Film ID:
NEFA 21684



Visitor Tabs


Amateur film by Stephen Gray that documents the 1986 Cutty Sark Tall Ships’ Races along the River Tyne between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields, and the firework display the night before the start of the race.

Title: Tall Ships on Tyne [title over still of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races official guide and Newcastle Maritime Festival programme]

The tugboat ‘Tynesider’ guides one of the tall ships along the Tyne. Crowds are strolling on the quayside and watching ships as they arrive. The Polish sail training ship Dar Mlodziezy sails up the Tyne guided by the Tug Seasider. A general view of the Tyne Bridge and river sets the scene for the maritime festival in Newcastle.

General view of Newcastle crowds. Traffic crosses the Swing Bridge over the Tyne. A poster advertises a river cruise and barbecue on the MV Flamborian and Coral Star. There’s a great many people crossing the Swing Bridge. Food is stacked on the quayside in preparation for the cruise. The Flamborian is moored up at the quayside.

The film documents the arrival of small pleasure boats, tall ships and a naval ship in Newcastle and crowds gathering to watch from the Quayside. They include the German Olifant Von Wedel gaff cutter boat. Flags flutter from masts in a gentle breeze. A young sailing apprentice descends a mast on ship. The Scottish Caledonian Princess, a turbine steamship and former roll on / roll off ferry advertises a barbecue deck. The Quayside is a mass of sails, masts and flags in the glinting sunlight, some of the many ships including the cadet sail training ship, TS Royalist and the Danish sail training ship, Atlantica. The sails and masts vie with the height of the Baltic Flour Mill on the Gateshead quayside. A general view follows looking west of the bridges across the Tyne and busy Quayside crowds. Naval officers stroll on the deck of the Dar Mlodziezy.  Crew are mooring the Sir Winston Churchill schooner. A banner decorating another ship reads ‘Ocean Youth Club’.

Dancers perform on a small stage set up on the Quayside, advertising Bristol Street Motors. A fruit stall holder is waiting for customers. A couple of visitors ask a warden for directions.

As the light fades over the Tyne, people enjoy rides at a funfair on the Quayside. The magnificent Russian STS Sedov and the Kruzenshtern four-masted barque are moored on the Tyne. A crew member adjusts the rigging.

A firework display lights up the dark sky on the night before the race. People stroll on the Quayside, the rigging of some of the larger sailing ships is decorated with lights.

People begin to gather on the quaysides on the morning of the race, buying ice creams and watching the ships through binoculars. Sailing ships begin to set off, passing the Spiller's Tyne Mill. Tug boats guide the majestic larger ships down river, passing the North Shields Fish Quay. Crowds wave them on their way from the South Shields banks of the river, some with Union Jacks. One of the ships sails past Charles Parson marine engineering works.

The Commercial Hotel on Weetman Street, South Shields, is decked out with flags.

The ships sail down the Tyne at South Shields. Two children are seated with a picnic box. Men are taking photographs beside the Tyne. Families watch the procession of ships heading for the mouth of the Tyne. Children are splashing about in the water. At the end of the day, the crowds begin to disperse at South Shields.

Title: The End [over still of sponsors’ adverts on the event programmes including Newcastle Brown Ale]