Film ID:
NEFA 22352



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An amateur film produced by Norah Cummin recording her and husband George’s activities during 1948. The film features Norah with friends visiting St Mary’s Island near Whitley Bay at Easter and travelling with George to Holy Island or Lindisfarne Castle during Whit. They take their summer holiday to Scarborough spending most of their time inside Peasholm Park. The film features a number of sporting events including cricket as well as a football match featuring Newcastle United playing at St James Park in Newcastle during the autumn. The film ends at Christmas with a window display in George’s music shop and with him dressed as St Nicholas.

Title: Telephotography Belin’s System

The first part of this reel contains a commercial newsreel relating a new photographic system and process, the Belinogram.

Title: Report on 1948 by Norah M. Cummin

Title: ‘Perhaps I might summarise my report for you, starting with the routine stuff –‘

The film opens with Norah doing the washing as she puts a number of small cloths through a mangle before hanging a number of sheets on a washing line. Back inside she takes something out of the oven and places a glass bowl in a cupboard.

Title: ‘Just giving the ‘basic details, such as this half-gallon trip at Easter-‘

A couple in a car drive along a suburban street, pulls up and a woman gets out. The man still inside the vehicle wipes the door window with a handkerchief. Norah, wearing a fur coat, gets into the back as the woman gets back into the front seat.

A phantom car ride through the countryside is followed by the three of them getting out of the car and walking towards St Mary’s Island. The tide is in so it is not possible to cross to St Mary’s Lighthouse, they stand together chatting.

Title: ‘But it was awfully cold, so leaving the light unvisited, we hastened home-‘

From a distance the light from the St Mary’s Lighthouse beaming out to sea.

The film changes to show a car driving past along a country road.

Title: ‘-with thoughts of warmth and a good book –‘

In their living room Norah comes over and pokes the fire before taking a seat in a comfy armchair to read a book; ‘Forever Amber’ by Kathleen Winsor.

Title: Speaking of ‘Amber’ it was very hot when we arrived at Holy Island on Whit Sunday-‘

From a distance a car drives along the Lindisfarne causeway followed by views from inside the car as it makes its way towards Holy Island. On the island Norah shakes hands with two women standing between a cottage and the car.

Title: ‘Too hot for walking, I thought, when George next day set off round the island –‘

In a cricket jumper George Cummin makes his way towards the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory followed by a view across the island with the lifeboat station in the distance and small boats on the water. George continues his walk across a sandy beach.

Title: ‘So I stayed around the village, making friends with the natives –‘

Norah crossing Marygate carries a small dog. She passes a man in a suit and flat cap and speaks with a couple sitting on a bench outside a cottage. The film changes to show Norah and the couple, along with a local fisherman in a peaked cap sitting on cobbled steps chatting.

Title: ‘From them I later got permission to visit the Castle –‘

Norah sits on the sand looking out towards Lindisfarne Castle in the distance. It is low tide and a number of small fishing boats are stranded on the sand. George points towards the castle as Norah looks through a set of binoculars at the castle's outer walls.

Title: ‘- whose battlements command a view of the whole island –‘

George and Norah come up the steps and go inside Lindisfarne Castle. This is followed by a view from the castle looking back towards Lindisfarne village and harbour.

Title: ‘Back at home the fine weather continued-‘

Two umpires followed by a number of cricketers come out onto a pitch and begin to play. A number of runs are taken ine the oepning game.

Title:  ‘-and a Mr Bradman and his friends certainly made the most of it-‘

Cricketer Don Bradman walks off a cricket pitch followed by views of the crowds in the stands. A game of cricket is shown with Don at the bat.

Title: ‘George saw something of this, but filming was not allowed, so on the money saved we went to Scarborough-‘

Norah comes out of a house on Glenside, Scarborough and walk the street past a sign in the front garden that reads ‘Glen Side’. At Peasholm Park Norah walks by the lake, the Chinese Pagoda in the near distance, she looks at the flowers on a bush as she passes. A number of small boys play with model boats on a pond. Norah continues along the lake path passing by a floating platform. She crosses an oriental bridge with people on boats passing underneath. She passes a stone statue and arrives at the Pagoda where she looks out on the boats and lake below.

The film changes to show views the Alpamare outdoor swimming pool and large crowds either diving or swimming in the pool or sitting on benches around the edge. Back inside Peasholm Park Norah smiles as he pours George and herself a cup of tea from a pot.

A miniature steam train, part of the North Bay Railway, passes by slowly with a number of passengers waving at the camera. On the seafront a United bus pulls away and drives along a wet promenade. The camera pans out onto the beach with people walking along it, Scarborough Castle on the headland. A phantom bus ride along the promenade passes the Scarborough Lighthouse. Standing on West Pier Norah looks out across to the lighthouse and a number of boats moored in the harbour.

Norah stands in a narrow courtyard beside the back of a Tudor-style building. This is followed by her walking along the Scarborough seafront looking out onto a very busy beach. Views of the harbour and beach from the funicular railway changes to show a game of cricket underway. After a number of innings the game comes to an end and the players leave the pitch some applauding.

Title: ‘But Autumn was now upon us, when whites must give way to black-and-whites –‘

From near the touchline at St James Park, Newcastle United players come out onto the pitch and a game gets underway with large crowds watching from the surrounding stands. A number of attempts at goal made by a Newcastle player eventually results in a penalty being taken by Newcastle. A military marching band marches around the pitch at half-time followed by more action from the match in the second-half.

Back at home George, wearing a suit with black tie, drinks a small glass of whisky or equivalent as Norah in an elegant dress gets ready for a party.

Title: ‘-and in no time, it seemed, arrangements for Christmas were the order of the day-‘

Christmas decorations adorn the shop window of George’s music shop in the Jesmond area of Newcastle. Hanging in the shop door window a sign that reads ‘Join our Xmas Club’. Outside Norah looks in on a display which features sheet music and a toy with two small aircraft flying in a circle. Norah comes inside and flicks through two boxes of Christmas cards.

Back on the street Norah enters a building and knocks on a door with a notice on it that reads ‘St Nicholas’. The door opens and George stands there dressed as Santa Claus. They shake hands and Norah goes inside. Before closing the door Santa looks back at the camera and waves. The door is closed and the notice on the door now reads ‘The End’.