Film ID: NEFA 21455 Video of NEFA 21455 Tyneside Vagabonds 1960 Cyclo-Cross TYNESIDE VAGABONDS 1960 CYCLO CROSS 1960 Visitor TabsDescription An amateur film by Milton Newton of the 10 mile Tyneside Vags Cyclo Cross race taking place on the Shaftoe Crags moorland estate in November 1960. The film begins with riders and spectators outside the Ox Inn in Middleton, Northumberland waiting for the race to begin. Once the race gets underway the film follows from various points along the very boggy route including views of riders crossing the Middleton Burn. The film ends with exhausted riders crossing the finish line and cleaning themselves and their bicycles of the mud which covers many head-to-foot. The winner of the race was Wesley Clayton of Tyne RC. The Vagabonds C.C. was formally established in February 1937. The film begins on a sign above a door that reads ‘Ox Inn. George W. Harrison. Fully Licenced’. The camera pans down to show people coming and going through the door. The film cuts to a hand-written sign that reads ‘Strip in woodshed. Raw numbers by 1 o’clock’. The film changes to show a rider attach the number 17 to the frame of his bicycle. From a distance a large crowd stands in the lane outside the pub. General views of the crowds standing in the lane beside the pub and riders preparing for the race or eating sandwiches beside a stone wall. A man in a blue jersey smiles at the camera. Another helps a younger boy attach the number 45 to the frame of his bicycle. In the lane there are views of some of the spectators including a number of women standing around chatting. Along the lane comes three men in riding gear smiling and playing for the camera. The film cuts to a distant view of a large crowd standing in the lane outside the pub. Suddenly they begin to race along the lane towards the camera. The film cuts to show the riders collecting their bikes which are leaning against a stone wall and riding off across a bumpy field. Some of the riders are choosing to push their bikes rather than ride. Coming over the crest of a hill a number of riders push rather than ride their bicycles. One of those who rides falls off and lands in a heap on the ground while others ride or run past. As they approach the Middleton Burn some of the riders carry, while others simply throw their bikes over the water before wading across themselves. Another rider takes a fall at the edge of the burn. Just beyond the burn is a stone wall which many of the competitors are seen climbing over. A small crowd stands on the far bank watching. The film cuts to a much wider and deeper section of the burn where there are a number of riders. Some climb down into the knee deep water carefully crossing carrying their bikes over their heads while others throw their bikes across and jump into the water, wading across. On the other side of the water riders pedal across a field. They come through a gate onto the Scots Gap and Bolam road many of them getting back onto their bicycles and pedalling away up the hill. A number of spectators stand on the road verge and other riders can be seen ahead of them on the road. The film cuts to a view looking down into a ravine showing riders approach one-by-one. The ground is very wet and boggy and some of the riders push their bicycles through the mud. A number of the later competitors are forced to come to a dead stop when their bikes get stuck in the mud while trying to ride across. The film cuts to show riders coming through a small gate and then through a larger one travelling onto open moorland. There are general views of various riders slowly following a narrow path through the heather. One of the cyclist rides a mountain bike. Some of the riders push rather than ride their bicycles. A young man with the initials BCW stitched into his leggings rides through another smaller gateway and then through a larger one into a field. A rider slowly makes his way across a piece of open moorland past a parked car. Standing nearby a woman points the rider in right direction. Three more riders make their way along the moorland path. Back at the ravine riders carry their bikes through the water and then run up the far bank with the bikes on their shoulders. The film cuts to show a rider in an orange jersey cycling across open moorland seen previously, passing the parked car and woman. The film cuts to inside a moving car as it passes a rider sitting on the ground next to his bike. Two riders travelling along a track pass through a gate. They are followed by a third rider travelling in the opposite direction. A phantom car ride follows a competitor in a yellow jersey as he travels along the Bolam road. At the top of a hill near a farm a large crowd watch as one of the competitors reaches the finish pushing his bicycle across the line. As he gets closer to the camera he is obviously covered in mud. The film cuts to show the rider in the yellow jersey trying to wipe himself down. He then shakes the hand of a rider in a blue jersey with orange and yellow strips. Other muddy riders approach and they all shake hands. Back at the finish line other competitors cross the finish line watched over by a large crowd of mainly young men. Most of the competitors are too tired to ride but rather push their bikes across the finish line. All are very muddy including their bikes. The film cuts to show a number of cleaned up riders pushing their bikes along a track away from the farm. Inside a shed many of the competitors clean and wash themselves with bowls of water. A bucket of water is collected from the burn and poured over a bike leaning against a wall cleaning away some of the mud. A man wearing a black shirt with white lettering which reads ‘R D’ walks past. Another rider washes his bike in the burn. A number of people stand around a small wagon as a kettle slowly boils on a stove. A number of bikes have been secured onto the back of the wagon near the kettle. Along the side of the wagon a sign reads ‘Barnesbury C.C.’ In the distance three riders are seen washing their bicycles in the burn. The film cuts to four men standing beside a farm building shaking hands. In the lane five people are seen wearing bright yellow macs. Another rider put his mac on. The film ends with a view of the Ox Inn pub sign seen at the beginning of the film. Context A Northumberland cyclo-cross ride on the wild side with the Tyneside Vagabonds. Mired in mud, cyclo-cross riders with true grit are more off the bike than on in this quirky winter sport of “rough stuff”, captured on film by cycling fan Milton Newton. Cyclists endure a dunking in a Middleton burn and compete across the brown bracken moorland, steep hills and peat bogs around the Shaftoe Crags, Northumberland, the race organised by the Tyneside Vagabonds. Wesley Clayton of the Tyne Road Club was first past the finish line. “They’re supposed to stick to a certain course you know but a few keep taking shortcuts …” These words belong to an amused Bill Baty, top rider and Tyne Velo veteran who won the Beaumont Trophy in 1958, the amateur British National Road Race in 1959, and was in the British team for the 1955 Peace Race behind the Iron Curtain. In 1990 he added a humorous commentary to his friend’s film of the November 1960 cyclo-cross race. Baty, it was rumoured, mischievously moved the course markers, forcing fellow competitors to cross the deepest part of the burn, where the race descended into more of a bike tossing contest.