Film ID: YFA 3537 Video of YFA_ 3537 Max Jaffa Farewell To Scarborough MAX JAFFA - FAREWELL TO SCARBOROUGH 1986 Visitor TabsDescription This is a Yorkshire Television documentary on Scarborough favourite, the violinist and bandleader Max Jaffa. The programme pays tribute to him as he prepares to play his last season of concerts at the Spa, aged 74, after 27 years there. There are interviews with Max Jaffa, his wife, contralto Jean Grayston, and his fans. The film begins looking over Scarborough South Bay, and the boats in the harbour, before moving on to the Concert Hall at the Spa, where an orchestra is playing. Max Jaffa walks onto the stage carrying his violin, and they play Scarborough Fayre. Fishing boats are shown coming in with their catch, as Max Jaffa’s wife is interviewed as the pair walk along the seafront looking onto the fishing boats. We next see the audience, mainly elderly ladies, arriving at the Spa Theatre, many arriving by coach, as the orchestra plays. Some of his fans are interviewed, explaining why he has such a devoted following. A woman is making a cake for Max Jaffa, which she does each year. to the sound of music being performed in the background and with an inscription on the cake from Twelve Night, “If music be the food of love, play on . . .”. Jaffa is presented with the cake. Then there is an interview with the wrestler Big Daddy, who says why he loves Jaffa’s music, and we see him at a performance. It is explained that the programme runs in three week cycles. We see a performance with Jean Grayston singing. The film then turns to Max Jaffa at home in Scalby. He shows his most prized possession, a violin made in 1704 by Pietro of Manchua, and he practices his scales, which he says he does every day. An account his given of his history, and he discusses other violinist he has known and admired. There is archive film of his playing with his trio in the 1950s, and when they busked outside the Albert Hall. He and his wife give support to a busker in Scarborough who is raising money for a lifeboat. Former members of his orchestra put on a surprise for him on an open top bus going around Scarborough. Some of these, including Ian Killock, are interviewed. We see the orchestra performing outdoors at the Spa, and preparing for another concert. The pianist director Vincent Billington, and Don Waterman, tourist office, are both interviewed opining that Jaffa knows what the public likes, and that this is what he plays. There is film of fishing boats unloading their catch, and of Jaffa trying some fish being sold on a stall. He is next seen out playing golf, and watching a cricket match in Scarborough, as well as posters advertising the “Max Jaffa Sweepstake”. Jaffa explains that his retirement was more by accident than design, being misquoted by a newspaper, and then the Council deciding that it wanted a change, and so, it seems, it did not renew his contract. There are more interviews with his devotees as he is shown playing the violin. The film ends showing Scarborough seafront in the evening, and children playing in an amusement arcade. From ITN Source: Director - DAVID CROZIER Reporter - GEOFF DRUETT First TX date: 1986-09-08 YORKSHIRE TELEVISION Context Scarborough favourite, violinist, and bandleader Max Jaffa says goodbye to his legion of fans as they too shed a tear for the end of the “comfortable predictability” of his concerts after 27 years. Max Jaffa, now aged 74, shows himself to be the consummate performer, directing the versatile, and often unrehearsed, Spa Orchestra through a daunting summer season at Scarborough’s famous Spa Grand Hall and Sun Court in 1986. This Yorkshire Television documentary catches Max Jaffa at the end of his long stint at Scarborough, although he continued performing for several years and passed away in 1991. It tells much of the story of his eventful life, but doesn’t mention that he was the youngest ever leader of the Scottish Symphony Orchestra, back in 1929, or that he later became the leader of the Mantovani Orchestra and regularly conducted the Palm Court Orchestra in Eastbourne – often relayed live on BBC radio. Nor does it mention that, after flying with the Royal Air Force during World War II, he became physically unable to play the violin. Something one wouldn’t guess from watching him play in this film.