Film ID:
NEFA 16128



Visitor Tabs


Tyne Tees Television Newsview magazine item, originally broadcast on 11 September 1964, about a party organised the night before at Scorton Station by local octogenarian, Bridget Talbot of Kiplin Hall, celebrating the Richmond to Darlington line remaining open. At the time, the village was still awaiting a decision on the railway closure from Conservative Minister of Transport, Ernest Marples. Includes interviews with Bridget Talbot, who led the local campaign against closure, and Mr Tim Kitson, MP for Richmond.

The news item opens with a general view of Scorton Station. Close-up of a sign for Scorton. A campaign message has been chalked on a station blackboard: "The trains are still running. With 6000 deaths on the roads. Why close [...]" A station official closes a barrier gate to the railway track.

Many local people are assembled on the station platform, including a (mock) patient on a (mock) hospital emergency trolley. The camera tracks past the crowd gathered there, and pauses in front of an elderly women, Bridget Talbot, who chuckles and looks a little self-conscious.

Voice-over: "The people of Scorton or Richmond held a party last night on the railway station platform. It was to celebrate the reprieve of their railway line, which is scheduled to be closed. The only difficulty was that the railway hasn't really been reprieved at all. Transport Minister Mr Ernest Marples is soon to decide its fate. The chief organiser of the party is an enthusiastic octogenarian, Miss Bridget Talbot. Village rumour has it that one of her ancestor's so distinguished himself in France that some French parents still frighten their children with his name. Miss Talbot says that she wants to frighten Mr Marples with her name in the same way."

Reporter interviews Bridget Talbot. He asks who had told them the railway had been reprieved. She explains that they hope it has been saved from closure but that they haven't yet received the official announcement. But they are celebrating the fact that the railway was still open despite closure being announced for March 4, 1964. The reporter says: "Isn't that rather like celebrating the fact that no one's dropped an atom bomb on us yet?" Talbot replies that she is sure it is safe but that they will fight to the finish. The reporter asks why everyone seems to think Scorton Station has been reprieved. She repeats the message on the station notice board that who would not want to keep people off the roads where there have been so many deaths. General view of the crowd.

Interview with MP for Richmond, Mr Tim Kitson. The reporter quizzes him about the misconception at the station. He explains that they have not received a decision on the railway closure yet. He's a little concerned that Marples will hear about the party and get the wrong impression. The reporter asks if anyone has "secret pipelines into the corridors of power". Kitson assures him he will be the first one to be informed of the final decision. The celebration is premature.