Film ID:
NEFA 21449



Visitor Tabs


An amateur film by Milton Newton of the 1959 Tyneside Vags Cyclo Cross race from Middleton in Northumberland. The film begins with views of competitors and spectators standing in a lane beside the Ox Inn public house. With the race underway the film shows riders crossing the Middleton Burn before racing across the Shaftoe Crags moorland estate. As well as cyclists the film also features runners taking part in the race around the 10 mile circuit. At the finish line there are views of both riders and runners completing the race and making their way back to the Ox Inn where the film ends. The first cyclist across the finish line was Wesley Clayton of the Tyne Road Club. The first runner was Jim Alder of Morpeth Harriers.

The film opens on a handheld sign that reads ‘Beware! Cyclo-Cross in progress’

Title: 1959

The film cuts to show another sign about a doorway with the image of an Ox that reads: ‘Ox Inn. George W. Richardson. Fully Licenced’. The camera pans down to show people standing in the doorway or coming out of the building.

The film cuts to the road outside the Ox Inn where there are general views of the crowd of spectators and competitors chatting. Resting against a stone wall are a number of racing bicycles. A man on a motorbike followed by two men on bicycles make their way through the crowd. A man in a suit and tie stands in the road beside a woman holding a small child. Beside their bikes a small crowd watch as two riders blow a bugle.

The film cuts to a view along the lane showing a large group standing ready for the race to begin. Suddenly the pack races along the road towards the camera watched by spectators standing in a field the other side of a stone wall. Riders collect their bicycles some of which are resting against a fence, and ride off. At the Middleton Burn riders carry their bikes over their heads as they cross the water. On the other side they race up a short hill and climb over a stone wall back into the lane beside the Ox Inn. At a deeper section of the burn some riders carry their bicycles while other throw them across the water before wading in.

General views of riders coming through a gate beside a farm house and cycling across a rough section of moorland. After a number of riders have passed, there are views of two runners also making their way along the track. General views of both riders and runners making their way across this section of moorland.

The film cuts to a ravine where runners and riders make their way along a track. The film cuts to another section of moorland where both cyclists and runners are making their way along a track past a number of spectators Three runners approach and pass through a gate before turning left to follow a track beside a stone wall.

A lone runner comes down the side of a hill and then up the side of another past a number of watching spectators sitting on a rocky outcrop. Behind him comes a number of other runners as well as a rider who is carrying his bicycle on his shoulder. General views of other runners and riders passing the spectators.

At the finish line at the top of a field, spectator’s watch as a number of riders complete the race. A rider and runner sprint across the line. General views of more cyclists and runners completing the course.

The film cuts to show two of the riders standing beside each other, leaning against their bicycles. One of the men puts his arm around the other. They both shake hands. The first man turns to show writing on the back of his jersey that reads: ‘1954 C. Hethrington. 1955 T. Liddle. 1956 T. Liddle. 1957 B. Batty. 1958 W. Clayton.1959 

An exhausted rider collapses onto the ground beside his bike. A second rider gets up from the ground as spectators and other riders walk past him. Two riders in matching jerseys walk through a crowd of spectators; one of them pushes a bicycle.

Back at the finish line more general views of competitors finishing the race. Two runners cross the line hand in hand.

Following the race general views follow of riders and spectators leaving the field and walking or pushing their bicycles past a number of farm buildings. A big crowd can be seen still in the field beside a large tree. A woman holds up a small child for the camera. A rider in a blue jersey holds up his bicycle seat for the camera before following the crowds out of the field. A family with three young girls stand watching the proceedings. The youngest girl smiles and waves at the camera. A man with a film camera films a small child who is being held in place by a second man beside a bicycle. The two runners seen previously holding hands wave at the camera as they pass. One of them speaks to the person behind the camera.  

The film cuts to show four men washing themselves in the burn. The film cuts back to the road beside the Ox Inn where there are general views of spectators and participants walking along the road. A man passes carrying two bent wheel frames. Two men shake hands followed by a close up of each man.

The film cuts to show the pub sign above the Ox Inn door. The film ends on the pub sign reading: Beware! Cyclo-Cross in progress!’