Film ID:
NEFA 10888

THE ROAD TO BLAYDON

1968

Visitor Tabs

Description

A Tyne Tees Television documentary original transmitted on the 21st October 1968 about the rehousing of residents of the Scotswood Road area in Newcastle. The film follows various residents from the neighbourhood as they go about their daily activities and talk about what it is like to live and work in the area. The film is intercut with scenes being filmed at Tyne Tees Television studios on City Road in Newcastle in which presenter David Taylor speaks with representatives of Newcastle City Council about the redevelopment of the area.

The film opens on a view looking right to left along the River Tyne. The scene changes to a cobbled street where a driver from a W.H. Smith & Son van drops off a bundle of newspapers at J. Anderson Newsagents. A woman serving in the shop receives the bundle of papers on her counter.

A group of men step off a bus [Reg: LVK 126] with a rear end advertisement for ‘’Mackay’s Table Waters. The Real Mackay.’’ They walk down the street and enter J. Anderson Newsagents. Inside they purchase copies of the Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers and head back outside and down the street. They pass the Forge and Hammer Inn making their way towards the Vickers-Armstrong factory on Scotswood Road. There is a close up of the Scotswood Road street sign mounted on a wall.

The film cuts to show a bulldozer knocks down an old terrace house. As the dust settles, high rise blocks of flats tower over the area in the background, some flats are still under construction.

The camera pans right to left along a street past J.Turnbull, General Dealer and another shop named Johnston nearby. In the distance on another street corner is the Mechanics Arms public house, owned by A. H. Higginbottom.

A mother and young boy walk along a street showing houses with boarded up windows and doors. Children can be seen playing with a ball in the background. A number of young boys enter the newsagents seen earlier and buy toffee cakes. The woman at the counter plays a game with the children. If they find an 'x' written on the paper casing of their cup cake, they can have another, free. 

A man coming out of a house next door to Chris Richardson Butcher shop and takes down boards covering the shop windows. Boys and girls in school uniform make their way up along another street, a dog follows them. A lollipop man helps the children cross two streets.

The film cuts to show a bulldozer pulling down the wall of an old terraced house using a steel rope which rips through other walls virtually destroying the whole building at one go.

A woman and child walk down a street, they stop at the butchers shop seen earlier and they look in at the window. There is a notice in the window that reads: 'We Sell Dickman Meat Pies'. They go into the shop and buy a cut of meat, weighed by the butcher. He wraps the meat in greaseproof paper, then wraps the whole package in a a page from the Financial Times.

A woman sweeps the pavement outside the newsagents. A man sits on the doorstep step smoking. A small a boy sits in front of him, a little girl stands to one side. In voice over the man and woman comment on the difficulties of sustaining a living, now that encroaching redevelopment is changing the whole area.

The film cuts to a view of the exterior of Newcastle Civic Centre, followed a shot of the office door to the Planning Officer, Kenneth Galley. His secretary enters the office, speaks with him about appointments in his diary then departs.

Next an exterior shot of the Tyne Tees Television Channel 8 building on City Road in Newcastle. Presenter David Taylor is in a television studio and is talking to the floor manager.

The film cuts to a bulldozer as it demolishes another house.

A Provident credit salesman walks door-to-door along a street collecting money on purchases made through cheque trading. In voice over he gives an outline of his work and its future in the area. He calls at a house, a woman opens the door and there is a brief conversation. He walks to another house where he shows a holiday brochure to a woman. He continues down the street exchanging conversation with people he meets. He stops to talk to a window cleaner as he comes down his ladder. The window cleaner picks up his ladder and walks down the street. With all the demolition in the area he says he's losing a lot of customers.

Children play around derelict housing, throwing rocks and breaking windows. They take away furniture left behind in the houses and take material from roofs. A bulldozer destroys a house as a group of boys watch.

Back at the Tyne Tees Television studio, men get out of a car and walk into the building. Inside the studio, a programme ‘’To Make People Happy’’ is in production, the title appears on a studio monitor. Production crew and the director wearing dark glasses, guide the programme along while David Taylor presents the show about redevelopment in Newcastle. A number of stills appear on the studio monitor. The director speaks into a microphone. David Taylor walks across the studio floor towards his panel of guests who are standing next to a model of a new housing development planned for Newcastle. The director speaks into his microphone as the images appear on the studio monitor.

The film cuts to a shot of rubble on the ground while children play on swings nearby.

A high angle view shows a mother and child walking through a street intercut with shots of people living in the run down area. Another woman makes her way into one of the run down tenement style buildings. She opens a door where rubbish from one the refuse chutes collects and lies neglected on the floor. She goes back to her flat where her large family is sitting round the table waiting for their mother to serve a meal. She hands round plates of food to her sons and daughters. She spreads butter on to white bread taken from a packet of 'Wonderloaf'. Her husband sits passively, reading a newspaper.

The film cuts back to the television studio and the directors face followed by a shot of the cameraman's viewer showing David Taylor in the studio.

The film then cuts back to the single mother and child seen earlier as they return to a rundown house with broken windows. They enter the building and walk upstairs to their flat. In voice over she complains about the conditions in which they live. She fills a kettle from a single tap over a sink. She puts on a gas cooker and lights the hob with a match.

The film cuts to an estate of modern flats with washing hanging on clothes lines. An older woman leaves a house on the estate in Westerhope carrying a case. On leaving a bus, she walks to a public wash house. In voice over she says she was upset when she moved from her old home, to her new one. However every week she regularly carries her suitcase of washing to the wash house on Scotswood Road where she can chat to her old friends and in her eyes do more washing than she might in the confines of her new home. Women stand in numbered booths washing clothes by hand. One of the women complains of vandalism by young boys of the old houses as they are vacated.

Next is a shot of a small house, being demolished. The film cuts back to the Tyne Tees Television studio, then back to the demolition site where, through the dust and rubble of a partly demolished house, remaining terraced housing appears in the distance. Then the whole house finally collapses.

The film cuts to chimney stacks being demolished followed by a close up shot of a studio monitor which reads 'To Make People Happy Part Two'. The director gives instruction from his console, a high angle shot looks down at David Taylor the presenter sitting at his desk with his three guests sitting opposite.

An elderly woman sits in her flat looking out of the window. Her flat is on the upper storey of a new high rise tower. Other towers can be seen through the window. In voice over she says she does not like living at such a height and complains of being alone. She then moves around the different rooms in the flat. A tap drips into a washing up bowl in a sink. She gets her coat and leaves the flat looking despondent. Outside she looks up at the tower block, the camera follows her upwards showing the full height of the block. The name above the entrance reads, The Sycamores.

In the kitchen of a similar flat a young woman fills a bucket with water at the sink. She walks through a smart living room and out onto a small balcony where she washes windows. The camera from the balcony looks down at the garages and cars below. In voice over she outlines the difficulties in looking after two young children in a high rise flat. Her children play on the landing within sight of their mother. On a sofa she reads a book to her children. There is a view out of the window of the new building developments.

A general view captures the landscape of newly constructed flats in the area, and the exterior of the Cruddas Park Community Centre.

The film cuts back to the TV studio where the director and his assistants continue with the programme 'To Make People Happy'.

The film cuts to an exterior shot of J. Turnbull's general dealer's. Inside a man and woman serve customers. Behind them pinned to a shelf an ABC cinema advert listing two new films 'The Heroin Gang' starring David McCallum and 'Children of the Damned'. The shop seems to be crowded with schoolchildren wanting to buy sweets. In voice over a woman says in the busy shop, customers often talk to staff about personal problems, but generally there is a happy atmosphere in the shop.

A man opens the pub doors of the Forge Hammer Inn, leading onto the street. He is a new landlord and finds the locals very friendly. He tends to the bar where a woman is cleaning. He serves a man at the bar. A group of older men are sitting around tables drinking and enjoying the conversation. Close ups show the peoples faces, as they light cigarettes and drink.

A woman leaves a corner fish and chip shop, and walks towards the general store of W.H.Moore which is also a pawnbrokers. People walk by, look into the shop window, and then enter the store. The film cuts to the shop window which is full of watches, clocks, clothes and shoes. A number of women enter the shop through a doorway into the back yard. A woman with her children and dog walk past the shop.

A removal van from the firm of Walton's is parked outside a house. Two men carry out a wardrobe and put it in the van. The family in the house glance around the empty rooms before leaving. A boy rushes back to pick up a ball left in the kitchen. In voice over the wife and husband reminisce about the lack of facilities they had in the house.

A priest walks through a new housing development, towards a house.

The Walton’s removal van stands outside a house on a modern estate and two men carry furniture inside. The family enter the home, admiring their new surroundings. They talk about how much better their new house is compared to their old.

The priest walks along a gallery in a block of flats, down some stairs and out onto the street. Children are standing beside a patch of grass with a sign that reads: ‘’No ball games.’’ They leave bouncing their ball along the pavement.

The priest enters another block of flats and climbs some stairs. Two young boys come down the stairs and rush through the door to play outside. In one of the apartments the priest prays a with woman who is standing next to an open fire. He talks to the woman about the ball games restrictions. They look out of the window at fields opposite the flats, where they are planning to build more houses. The camera pans round showing the open meadows. The priest walks through the estate, a young girl is intrigued by his formal robes.

The film cuts back to the television studio showing the director in dark glasses. This is followed by an overhead shot of the studio and a close up of a monitor in another part of the studio showing the Tyne Tees Television Production identification logo.

A woman walks through the remains of old terraced housing. She reminisces about the good times and the do-it-yourself home entertainment and concerts. A bulldozer tears down the ‘’Gospel Mission’’ according to the sign on the building. The woman looks on as the bulldozer moves in clearing rubble.

A juvenile jazz band marches through the estate. At the head is a banner which reads 'Newbiggin Hall-E-Quins 1967'. Interspersed are some shots of the people and places that appeared in the film.

The film closes with general views of the Scotswood Road area, with closing music.