Film ID:
NEFA 22210

TODAY AT SIX: SPENNYMOOR TOURIST ATTRACTION JOHN WRAY

1972

Visitor Tabs

Description

Light tongue-in-cheek Tyne Tees TV news report for Today at Six by Ian McDonnell on a new entrepreneurial idea to promote the old mining town of Spennymoor, 'deep in the Durham Riviera', as a tourist destination.  Includes an interview with nightclub owner John Wray who talks about some of the unusual highlights a holiday in Spennymoor could include, such as a factory visit. This item was originally broadcast on 13 November 1972. 

Ian McDonnell piece to camera about an idea to promote Spennymoor in County Durham as a tourist attraction in the north east. Some residents stand on the doorsteps along the terraced street peering towards camera. McDonnell recounts how the local travel agents say the idea has 'real originality'. 

Interview with John Wray who promotes the idea and lists some of the attractions on offer, prompted by questions from McDonnell. Wray stands on some wasteland, positioned in camera between two background gasometers. 

The report ends with a (mute) travelling shot on a drive through Spennymoor, passing the gasometers, the town's industrial edgelands, the North Eastern Vaux pub and Variety Club (once The Rink) on Clarence Street, the town's terraced streets and backyard garages.

[Note: It's most probable that the nightclub mentioned in report was the Variety (rather than the Top Hat) as a certain John Wray (b. 16 Jan 1943) was the owner. He was a musician (keyboards) and band leader of the John Ray Set (houseband at the Variety), Director of Air Entertainments Agency, 17 Clyde Terrace, Spennymoor, owner of the Bullseye Recording Studios. A former DJ at the Top Hat club in Spennymoor, Sid McCulloch talking about the late 1960s:  "Spennymoor was like Las Vegas with pitheaps," he says. "The Variety got 1,000 people in most nights alone. Then there was the Shift Workers Special on Monday afternoons for the lads on nights. It was strippers plus a show. You couldn't move in there."]