Film ID:
NEFA 19254

QUEENS SQUARE

1964

Visitor Tabs

Description

A record of the urban redevelopment of the Queens Square area of Newcastle, commissioned by Newcastle City Planning Department in 1964.

The film opens with an [underexposed] scene of a councillor (?) addressing an audience.

There are various shots of Robsons furnishing store on the corner of Saville Row and Northumberland Street. The shop is boarded up and carries a Sold sign. Other shops on the street include Benefit Footwear and Aunties, the wool shop. The street is busy with traffic and pedestrians, with shots of trolley buses, and a traffic policeman is positioned at the centre of the crossroads.

The next sequence of shots is taken of buildings on New Bridge Street, which include the soot-blackened Laing Art Gallery, the façade and portico of the old Central Library, built in the 1880s, and Higham House on the corner of Higham Place and New Bridge Street. The camera pans across for a partial view of Hoult’s Furniture Removals Head Office building at the top end of Higham Place. There is a dark shot down Higham Place from the opposite direction. Cars fill a parking lot in front of the Hoult’s removals building. Further shots of cars parked in waste ground sites nearby follow.

[Note: During the 1960s many parts of Newcastle were designated Comprehensive Development Areas (CDAs). T. Dan Smith, City Councillor 1950-1965, and William Burns, Chief Planning Officer, initiated a modernisation programme with widespread demolition of Victorian and Georgian parts of the city and construction of new urban motorways, parking facilities, commercial buildings and housing. Queens Square C.D.A. was located to the east of Prudhoe Street and bounded by Northumberland Street in the north, College street and Higham Place in the east and New Bridge Street in the south. Redevelopment included extension of the Laing Art Gallery and a new city library.]