Film ID:
NEFA 21260



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Made by dance band musician George Cummin, this is a compilation of both amateur and commercial footage that documents a year of personal and national events in 1937, using occasional staged scenes. These include a wedding in Newcastle upon Tyne attended by George Cummin, and his own marriage in July, a picnic outing with his wife, Norah, and a friend, the Northumberland Plate festival at Gosforth Park Racecourse, Newcastle, and a fox hunt in Scotland. George and Norah Cummin were members of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association.

Title: Presenting

Title: News of 1937 G.C. Edition

Title: JANUARY The Year is in; the cat is out; it’s bedtime.

The first sequence is from a commercial silent comedy film starring Charlie Chaplin as a drunk who comes home, has difficulty climbing the stairs to bed, and is hit in the face by a clock pendulum.

Title: FEBRUARY Wedding Bells – Belle’s Wedding

Amateur footage of a bride arriving by car at a house before (?) her white wedding, followed by the bridesmaids. George Cummin is amongst three men waiting beside the car. Her father, in a bowler hat, fusses with her veil as she rushes over the doorstep. A few neighbours in the street gawk at the bride, one with an umbrella up. The bride and groom pose together, smiling. Guests come up one by one to congratulate the newly-weds, including George Cummin. The couple kiss passionately.

Title: The Wedding MARCH over, comes APRIL and the call of the road –

Preparations are under way for a day out in the country. Norah’s mother is slicing bread for picnic sandwiches. Norah carries over a couple of bottles of ale.

Title: “George is bringing the car round at 11.”

Shot of a mantelpiece clock. George Cummin wakes up late, stretches, yawns, rushes downstairs in his stripy pyjamas, and shaves in the bathroom.

Norah and her mother pack up the picnic.

In a dapper checked suit, George opens up the garage door and backs out the car. Footage (commercial?) of a man and woman waiting beside railings in the street follows. George’s car turns into the street. The two look at each other and ask whether that’s George. Three men wait in a street (commercial insert?). George pulls over and gets out of the car to let his friend get in. A hand puts a car in gear. Travelling shot down road. Now out into the countryside, George, Norah and friend try to light a fire in a field to get a kettle boiling. The three enjoy a picnic. Lambs gambol in a field. A woman looks across at some lambs with a ewe (commercial insert?).

Title: Home, James and don’t sp – hello! Trouble?

The car breaks down. George is examining the car engine with his friend.

Title: But they got home – eventually.

The car arrives back in Jesmond, with Norah and George’s friend pushing it.

Norah and friend look slightly annoyed. But Norah smiles nonetheless.

Title: We MAY spot a Winner at the Races in JUNE –

Archive footage (?) at Gosforth Park racecourse, Newcastle upon Tyne, the bookies, parading jockeys and race action, intercut with amateur footage of Norah walking towards Gosforth Park.

Title: JULY More trouble for someone –

George and Norah pose for photographs after their wedding, confetti on their smart clothes. The two get into a Rolls Royce wedding car.

Title: A Rolls-Royce, eh? But in AUGUST we come back to earth –

George is in an apron, his hair wrapped in a headscarf, and he’s decorating. Hammering in nails on the floor, he hits his thumb.

Title: SEPTEMBER The road puts in another call.

Close-up for “A1 Alnwick”. General views of the arch of the Bondgate Tower (?) and Alnwick Castle.

Title: Off across the Border

Travelling shot from car. Shot of a passenger pointing from a car driving by.

Various shots document a fox hunt with a huge number of riders and a pack of hounds, probably just over the border in Scotland.

On the way back home, the couple (George and Norah?) decide to break up the journey. She comments on something glimpsed outside and laughs. Close-up of a handmade sign for “Teas”. The car pulls up. The couple are served by a waitress in a café. Back at Norah’s parents’ house, her father sits in an armchair quietly reading the newspaper whilst her mother makes a pot of tea.

In the café, the couple are served tea. Next, Norah is asleep in the back of the car, whilst George (?) drives her home.

Title: OCTOBER Up to London to see the Queen – and the King – open Parliament

Archive footage of the State Opening of Parliament with the procession and royal carriage, the King and Queen arriving at the Sovereign's Entrance at the Houses of Parliament, and a regiment of beefeaters.

Title: NOVEMBER Brrrr – But some people like the cold –

Amateur footage of men speed skating on a frozen pond, which could be Paddy’s Pond, Newcastle.

Title: We are more for indoor sports –

Close-up of a darts board (out of focus). A woman throws a dart. The man screams theatrically. George sits and reads a book in his armchair, with his pipe and a decanter of sherry. He downs his drink quite quickly.

Title: “Isn’t that disgusting? He’s so drunk I can see two of him –

Jerky camerawork creates double images of George and a clock. George looks at the clock, which he can barely see.

Title: Ah well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and for 1937 it’s –

Title: The End