: Central Railway Station opened 1850

Exterior view of the station.

Overhead shot of the multiple rail tracks at the Central Railway Station junction, known as the Diamond Crossing and said to be the largest railway crossing in the world. Steam emerges from trains to the left.

High angle view of a train pulling out of the station.

Title: Rail & Road bridge the Tyne

View down river towards bridges over the Tyne: the Tyne Bridge, High Level, Swing Bridge, King Edward VII Bridge and the New Redheugh Bridge in the distance.

Traffic crosses the Tyne Bridge, filmed from bridge road looking towards Gateshead.

High angle view across the Tyne towards Newcastle with Tyne Bridge to the right and the Guildhall on Newcastle Quayside.

Shot of the full span of the Tyne Bridge arches.

Title: Down to the Docks

Panoramic view over the dock area, River Tyne and Newcastle.

View towards river down the Side.

Closer shot of the Tyne River and Quayside, ships moored beside the Quayside.

View of the Tyne framed by arched window.

Various shots of cranes in action and workers on Quayside docks, unloading goods from ships in front of warehouses, possibly the Co-op warehouse. [Depositor records state that workers were carrying butter and bacon from Dutch ships.]

Shot of ship moored at the Quayside.

Title: Trip on the River

Travelling shot from river of large cranes on the Quayside in front of Spillers’ Tyne Mill.

Shot across the Tyne towards Newcastle side, with Maynard Toffee factory chimney in the distance.

View from river of a large ship moored at a quayside, a large unloading crane to rear of the ship.

Various shots follow of dockside activity, ships under construction in building berths, cranes and ships on the Tyne.

Title: Launching “Ajax”

A man and woman make their way along the stair access to a launch platform.

The launch platform sits at the bow of the cargo ship Ajax in the High Walker shipyard of Vickers-Armstrong on 24 July 1957. The bow of the giant ship towers above the launch platform where a number of VIPs are gathered for the launch. The ship moves away from the platform down the inclined slipway, stern first.

A solo figure (cameraman?) stands on a platform accessed by a ladder beside the slipway, as the ship manoeuvres on the Tyne in the background.

Title: Saturday. Time for shopping

Women sales assistants serve female shoppers in a clothing store, displays behind counters. A woman looks at a handbag in wrapping. A woman is shown rings from a jeweller’s display. Men and women look around the store. A man is served at the jeweller’s counter.

Title: Saturday - time to relax

Shot of the crowds in the stands of the Newcastle football stadium at St James’ Park: children in the stands look towards the camera.

Title: Watching Newcastle United

Shots of the two football teams running from the players’ tunnel, Newcastle United as the second team in black and white striped team colours, the sports crowd in the background.

Shot of the number 4 Newcastle United player on the pitch in the foreground, players, football ground and crowd in the background.

The number 6 Newcastle United player throws a ball in from a touchline.
Various shots of the match in progress follow including play in the goal area, taken from the side lines.

Shots of the crowds in the terraces.

Further shots of the football match.

Profile portrait shot of male spectator in flat cap with crowd in background.

Players from both teams walk past camera off the football pitch.

A brass band plays on the pitch.

Newcastle United players emerge from tunnel surrounded by the crowds in the stands.

Further action shots of players in the second half of the match.

Title: The children have fun too.

Children row on the boating lake in Exhibition Park, the Palace of the Arts building with rotunda visible at the far side of the lake.

Various shots of children playing in a park playground, children on swings and sliding down a slide.
A small boy and girl pose for the camera together in a street, holding hands.

Close-up portrait shot of the young boy and girl.

Two women in summer frocks walk through a park with a small girl and a pushchair.
Title: Jesmond Dene

View of the Jesmond Dene waterfall.

Two teenage girls and a teenage boy cross Armstrong Bridge. One of the girls paddles beside the waterfall.

Title: Night Falls

The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas is silhouetted against a night sky.

A sequence of neon signs in the city follows, including Schweppes Tonic, Dancing Oxford Gallery, Odeon, and News Theatre.

Title: Enjoying themselves

Two young women jive together, dressed in full skirted 1950s dresses. The sequence includes close-up shots of dance steps. A teenage boy and girl jive together. Possibly filmed at Walkerdene youth centre.

Title: Gosforth Races

Crowds gather around tic-tac men at Gosforth Races.

Ground level shot of horses racing around the course.

Low angle shots of people milling around a tic-tac man: a man and woman pass close by the camera in the foreground.

People relax by the boating lake and row on the lake.

A tic-tac man writes up the odds on his sign that reads “Alex. Newcastle.”

Shot of a tic-tac man in white shirt signalling odds, framed against the sky.

Various shots of the crowds in the stands and of the races.

Title: Race Week on the Town Moor

High angle views of the crowds attending The Hoppings on the Town Moor, with a row of marquee tents to one side.

Men and women stroll by the marquees.

High angle views of crowds.

At a fairground on the Town Moor, visitors are pictured on the different fairground rides including the merry-go-round, a fast ride with cars mounted on individual arms simulating flight with sign reading “Fly Your Own Plane,” (possibly the Hurricane Jets ride popular in the early 1950s), carousel rides, a helter-skelter, a waltzer, the Big Wheel.

Title: Bank Holiday. The Castle is deserted

Low angle shot up Hood Street looking towards Grey’s Monument.

Shot looking up at the statue of Lord Grey standing atop the high column, framed against the sky.

High angle shots of Newcastle streets, and an empty Quayside.

Title: But Sunday mornings are not so quiet

High angle views of the very crowded Sunday market on the Quayside, looking downriver from Tyne Bridge.

Shot of the Quayside market looking towards the Tyne Bridge.

Various shots of crowds browsing stalls on the Quayside.

Shot of stall holder and crowds, looking towards Gateshead.

A stallholder wears a Native American Indian headdress as he sells his goods at the market.
Further high angle views of the market crowds.

Rear and side view of stall holders with audience of customers.

Shots of market visitors strolling on the Quayside, Risis Ices in the background.

Overhead shots of the crowd.

Close shots of people strolling along the Quayside market including two boys who walk by with an older man in bowler hat and smoking a pipe.

The Tyne Bridge and towers on the Gateshead bank side appear in the background.

View of people browsing at a stall framed by window.

Close shot of men, women and children at a stall.

Title: Church Parade

Tilt down from the towers of The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas.

A policeman rides by on a horse. A parade takes place with brass band, various military troops and civic dignitaries. The parade passes the Midland Bank, Northern Assurance and the Sketro Ball Bearing Company buildings.

Title: Home is Their Castle

The small girl and boy previously seen walk through an open gateway together.

Title: The Coat of Arms of this City reads
Title: Fortiter Triumphans Defendit
Title: Triumphing by Brave Defence
Title: The End
In the making of this film thanks are due to the following
N/c on Tyne Co-operative Soc. Ltd. Management & Staff
The Walkerdene Youth Club
Friends and Strangers
Production and Commentary by Frank Wilson