Film ID:
NEFA 14501

NORTHUMBERLAND: A NEW LIFE

1970

Visitor Tabs

Description

A promotional film made for Northumberland County Council to encourage people to move to Northumberland. The film uses case studies of three families recently moved to the area. These include the Richardson family from Whitley Bay, the Target family from Killingworth and the Randall family from the Tyne Valley near Hexham. The film explores issues of housing, industry, shopping, nightlife, leisure activities and education.

Title: Northumberland – A New Life.

The film opens with a shot of the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle as seen from the coast. A map of England shows Newcastle-upon-Tyne circled. A second map shows Northumberland with Newcastle, Killingworth and Cramlington highlighted. A view of a rocky shore precedes a view of a sandy beach and Bamburgh Castle on the hill in the distance. A seagull flies around a craggy rock face with the sea lapping onto a nearby rocky beach. A small fishing village, possibly Craster, with three small fishing boats moored on the slipway. A man sits on a grassy bank mending a fishing net. A second man pours a bucket of water onto fishing nets in a boat as another man untangles them. In the background is a small beach near a seawall where people can be seen sunbathing and swimming in the sea.

A BKS Air Transport propeller airplane comes into land at an airport and taxis to a stop. A set of steps are pushed toward the plane and a stewardess wearing a hat with a wing looks up at the door. All the passengers are men in suits who descend the steps and walk across the runway to the terminal. As they step onto the runway another stewardess stands and salutes them as they pass.

A woman on horseback trots along Whitley Bay beach to where a man and small child are standing with a small poodle dog. The St Mary’s Lighthouse can be seen in the background. The woman, identified as Mrs Richardson, gets down from her horse and talks directly to camera. She says that she and her family have come to Whitley Bay from Canada where her husband had been transferred by an America company. Mr Richardson then speaks to camera and says that he and his wife were both originally from the south of England and he had been living in Canada for ten years. Mr and Mrs Richardson walk along the beach with their two young daughters and dog. Mr Richardson picks up his daughters and puts them in the saddle of the horse his wife is leading. From the cliffs, a wide view of Whitley Bay beach with St Mary’s Lighthouse in the far distance. Three small girls paddle in the surf and a toddler plays in the sand.

General view of a modern housing estate where Mr & Mrs Richardson gett out of a large black car (Reg: JNL 344D). Mrs Richardson walks to a neighbouring house where two women are sitting in deckchairs by the front door, knitting. She sits on the garden wall and begins chatting to them. Mr Richardson and one of the daughters join her and also begin chatting to the women. The daughter runs away from Mrs Richardson to go play on a nearby playing field with other children. A group of children of different ages play with a ball on the field. Mr Richardson walks away towards another modern terraced house and start working on the front garden.

The film changes to the River Tyne and views of the different shipyards there. A red cargo ship is under construction and is moored alongside one of the yards. A second ship on the opposite side of the river is under construction on a slipway.

Four people walk along a path alongside Norgas House with the Horns of Minos on the roof. A road sign reads “Killingworth Township”. General view of a row of stone-built terraced cottages in old Killingworth, then a shot of the front door of the cottage where George Stephenson was born. This is followed by views of a number of contemporary houses in a modern housing estate also in Killingworth.

A man and woman, identified by the narrator as Mr & Mrs Target, sit on a leather sofa. Mr Target is holding a baby while a Golden Retriever dog walks past. Mr Target talks to camera about his knowledge of what it would be like to live in Northumberland, but left to form his own opinions when he arrived. He is very pleased with it and has no intention of moving back to Nottingham. Mrs Target then speaks to camera and says that the house is marvellous, with central heating.

Two women watch over a small group of children playing on a concrete area at the rear of a row of modern terraced houses. The children pat and stroke a dog. More children are seen playing in an area that appears to be between two rows of modern terraced houses. A man in a small sailing dinghy moves away from a concrete quayside on Killingworth Lake. Three boys fish in the lake from the concrete quayside with a small net on a bamboo stick. The dinghy is seen further out in the lake, an office complex behind it. The boys put something from their nets into a jug.

A road sign reads “Cramlington New Town Industrial Site”. The sign for Wilkinson Sword hangs over a complex of modern factory buildings. There are views of other small industrial factories and a sign hanging from one factory that reads “Angus”. There are views of the modern housing estate that, the narrator advises, is just behind new factory buildings seen previously. A white car pulls into a car parking space at the rear of a number of terraced houses. Two boys play cricket in the street against a garage door.

The film changes to Morpeth and Bridge Street looking east toward the town hall. People and cars travel along Bridge Street past traditional stone-built buildings including the George & Dragon pub. A group of people walk past the town hall followed by two women talking near a red telephone box and parked cars. General views of a modern housing estate is followed by a woman carrying a baby out of one of these new houses. The village green at Ponteland with a stone bridge passing over a small stream and a Tudor style house in the background. General views of a series of large modern houses that the narrator advises can also to be found at Ponteland. Water pours from an iron water pump that stands on a village green next to a road with a traditional cottage. A small bird drinks from the water. Seaton Delaval Hall is seen from the front gates.

A modern stone-built house known locally as Meadow House along Doctors Lane is seen on the banks near to the river Tyne at Hexham. A woman identified as Mrs Randall walks through a set of patio doors onto a concrete patio where her husband is tending to a hanging basket and her three children are playing with toy boats in a paddling pool. Mr Randall talks directly to camera to say that the move to the North East has given them opportunity to do what they have always wanted, to build their own home. They believe they have found the most perfect position for a home and were able to hire a local architect and local contractor and built the house in four months. Mrs Randall then speaks to camera to say that as country lovers they couldn’t live in a more perfect position with the river at the bottom of the garden. They could be in the country miles from anywhere. The Randall family walk along a quite country-road in the village of Humshaugh near Hexham past traditional terraced house and towards The Crown public house. The Randall’s two daughters in blue dresses run ahead and stand by a sign that reads “Public Footpath”.The rest of the family join them and they walk up the path.

From a hill overlooking the town of Hexham, the film focuses on the abbey. A market is taking place in the Market Place and people walk around various stalls. General views of more pedestrians walking up and down Fore Street. People buy fruit and vegetables from a number of outdoor market stalls.A receptionist answers a telephone in a hair salon, a woman sits in a chair having a haircut.

A busy street in Newcastle with pedestrians and traffic all around. A number of mannequins stand in a window of a department store. General views of  the Theatre Royal on Grey Street and City Hall on Northumberland Road showing both pedestrians and cars passing. A sign above a door of City Hall says “Booking Office”. A group of women look in on the shop window. Poster for various cultural events taking place at the Theatre Royal and at City Hall with the Northern Sinfonia. A view of the Tyne Bridge looking towards Newcastle with cars coming across the Swing Bridge below.

Neon lights above “Oxford Galleries” nightclub are followed by photographs of young women dressed as a Playboy Bunnies. The neon sign of “La Dolce Vita” follows the sign above “Billy Botto’s”. A group of can-can dancers perform on the coloured dance floor of “La Dolce Vita” surrounded by tables and watching patrons. Mr & Mrs Richardson are in the audience. A ball is sent spinning around a roulette wheel as a female croupier in a pink dress moves plastic chips around the table. Mr & Mrs Richardson dance on the dance floor with other couples dancing around them.

The Randall family drive down a narrow country road surrounded by trees and fields at the back of Humshaugh. Mrs Randall and the children look out of the car window at the surrounding countryside as Mr Randall drives. The family walk through a field of wheat. Mr Randall is carrying a picnic basket and Mrs Randall is giving a piggyback to the youngest child. They walk through a gate, a Golden Retriever dog at their side.

The film changes to show views of Alnwick Castle from a distance and of its entrance gate tower. There are general views of Hadrian’s Wall and then “The Hadrian Hotel”, a country hotel and restaurant in Wall near Chollerford. The Randall family have a picnic on a rocky shore of a river. View of the ivy covered “George Hotel” at Chollerford. Two men in suits walk into the “Gosforth Park Hotel” past a water feature. A young waiter fills a plate with food from a selection of glass dishes. Another waiter wears a red jacket and cooks a meat dish over a small gas stove next to a table. He then serves the dish to two men sitting at the table.

Mrs Randall sitting on the steps of her patio talks to camera with her children in the background. She says that the best part of the move has been from the point of view of the children. They have the freedom of this country atmosphere that has made them more relaxed. They don’t have the fear of riding their bicycles up and down the roads and being knocked over. All the children ride past on their bicycles with their home in the distance.

A number of views of traditional and modern buildings that form part of “Newcastle University” followed by “Whitley Bay Grammar School”. A group of children in school uniforms walk along a cliff path leading into the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle.

A young boy canoes in the sea with cliffs in the background. A man plays with a football on a busy Whitley Bay beach. The dome of Spanish City fairground is in the background. A group of young people play tennis on an village green with traditional stone houses in the background. Mr Randall stands in the river Tyne with his dog, fishing. Mrs Richardson and a companion gallop through the surf on the beach at Blyth. Two young men pull a small wagon used to transport a small yacht. A boy stands on the cliff overlooking Tynemouth beach with the ruins of the abbey in the distance. Two small yachts with blue sails are coming onto the beach below. Another yacht with blue sails heads away from the beach followed by three yachts sailing in formation. The film ends with a number of views of different yachts sailing around Tynemouth harbour.

End Credit: Cameraman: Peter Dearden.
End Credit: Written & Directed by David Bean.
End Credit: For Northumberland County Council.