Film ID:
NEFA 21385

LOCAL EVENTS 1929 – 1934


Visitor Tabs


This Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) compilation of documentary footage (and outtakes), shot between 1929 and the early 1930s, features various local events including an air show at Cramlington Aerodrome (home of the Newcastle Aero Club); the opening of the North East Coast Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art in Newcastle upon Tyne on Tuesday 14 May 1929; highlights of an historical pageant of Newcastle and the North that takes place at Leazes Park, Newcastle, between 20 - 25 July 1931; the final of Northumberland Amateur Golf Championship 16 June 1934; YMCA Sports in Newcastle on 15 July 1933 featuring Olympics runner Alec Burns; the Tynemouth Swimming Club Gala on 12 August, 1933; Northumberland v. English Bowling Association bowling matches in Gosforth on 18 September 1933; brief footage of potshare bowling on the Town Moor, Newcastle; and a staged celebration for the birthday of James Cameron Senior, one of the founders of the Newcastle & District ACA.

[Black and white footage]

The first section opens with various shots of civil aircraft flying in the skies over Cramlington Aerodrome around 1929. Various members of Newcastle ACA are at the airfield shooting footage for their film production Bonaventure. One of the film cast, Doris Graham in a knee-length leather coat runs to a De Havilland Moth (Gipsy Moth Reg. No. G-AADA) aeroplane where a ground engineer helps her into the plane. A woman in a cloche hat moves into frame filming or photographing the scene, possibly Gladys Davison. The plane was owned by Capt. J. D. Irving (Chairman) of Newcastle Aero Club. The plane takes off and performs a few manoeuvres. The plane sweeps low over the airfield towards camera. A group of men and women (including a filmmaker) move towards the plane as it lands. Doris Graham gets out and stands with the group. One of the women in the group poses for the camera. A camera operator in knickerbockers with a wooden tripod walks away with the group.

Aerial footage of the landscape and a landing at Cramlington Aerodrome follows. More travelling shots from a plane (a De Havilland Gipsy Moth Registration G-EBWI) taking part in a formation flight and aerobatics, with footage of a second plane flying extremely close and looping over the top.

A man in a boiler suit tries to start the propeller of a Newcastle upon Tyne Aero Club De Havilland Gipsy Moth plane. As the propeller starts up, he checks the cockpit. The pilot, in a suit, puts his goggles on. The next shot is of the plane in flight.

A small group of people are clustered around another biplane on the aerodrome (Registration G-AAYZ) glinting in the sunlight. A De Havilland Gipsy Moth (Registration G-AAHI) also stands on the airfield.

A huge crowd are gathered at the Cramlington Aerodrome. An “Evening World” poster advertises “Air Race Programme & Times - £200 racing contest.”

Various shots of aircraft in flight, gliding in the skies, performing tilts, and then coming in to land. A plane (Registration G-EBBI) is standing on the airfield as another plane lands on the runway in the background.

The camera pans along a row of spectators and their cars, some standing on their car’s back fenders for a better view of the planes.

An airfield attendant signals at an aircraft with a flag. A glider comes in to land, wobbling a little. The plane is manoeuvred to a space on the grass, now watched by a small crowd. A man talks to a pilot in the cockpit. An official flags off the plane, which then takes off from a position close to the crowd of spectators.

The next shots (a little blurred) are of four people (ground engineers?) running in the path of the plane as it takes off. A plane flies low over the aerodrome building and airfield.

The next sequences are of the opening of the North East Coast Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art in Newcastle upon Tyne on Tuesday 14 May 1929, located on a site in the south eastern corner of the Town Moor to the west of the Great North Road. A military regiment on horseback form a ceremonial guard of honour for the arrival of HRH Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), in full military uniform. Top military officers and numerous civic dignitaries, including Councillor Arthur W. Lambert, Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne, in his ceremonial chains of office, and the mace-bearer, accompany the prince through the crowds. On a very windy day, a religious figure (probably the Bishop of Newcastle) addresses the crowd from the royal stand. Large crowds walk into the exhibition grounds through the imposing entrance towers.

A Highland band parade through the gardens surrounding the pavilions. A team of footballers follow (?) Portrait shot of a piper playing. In the sports stadium, Highland Games take place. Traditional Highland dance is performed on a small stage. A sportsman in a kilt throws a Scottish hammer. Competitor no. 36 takes his turn in the shotput event. The giant ‘Himalayan Railway’ roller coaster ride can be seen in the background. Another sportsman tosses a caber. Huge crowds are watching around the stadium.

The next section contains footage of the historical pageant of Newcastle and the North that takes place in Leazes Park, Newcastle, between 20 - 25 July 1931. [See NEFA Film ID. 21203 The Historical Pageant of Newcastle and The North 1931]

An actor in medieval armour and chain mail playing the character of the “Spirit of the Borderland” waits for his cue in the pageant, resting on the seat of a parked truck, his helmet at his feet. He adjusts his uncomfortable costume and puts his helmet on, ready for the performance. A mass of dancing child sprites in fairy-like costumes run and prance into the park arena, led by the "Spirit of the Border" actor on horseback. The Sixth Legion of Roman soldiers led by Emperor Hadrian march into the arena, the army including one horse-drawn chariot. Two hefty oxen pull a cart carrying St. Cuthbert's body, followed by a procession of nuns. Amateurs perform as eighteenth century citizens at a fair on the Town Moor, rich and poor, rustics and nobility. Peasant women dance in a ring around a man holding up a corn dolly (?) and generally have fun. A blacksmith is at work on an anvil.

Title: Final of Northumberland Amateur Golf Championship 16 June 1934

A flag for the NGUC flies on a flag pole in the wind.

Golf championship competitors leave the clubhouse, some caddies carrying the players’ bags. Many players are wearing knickerbockers.

A coin is tossed between two golfing competitors before the start of a match The two golfers tee off at the start of the championship.

General views of the golfers in action on the course, ringed by spectators. The crowd follow the golfers (all men) from hole to hole.

Golfers arrive back at the clubhouse after the championship, a relaxed group of spectators (or club members) lounging about or speaking to the competitors.

Title: YMCA Sports 15 July 1933

A mass of teenage boys take part in synchronised exercises on a sports field in Newcastle upon Tyne. They run through different PT routines in unison, including touching their toes and swinging their legs (getting out of synch).

The boys set up gym apparatus and perform vaults over pommel horses. Fencing competitions are in action, first with women, then men’s contests. A large crowd watch in front of marquees set up on the field. A men’s sack race takes place, some competitors taking a tumble. Two sportsmen chat with officials.

Title: Alex [sic] Burns – Olympic runner

Portrait shots of Newcastle-born long-distance runner Alec Burns in a sports vest with Union Jack. The athlete chats to some officials at the games and one shakes his hand. He sets off with other competitors in a long-distance race. Close-up of athletes’ feet on the track as they compete.

Pan along the crowd of spectators. Back to shot of Alec Burns racing around the track. After the race, Alec Burns and competitor no. 49 congratulate each other.

A naval gun carriage crew drag the gun onto the field for a demonstration. Two young cadets and a man in a flat cap walk by, smiling broadly at the camera. An adult officer walks by with a mallet over his shoulder accompanied by a cadet with a rolled up flag, again smiling at the camera.

Portrait shot of an official starter wearing a flat cap and white coat, a cigarette dangling from his mouth as he holds up his starter gun. He looks at the muzzle of his gun, then pops it back in his coat pocket.

A group of sports officials in suits stand beside the track. The crowd wait expectantly at the edge of the sports field.

An Alsatian dog looks round at the camera. With a trainer supervising, the Alsatian performs a series of stunts including leaps over four boys laying on the ground, three men bending over, and a tall fence structure.

A man announces the prize winners at the YMCA sports event as other officials applaud. An awards ceremony takes place.

The starter and an assistant fiddle with a strange, motorised three-wheeler, on which the starter rides off at the end of the sports day, his assistant chasing after him on the sports field.

Title: Tynemouth Swimming Club Gala 12 August, 1933

General view of Tynemouth outdoor swimming pool (a seaside lido) at the southern end of Tynemouth Longsands beach, with crowds of people in the stands, relaxing in the sunshine at the local swimming club gala. Medium close-up of a few spectators in the stands, sharing snacks.

Male competitors in one-piece jersey bathing costumes line up at the edge of the pool, diving in one by one for a swimming display. Next, women swimmers compete in the same way.

An official checks his stop watch. Women swimmers swim up to the edge of the pool, touching the side to finish. A group of women swimmers dry off after the race, towels draped over shoulders. Portrait shot of three of the women swimmers. A diving competition takes place between men, the contestants diving first from the side of the lido, then from the diving platform.

Some tanned men and young boys hang out beside the pool, watching the gala events. A tanned woman swimmer is introduced to a guest in the audience by an official, and they shake hands. The swimmer tucks her hair into a swimming cap. A male winner shakes hands with the prize giver. Group portrait of three male prize winners with their awards.

A swimmer gives a display of different swimming techniques, including crawl and other strokes. She is applauded as she climbs out of the pool.

A race is in progress. A team of men pose for a photograph, clutching their prizes, one man with a mantel clock.

Next, some light relief. Some men in costume perform a comedy sketch for the crowd, dressed as a cook, a sailor, Neptune, and a “Rule Britannia”. They get into a rowing boat on the pool named ‘Pansy’, which is towed by three swimmers.

Title: Bowling Northumberland v. English Bowling Assn. 18 Septem’ 1933

A flag for ‘Gosforth Bowling Club’ blows in the wind on its flagpole.

A crowd of men, some in floppy white sunhats, are gathered outside the clubhouse at the bowling greens in Gosforth Central Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. The male bowling team pose for a formal group portrait.

Various shots of the bowling matches follow with some close-ups. This short film ends with another shot of the flag.

Title: Another type of bowling on the Town Moor

The next brief sequence records some potshare bowling action on Newcastle’s Town Moor, also known in the vernacular as ‘booling’. A man with rolled-up shirt sleeves and braces runs in to throw in a knockout handicap competition. A crowd of men in flat caps surround the action. Another bowler takes a run up to bowl, a man marking the throw line with his bowler hat.

A tall golfer lights his cigarette and hands back the lighter to his colleague, a much shorter man in a flat cap and suit. The golfer takes a swing at a ball.

Children walk and skate on the frozen boating lake at Leazes Park (or Paddy Freeman’s Park). Ducks and geese are paddling and gathered around the one hole in the ice.  A woman in a muffler and skirt skates around the pond, watched by the kids. A man in knickerbockers twirls around, showing off. The pair skate together, trying a few moves. The man instructs the woman on a skating move. As the sun sinks behind the trees, men play ice hockey on the pond. [A label marked 'W.I.' is pasted in frame for this sequence.]

The next footage appears to be outtakes from the YMCA sports event on 15 July 1933 and other events taking place in Newcastle upon Tyne in the 30s. A judo match takes place between two competitors. An Alsatian dog performs stunts, leaping over a bar and people.

A woman and man attempt to jump a fence on their horses.

Distant shot of a plane in an air display over Cramlington Aerodrome.

A woman races her horse along the Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park, whilst a motor car performs stunts alongside the course.

Men perform gymnastics at an event, leaping over a man posed on a gym pommel horse.

A boxing match takes place in a ring set up on Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park(?), the grandstand in the background.

Decorated horses are hitched to a flat-back cart.

A juvenile jazz band (or cadets?) march along the Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park(?), blowing kazoos and led by a baton-twirling majorette.

Further footage of boxers fighting in several boxing contests in a ring set up on Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park(?).

A man drives a weird customised vehicle up and down in a park.

Men form a human pyramid and collapse as part of an acrobatic display, probably part of the YMCA sports event on 15 July 1933.

[dark footage]

Shots of an Alsatian dog performing stunts.

[Colour footage - faded]

The candles on a decorated birthday cake are lit at a party for James Cameron, original founder and Secretary of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA). One of the ACA members (in glasses) vigorously shakes hands with James Cameron. Cameron blows out the candles on his cake. The birthday cake is cut. Portrait shots of individuals and couples, all men and women members of Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA), raising their glasses and drinking a toast to Cameron on his birthday. They include Doris Graham, an actor in Newcastle ACA productions and on production crews.

The next footage features a sequence of screen tests of amateur actors of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA), each in different costume and some mugging for the camera. They include two men in cowboy outfits and a man dressed in an animal skin like a strong man, jokily flexing his muscles, a genie, two flapper girls kissing, two women pulling crackers, a man twirling his fake moustache, a man in shorts wearing joke spectacles with fake eyeballs.

[Black and white footage]

Dark footage of a large ballroom, spotlights intermittently lighting up the dance floor where couples are dancing. A dance band is playing with a conductor. More shots follow of the dance floor and drinks being served at a bar, some ACA (?) members sipping cocktails through straws. [Label stuck in frame marked 'W.I.'

The final footage in this compilation features ceremonial parades at an Armistice Day (Remembrance Day) service commemorating the dead of the First World War, possibly filmed in 1932. General view of soldiers marching on a street at the rear of Castle Keep, Newcastle upon Tyne, a tram paused as they parade past, heading to The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas. A group of war veterans slowly walk by in the parade, a military band in the background. Crowds watch from the pavements. A line of civic dignitaries, including the Mayor and mace-bearer, walk solemnly by. Soldiers mill around, some still standing to attention in formation. Some are carrying wreaths. A ceremony takes place, probably at the memorial statue in Old Eldon Square (not seen). Platoons of soldiers, a military band led by drummers, and ex-servicemen march after the ceremony. The large crowds begin to disperse.

Title: The End