Film ID:
NEFA 18577

THE LAND OF THE THREE RIVERS

1956

Visitor Tabs

Description

Promotional film for The North East Industrial and Development Association that looks at North East England. Deals mainly with industry but also looks at the landscapes of rural areas and the coast..

Title: The Land of The Three Rivers

Title: An Introduction to the North East Coast of England

Title: Produced for The North East Industrial and Development Association

Title: By Turners Film Unit, Turners (Photography) Ltd, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Title: Photography: F B Nicol ARPS, Assistant Cameraman R B Copplestone, Commentary Spoken by: Frank Philips

The film opens with a diagram map of Great Britain, with a slightly darker colour showing the position of the North East area of England. An arrow points to the area with 'The Land of the Three Rivers' written into the shaft of the arrow. A close up of the region shows the principle towns and the routes of the three rivers.

Title: 'From the Dawn of Time man has sought water. Beside it he has built his encampments, his towns and his great cities. With it he has made fertile his lands and driven his machines. It has divided men and yet brought them together. His friend, his servant, sometimes his enemy, water is his life.' [over picture]

The next view is of a river showing exposed rocks as it flows through a tree lined valley. Other shots show a bridge across the river and another general view of the river. The film continues with a view of sheep grazing in a field. Shots of trees in bloom and in leaf. General views of the landscape and river follow, which are not identified in the commentary. We see unidentified farmhouses and village streets, cyclists wheel their bicycles uphill, a man rock climbs. We see the man at the top of the rock face he has just climbed taking in view across open farmland. The commentary states the view shows part of the Northumberland National Park. The next shot shows a woman using binoculars and scanning the moorlands of Weardale. (Note: The commentary seems to be 'out of sync' with the images appearing on the film at this point). Then views follow of the Cleveland Hills showing the local landscape in particular Roseberry Topping. General views follow of cornfields, trees, and streams. A woman looks down from the top of an old stone bridge to the river beneath. A shot follows of rivers perhaps not in sequence, but they are presumed to be the North Tyne, the Tees and the Wear. A view of Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland follows, including shots of the forts, Chesters and Corbridge famous sites on its route across the county.

A view follows of the River Wear below the cathedral at Durham. The castle is also shown in a number of shots. The market town of Hexham is next with views of the old priory and general views of streets in the town and of Corbridge which follows. A brief shot of Raby Castle and then of the Bishops Palace at Bishop Auckland. A brief view of Brancepeth village follows and of the castle where, nearby, a group of men enjoy a game of golf.

Next we are the High Street at Barnard Castle, with varied shots from the Market Cross in the centre of the town. Followed by a long shot of Bowes Museum. After this there are shots of Egglestone Abbey, a 12th century ruin. The Cleveland Hills section includes a brief view of Hutton Rudby village and the great window at the ruin of Guisborough Priory.

The next shots are of the county town of Alnwick in Northumberland, showing the ancient fortified gate through which modern road traffic passes. This is followed by views of the imposing Alnwick Castle. Next general views of Newcastle shows traffic crossing the Tyne Bridge, followed by a view of Newcastle from the Gateshead side of the Tyne showing the castle keep and the lantern tower of St Nicholas cathedral. A panning shot across the roof tops of Newcastle shows a contemporary skyline. A final view of the Tyne Bridge with traffic going across. Next we have views of Jarrow and the remains of the monastery and the church of St Pauls which houses 'Bede's Chair'. Views of Holy Island or Lindisfarne follow, with shots of the castle, and the priory. After this Bamburgh Castle and two women are looking up at the castle with one pointing out distinctive features to the other. Two women in bathing costumes, take their beach ball onto the the nearby sands and play amongst the waves throwing the ball to each other. A small toddler on the beach tries to catch the ball. The two women run along the shoreline and the sequence ends with a longshot looking back along the beach. A longshot out to sea shows Inner Farne Island. After this there is a brief view of the harbour at Blyth where fishing boats and other small craft are moored. Next is a view of St Mary's Island and the popular beaches at Whitley Bay. There follows a high angle panning shot of the promenade at Whitley Bay looking North. Further along 'The Front' at Whitley Bay we see a children's paddling pool originally opened in the 1930's.

The view next is of the granite piers which protect the entrance to Tynemouth. This is followed by a shot of Admiral Lord Collingwood's statue at Tynemouth.

Views from the Castle Keep at Newcastle show steam trains negotiating the High Level Bridge and the famous diamond crossing just outside Newcastle Central Station. Further views follow of  busy streets in Newcastle include Northumberland Street. Further high angle shots from the castle keep, show Newcastle's High Level Bridge, the Swing Bridge and quayside and the Tyne Bridge. A view from the Tyne Bridge shows clearly the mixed industries along the river banks. Next we see the activities of shipping and shipbuilding along the river, including the ore distribution plant which feeds the steelworks at Consett 18 miles away. After this there are shots of Tynemouth Priory. At South Shields we see the famous coastal features of Marsden Rock and the Marsden Grotto, plus busy pleasure beaches. Next shots of the River Wear and the town centre of Sunderland including the large Binns store (Fawcett Street?). This is followed by scenes of people relaxing and strolling through a town centre park (Mowbray Park?). Shots of shipbuilding activity on the Wear follow, the commentary lists other famous Wearside industries including glass making. Men construct a ship at one of the yards showing them welding and assembling various sections of the ship's structure. Views of generator assemblies and car engine parts being manufactured follow.

Seaton Carew to the Tees is the next sequence. The sands at Seaton Carew are shown,  then shipping activity on the Tees, including activities at Smiths Dock. A view of the Tees harbour masters boat on the river, shows the captain or harbour master standing in the prow of the boat as it heads towards Newport Bridge. We see the boat head towards the North Tees 'C' power station on the north bank of the Tees, followed by views of ship construction. The commentary states that the river below Newport Bridge is essentially a man made area given over to land reclamation and the development of industries. We see the harbour master silhouetted against the sky as he stands in the prow of the boat, and heads towards the Transporter Bridge. Another view on the Tees this time heading away from the Transporter. Shots of 'fifth buoy light' a lighthouse at south gare, as the film leaves the Teesside area. The next shot is of crowds on the beach at Redcar. At Saltburn, shots include the Britannia buildings and the Zetland Hotel.Views of Staithes follow including the harbour, the streets down through the village. Children play along the harbour wall. Boats carrying pleasure trips on the sea come into to moor on the beach. Children try their hand at fishing, others relax on the sands. A fisherman repairs boxes which will carry future catches. Walkers negotiate the steep hill out of Staithes. A young couple run along the cliff tops, and look down at the sea below. At Boulby we see the 672 foot high cliffs. The film moves to Runswick Bay with a view of the village taken from the beach, followed by a view of the bay taken from a cliff top. Next stop is Whitby with a panoramic view of East Cliff. the abbey and the town looking upstream along the Esk. A statue commemorating Captain Cook, looks out over the sea. Another Captain Cook monument stands on the hills near Great Ayton and a view follows from the hills above Eston showing the steelworks in the distance at South Bank. The Cleveland Hills the commentary states are at the southern most boundary of the three rivers region.

Leaving the coast the film concentrates its attention to the industry of the three rivers region. Beginning with an long shot of the industrial plant and buildings at ICI Billingham. A high angle shot of ICI at Wilton follows, after this the Dorman Long steel plant is shown, with the commentary stating that development is still taking place at Dorman Long and the final cost is expected to be around 100 million pounds. The next view is of Lingfield House at Lingfield Point near Darlington, which is the impressive factory for wool manuafacture by the firm Patons and Baldwins. Views of the sprawling factory development show the extent of the works. An interior view of Lingfield House shows the well appointed reception area. Two men go on to the roof of the building and look over the factory complex. At the time of building, it was the largest knitting wool factory in the world. A view of the government sponsored trading estates in the region show over 300 new factories open for business, 65000 people work in them. A shot follows of Ransome and Marles ball bearing factory at Annfield Plain.  A sequence showing advertising flyers with the names indicating the range of industries now resident in the region. Other factories are shown: C A Parsons manufacturing items for the nuclear industry, De La Rue a printing firm on the Team Valley Trading Estate, the first of the post war factories. W D & H O Wills have their impressive art deco cigarette factory on the Coast Road between Newcastle and Tynemouth. The film continues with shots of a loom weaving carpet, a wood turning machine for furniture, paint production, glass bowls and dinnerware manufacture, organ building, clothing, electronic components, wool spinning, precision gear cutting, plastics, textiles, ball bearings and telephone exchange equipment. Also shots of precision lathing in the manufacture of engine pistons, and  the manufacture of other electronic components. Steel is shown being poured, miners leave a pithead, general views of ships at sea and railways, which helps to underline the significance of these heavy industries to the area. The film shows passengers boarding a plane, then the plane taking off. Other passengers queue at the Bergen Line terminal and the Fred Olsen terminal to board ships for Norway(?). A car is loaded onto the ship 'Blenheim'. Scandinavians regularly visit Tyneside and 125000 passengers regularly use the service. University education is highlighted with exterior shots of Durham and Newcastle Universities where new buildings at Newcastle suggest confidence in the future. Schools and technical colleges are also shown. Leisure activities are shown with a display of playbills for the Theatre Royal and the Flora Robson Playhouse, also concert programmes are shown. An exterior view of the Theatre Royal opened in 1837 is shown. Footage shows other leisure pursuits, watching football (Roker Park), horse racing at Redcar, bowling,a playground for children at Exhibition Park (?). Older youngsters take off on a cycle tour, and a car speeds across moorland into the distance. The closing shot is of Bamburgh Castle.

Title: Superimposed of a flowing river, 'The End'

End of film