Film ID:
NEFA 20590



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An amateur film made in around 1940 of a visit by Herbert Morrison to St James Park to inspect divisions of Civil Defence and Air Raid Precaution personnel and equipment. He is accompanied by Ellen Wilkinson then Member of Parliament for Jarrow as well as one of three Parliamentary Secretaries responsible for air raid shelters and civil defence at of Ministry of Home Security under Herbert Morrison. The film also shows Mary, Princess Royal & Countess of Harewood attending a military parade through Newcastle.

The film opens on four well-dressed men stepping down from the rear of a catering van that is parked in Ellison Place in Newcastle. Two of the men are wearing chains of office. The Newcastle Unitarian Church can be seen in the background.

A motorbus drives along a street; a sign above the drivers cabin reads “Civil Defence Canteen”.

General views of dignitaries standing in a street chatting with a number of British Army and Royal Navy officers.

A man wearing a Royal Navy greatcoat and cap is led through the street by a man in a suit and bowler hat. The man in the greatcoat speaks with another man wearing chains of office. Behind him stand another naval officer in greatcoat. Around them is a large crowd of other army officers and civilian’s.

Four uniformed men on horseback ride down Pilgrim Street past a raised platform that stands on the junction of Market Street. On the platform stands the man seen previously in the Royal Navy greatcoat in front of two other senior naval officers. A man in chains of office stands just behind them. On both sides of the platform stands an army brass band.

A military band carrying both wind and brass instruments march past.

A division of the Women’s Royal Naval Service march past. As they pass the platform they turn their heads towards the platform. The officer leading the division salutes.

A motorised float in the shape of a warship passes the platform with a number of men standing on it. Along the side of the float are the initials 'LSD'. Behind the float a division of soldiers wearing kilts and holding bagpipes march towards the platform. Along the pavements large crowds are watching the procession.

A division of the Auxiliary Territorial Services march past. All the women look towards the platform while the officer leading them salutes. Her salute is returned by the naval officer on the platform.

A Tetrarch Mk VII Light Tanks drives past the platform.

The men on the platform steps down and are saluted by an army officer and soldier waiting for them at the bottom. The group walk towards camera.

The film changes to Grey’s Monument. Around two sides of the base are a number of large placards. One side reads, 'Newcastle Won’t Miss the Boat' and on the other 'The Signal of the Weeks & Save'. Above the first placard is another larger sign that reads 'Another Million' with a picture of a destroyer vessel above that. Along the column a thermometer shows the money raised so far.

The film changes again to the front of a large building where a group of civic dignitaries in gowns, some in fur hats stand around a raised platform chatting. One of the men is carrying a ceremonial mace. Around them on the pavement is a large crowd of onlookers with policemen standing between them and the platform.

A man in ceremonial gown helps a woman onto the platform. They stand next to another woman and two other men. The first of these men is also wearing a ceremonial gown with civic chains while the other in wearing a suit with bowler hat and has a number of medal pinned to his chest. The man in the bowler hat begins to address the crowd via a large microphone.

The film changes to St James Park football ground where various divisions of auxiliary, civil defence and medical personnel stand ready for inspection. At the front of the pitch a brass band performs, behind them a division of nurses stands in formation. To the left and right of the band are firemen standing next to their appliances. Behind then divisions of motorcycle riders, at the far end of the pitch six men on horseback stand between a number of lorries.  

A group of smartly dressed men and women including Herbert Morrison and Ellen Wilkinson come out onto the pitch from an underground tunnel. They are all carrying gas masks over their shoulders. The group is being led by a man with a sash around his right arm.

Mr Morrison accompanied by seven men walk across the pitch past a unit of firemen who are standing to attention. A Dalmatian dog follows them.

The group stop at a division of nurses. Mr Morrison shakes the hand of the lead nurse who is wearing glasses.

Mr Morrison stops at a division of men and women. Most of them are wearing civilian clothes and only two of the men are wearing white metal helmets. Mr Morrison speaks with one of the men wearing a metal helmet who is also wearing a dog collar.

Three men, one in a senior policeman’s uniform, walk across the pitch behind Mr Morrison chatting. Behind them is a woman carrying a camera.

Mr Morrison shakes the hand and chats with a Fire Officer who is beside a division of fireman standing to attention. Behind them is an appliance with a sign propped against it that reads 'Danger Gas'. 

The man with the sash leads Mr Morrison and a woman back across the pitch. They walk past a number of other divisions including a unit of men wearing anti-gas clothing. On their helmets are the initials D.C.

Mr Morrison and his group stand in front of a large division of Air Raid Precaution wardens. He chats with a number of them.

Mr Morrison and his group inspect a line of six police officers on horseback. He shakes the hand of the first officer. The man with the sash speaks with Mr Morrison while Ms Wilkinson strokes the mane of one of the horses.

The man with the sash leads Mr Morrison and Ms Wilkinson around the edge of the pitch past a group of children standing or sitting in the stands.  They inspects another division of Air Raid Precaution wardens while the man with the sash speaks to the woman. They inspect a number of wardens standing next to their lorries.

Mr Morrison speaks with a young woman standing next to a lorry. The letter 'A' is stenciled above the cabin of the vehicle.

From a podium Mr Morrison gives a speech into a microphone. Beside him stand a police sergeant in dress uniform with aiguillette and the man with the sash. Behind them in the stands a large crowd sits and listens.

A man rests on a fire appliance listening to Mr Morrison. Beside him stand two firemen.

Mr Morrison continues speaking. The camera pans right to show his companions standing against a wooden wall that forms part of the stand. They are all listening to the speech. A chequered flag flutters in the breeze.

The man in the sash leads Mr Morrison past the fire appliances, his companions following on behind.

A smiling man waves his bowler hat in the air.

Mr Morrison is lead away from the podium. The Dalmatian following behind.

The film changes to show members of the Auxiliary Territorial Service standing beside their vehicles. A smartly dressed man greets Princess Mary who is in an army uniform. Three other women, two in army uniform, accompany her. Another man salutes and shakes the Princesses hand. 

A senior policeman and a man in ceremonial chains escort Princess Mary past a number of Auxiliary Territorial Service drivers. The three women accompanying the Princess and another man follow on behind. The letter 'A' is stencilled above the cabin of each of the vehicles.

On a large grassed area the Princess is led past a division of women standing to attention. Some of the women are in uniform, some in civilian clothing.

An older woman wearing a sash on her left arm led's the Princess, the police officer and man in ceremonial chains towards camera.

The Princess shakes the hand of a woman in a white coat standing next to a catering van. The woman in wearing a hat with a large feather in it. Three other women who are also standing beside the van take turns to curtsey and shaking the Princesses hand. In the background other women stand in front of two other catering vans.

The Princess, two of her uniformed companions and the woman with a sash are helped down from a catering van by the police officer and man in ceremonial chains.

The group walk past two other vehicles that are parked in the field. Women in white coats standing beside the vans as the Princess passes.

The film changes to show a Union Jack unfurls on a flagpole.

In a street of terraced townhouses a Royal Air Force (RAF) officer and two soldiers inspect a number of RAF soldier’s who are standing to attention in front of a raised platform.

On the other side of the street beside the platform three women from the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) stand to attention. Other RAF officers and civilians can be seen seated around the platform.

A man in full Anglican vestments climbs onto the platform and stands beside a number of other civilian dignitaries. In front of them the RAF officer inspects another division of soldiers.

The Princess arrives with the man in ceremonial chains. The RAF officer salutes her before shaking her hand . In front of them is a man taking photographs.

The Princess walks onto the platform where a large trophy sits on plinth draped in a Union Jack. A group of civilian dignitaries, a naval officer and the Anglican priest in vestments greets and shakes her hand

The RAF officer speaks to the crowd from the platform. He is followed by another man in a suit and tie.

A RAF solider marches up to the platform and salutes the Princess. She presents him with the trophy. Behind him a man is taking photographs. The RAF soldier salutes the Princess again before turning and walking away. Everyone on the platform claps.

Three men on horseback ride past the Princess who saluting them. They are followed by four RAF soldier’s march past saluting. They are followed by three divisions of RAF soldier’s who all look towards the Princess. She continues to salute them as they pass.

The film changes to Barras Bridge in front of The Church of St Thomas The Martyr where Princess Mary and a male companion step from a car. An army officer salutes the Princess. A man in ceremonial chains bows and shakes the Princesses hand. The four of them stand for a moment chatting before the Princess is led onto a raised platform. As she passes three army officers she returns their salute. All around the platform are large crowds of spectators.

Various guests step onto the platform and take their seats. The Princess can be seen in her chair beside a number of army, RAF and Royal Navy officers as well as civilian dignitaries. 

Three police officers on horseback lead a procession of marching military personnel down the Great North Road and onto Barras Bridge past the Great North Museum. All along the route are crowds of onlookers. The camera pans right to show the Princess and dignitaries now standing on the platform.

As a police officer on horseback passes the platform a division of soldiers from the Black Watch can be seen standing to attention on the other side of the road outside the Shell Mex. & BP Ltd building.

A division of Royal Navy sailors in sailor suits march past with rifles slung across their right shoulders. They all look towards the Princess as they pass. The officer leading the division salutes.

A unit of the Women’s Royal Naval Service in their double-breasted jackets and hats match past; their head turned left looking towards the platform.

On the platform one of the dignitaries doffs his bowler hat.

Three Humber Mk II Armored Car’s drive slowly past. Soldiers look out from the top hatches of the vehicle.

Three Tetrarch Mk VII Light Tanks drive slowly past with the gun barrels facing down. Two of the tanks also have Bren Guns attached to them. Soldiers in metal helmets look out from the top hatches.

A Universal Carrier drives past. A solider stands to attention at the front of the armored track vehicles while another two sit in the back.

Three Morris Commercial C8 Field Artillery Tractors drive past pulling their artillery guns. Soldiers stand to attention on each vehicles through the vehicles canopy looking towards the platform.

On the platform the man with the bowler hat places it back on his head. He speaks briefly with an army officer standing to his left.

An unidentified army personnel vehicle drives past pulling an anti-aircraft artillery gun. Solders sit in the back of the vehicle as well as on the gun itself.

A Scammell Pioneer R100 drives past with its canvas canopy down. A Lewis Gun is attached to the vehicle with four soldiers standing to attention in the back beside it. An army corporal is driving the vehicle with another solider in the passenger seat. The registration number is stenciled onto the hood is 34467019.

On the platform the Princess smiles and chats with the man in the bowler hat. Standing to the side of the platform are two army officers who are chatting and smiling with a woman in a naval uniform.

A division of soldiers wearing jungle hats march past with rifles slung over their right shoulders.

A division of soldiers wearing metal helmets march past their rifles slung over their right shoulders.

Looking down on to Barras Bridge four police officers on horseback lead the procession of troops and vehicles. On both sides of the roads the pavements are full of spectators.  

A marching band turns into Gallowgate past the Northern Counties Permanent Building Society building. Two divisions of Royal Navy sailors and a division of the Women’s Royal Naval Service follow them.

A division of police officers march into Gallowgate. Behind them come the Humber Mk II Armoured Car’s, Tetrarch Mk VII Light Tanks and three Scammell Pioneer R100 vehicles pulling small artillery pieces.

The Universal Carrier is next to turn into Gallowgate followed by the three Morris Commercial C8 Field Artillery Tractors pulling two large anti-aircraft guns and a large searchlight.

An army flatbed lorry turns into Gallowgate. In the back five soldiers stand next to a large bomb.

Another army lorry turns into Gallowgate. In the back radio operators can be seen sitting next to their equipment. Two soldiers follow the lorry on motorcycles.

The division of troops wearing jungle hats turn into Gallowgate. They are followed by army marching band.

The film changes to show the same marching band coming onto the pitch at St James Park. They are being lead by an army officer who comes to a stop next to another officer who is also stands beside a division of musicians. Both divisions march in unison and perform for the large crowds watching from the stands.

From a decorated podium Princess Mary stands next to a large microphone. She is surrounded by various military and civilian dignitaries. A man is speaking into the microphone.

A division of the Auxiliary Territorial Service march around the edge of the football pitch. On the pitch in the background other division of army and naval soldiers come to attention.

Two men stand next to a film camera as a division of Auxiliary Territorial Service marches past.

A unit of RAF soldiers march past the camera. In the background on the pitch more divisions of soldiers stand to attention.

Five soldiers work on a set of searchlights that stand in the corner of the pitch. Around them crowds of civilians are in the stands watching the events on the football pitch.

A small artillery pieces stands on the pitch. In front of it a division of the Auxiliary Territorial Service comes into formation while behind it a marching band leads a division of marching sailors.

The Princess inspects the division of Auxiliary Territorial Service. Another uniformed women as well as a man in civic chains and another man in a bowler hat accompany her. She speaks with a number of the women. 

The film ends with two army officers and two civilians walking out from the underground tunnel underneath the football pitch.