Film ID:
NEFA 21351



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This short fiction film features Oakenshaw Welfare Drama Group as members of the cast and was produced by amateur filmmakers Keith Venn and George Coates. A group of local picnickers are enlisted as sleuths when a villainous gamekeeper and his accomplice are discovered to have stolen an aristocrat’s necklace and try to escape. This film is part of the Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) collection. Keith Venn was a long standing member of Newcastle ACA and the IAC (Institute of Amateur Cinematographers).

Credit: IAC A Member’s Film

Credit: V and C Films Presents

Credit: Presents The Oakenshaw Welfare Drama Group 1951

Title: In No Picnic

Credit: Cast

Gamekeeper – Richard Routledge

Gamekeeper’s Companion – Maitland Reed

Detectives – James Lomax, John Golightly

Young Couple – Ralph Rumley Jun., Eileen Rumley

Entomologist – George Coates

Forestry Agent – Keith Venn

Credit: Picnic Party

Harry Briggs

Ettie Graham

Ralph Rumley Sen.

Peggy Rumley

Tommy Lomax

George Brown

Maragaret Harrison

Jean Routledge

Molly Brown

Doris Lee

Mary Golightly

Bessie Lonsdale

The Children

Credit: Written, Camera, Produced, Directed, Edited by George Coates and Keith Venn

Title: All characters and events in this story are fictitious.

The film opens with a shot of horses grazing in a farmer’s field. A big party of children and adults walk through the field on their way to a picnic spot. They settle in a glade beside a gnarled old tree. One of the men starts to make a fire with twigs and paper. A woman brings over the kettle. A couple are seated together on the grass, the man reading a newspaper. A ball lands on his paper and annoys him. His partner shoves him a little, goading him and they bicker. She throws back the ball to a group of the picnickers and they continue their game. A local gamekeeper with a walking stick happens upon the families.

Title: “You will have to get off this ground. You are trespassing.”

One of the men remonstrates.

Title: “We are not, the notice is on the other side.”

Shot of the sign on a tree that reads “Trespassers will be prosecuted.”

The young gamekeeper insists that they leave. Disgruntled, they begin to move. However, they move a few feet to the other side of the tree and settle down. The gamekeeper continues to order them to get off the land, waving his stick threateningly. He is bad-mannered and bundles a woman’s cardigan back into her arms, pushily. The group once more start to leave their picnicking spot.

The gamekeeper is joined by his companion and the two watch the group as they slowly make their way back along the path. The two men begin to plot.

Title: “Have you got the stuff?”

The gamekeeper’s assistant hands over a package.

Title: “Alright, we will bury it here until things cool off.”

The two men dig a shallow hole beside the gnarled tree. They are disturbed, covering it up quickly with earth, and run away. A young couple appear in the glade and settle down next to the tree, sharing a cigarette. The man sees the fresh soil and unearths the package with his hands. He opens it and finds a wallet with a pearl necklace inside. He holds up the pearls.

Title: “Lady Catherine’s, it was stolen from my mistress’s room last night.”

The young man examines it. Suddenly, the gamekeeper’s companion returns.

Title: “You are a stranger to us, we will return them ourselves.”

The young man will not hand over the necklace and a struggle ensues. They fight, but the gamekeeper creeps up and attacks the man with his stick, knocking him out. The young woman runs away, terrified.

Title: “Is he dead?”

They examine him, grab the spade and run away from the scene.

Title: Meanwhile, the picnickers have found another spot.

The frightened young woman comes across the group and tells them what has happened. She collapses. The group help her. Some of the men and women race off to help her boyfriend. He is not dead and the women start to bandage his head. Whilst they fuss over the victim, two gentlemen in suits leading a dog appear. The group explain what happened. The young man recovers and tells his story.

Title: “We are police on the case of the stolen pearls.”

Someone points out the direction that the two thieves ran off in to the detectives (with their rather unlikely police dog). They go in pursuit, the group following.

Title: “The group breaks up and the search begins.”

Two of the women (young and older) search for the thieves around a bush, when they hear a noise. A man in a trilby hat walks from behind the bush, checking the ground carefully. The young woman pounces on him and the older woman grabs a stick. They suddenly realise he’s a fellow picnicker. Comically, they begin to follow the man in his search, but merely circle around the bush again. The older woman points out their folly. The two women leave the man to his ineffectual tracking method. He continues to walk around the bush.

Two men from the group back into each other as they search. A fight almost arises until they recognise each other. An entomologist suddenly wanders into the clearing with a net, searching for insect samples. He bags a specimen and continues on his absent-minded way. The two men laugh. Another man then appears, examining leaves, and making observational notes. The two men are confused.

The two women team in the search party continue tracking through the woods when the young woman points in shock. An animal scarily races towards them.

Another woman is stalking the thieves with a large stick. Something startles her, but it’s nothing. She’s relieved. She sits down for a breather beneath a tree. The two women team race over and trip over her in their haste to get away from the animal. The dog trots past. They laugh, the scare over.

Meanwhile, the gamekeeper and his companion have reached the edge of the wood.

Title: “That is our only road, besides they are only old people.”

They hop over the fence. One of the picnic group, an older man in a flat cap had remained behind in the field as a lookout. He spots the thieves.

Title: “Just a minute you two. I know your dirty game.”

Title: “Stand back, you old fool.”

The gamekeeper threatens him with his stick. They start to run, but both trip over their own feet in their haste. Suddenly, the two women and the gang of other picnickers appear in the field and grab them, holding onto the two until the detectives arrive. The Gamekeeper and his assistant are restrained and the stolen pearls are found on them. The police lead the rogues away.

The local men and women now settle down for their picnic.

Title: The End

Credit: IAC Logo