Film ID:
NEFA 13246



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Amateur film of a stone-laying ceremony that takes place on September 17th 1955 at the Methodist Church on Chester’s Avenue, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne, still under construction. The opening ceremony on March 24th 1956 is also recorded.

Title: Erection of New Church - Longbenton

Title: Stone-Laying Ceremony. September 17th 1955

Title: Performed in the presence of the President of the Conference. Rev. Dr. Leslie D. Weatherhead

Scaffolding surrounds the brick walls of a new Methodist church at Chester’s Avenue, Longbenton, under construction. A small crowd of men and women are gathered beside the building, the men in formal suits and some wearing bowler hats. Another group of people approach the site. In the background passengers get off a double decker bus near the new council estate. The camera pans along some of the crowd, mostly young and older women, some smiling for the camera. A man in a pale suit and glasses speaks to the camera, smiles and moves away.

The Reverend Leslie D. Weatherhead arrives at the church, the council estate sited across waste ground in the background. He smiles to camera. The man in a pale suit walks with another man towards the gathered crowd. The crowd share conversation and mill around. An elderly man in a bowler hat walks past. The man in the pale suit walks by a parked car with a small boy. He stops and smiles widely at the camera and bows. In the background an area of wasteland borders the distant municipal estate.

Various shots record people arriving for the ceremony and members of the gathered crowd. Two vicars consult together. An elderly woman arrives supported by a younger woman in a checked coat. Several elderly men arrive by car.

A group of vicars stands at the front of the crowd and prepares for the opening ceremony. A tracking shot captures the crowd and five vicars singing hymns. One of the vicars makes a speech.

The next scenes document the consecration of the stones. A succession of people, many women, speak the blessings and tap bricks of partly constructed church walls with a pestle type instrument.

The camera tracks quickly from the crowd to the vicars after the ceremony.

Title: Opening Ceremony March 24th 1956

Title: Performed By Mrs G. M. Stalker

A group of vicars and two women in Salvation Army style uniforms gather for the opening ceremony. A tracking shot records the group, mostly male vicars and Mrs Stalker, who unfolds a piece of paper. There are shots of the vicars with a background view of the council estate. Close ups of some of the people as they chat together. Mrs Stalker is handed a piece of paper. She unlocks the door to the church. She makes a speech. A vicar opens the door to the church and all the vicars enter.

End Title: The End