Film ID:
NEFA 18578

THE WASHINGTON TRAIL: THE STORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON'S ENGLISH ANCESTRY

1979

Visitor Tabs

Description

A promotional film made by Turners Film Production in association with the The British Tourist Authority and Washington Development Corporation. In 1792, England's Garter King Of Arms, Sir Isaac Heard, requested information from George Washington, America's first President and former Leader of the Revolution, about his ancestry and family origin. It began a search to trace an ancestry which has occupied the interest of American and British genealogists for nearly two hundred years. This film reveals the full ancestry of George Washington, based on the genealogical evidence.

The film opens with general views of the Capital Building and White House in Washington D.C. Tourists walk around the Lincoln Memorial. Flags of the United States of America surround the Washington Monument, erected in memory of America's first president. More shots follow of tourists walking around the National Mall and outside the White House.

The film cuts to Tyne and Wear's Washington Old Hall and the statues of American Eagle in its grounds. Inside the hall there is a bust of George Washington; the first president of the United States of America. The camera fades to show a wide shot of the exterior of Washington Old Hall.

Still of a map of Great Britain and the coat of arms of the Washington family in the right corner.

Title: The Washington Trail

Title: The Story of George Washington's English Ancestry

Credit: Narrated by Peter Marinker

General views follow of a parade to mark American Independence Day at Washington Old Hall. featuring costumed men in English 'Red Coat' uniforms and colourful floats and characters, including a man dressed as a Native American on horseback, a juvenile marching drummer band, one youth carrying a 'Stars and Stripes' flag.

Overhead view of the The Galleries shopping centre in Washington, Tyne and Wear. A road sign reads 'Washington New Town'. There are general views of Washington town centre around Independence Square and the surrounding residential streets.

Standing on a bridge overlooking the River Cam in Cambridge is George Sidney Horrace Lee Washington, a genealogist and descendent of the Washington family. A young couple punt under the bridge. A portrait shot follows of George Sidney Horrace Lee Washington.

Shot of a bust of George Washington. General views of Mount Vernon in Virginia and the Potomac river.

The film cuts back to a still of the map of Great Britain with the Washington coat of arms.

A group of people visit the Sulgrave Manor in Northamptonshire where a bust of George Washington is draped in the flag of his families coat of arms and the flag of the United States of America.

Back at Mount Vernon, there is an interior shot of George Washington's library. A book is opened showing his signature in the top right-hand corner. Another book is opened showing his own book plate, an adaptation of the family coat of arms.

The film cuts back to a stained-glass window inside Sulgrave Manor showing the same coat of arms.

General view of a Stars and Stripes flag flying beside the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.. An illustration shows Betsy Ross sewing the first flag of the Continental United States. A copy of this flag is seen hanging on a wall. The modern day flag is raised on a flag-pole outside Washington Old Hall, Tyne and Wear.

The film cuts to a portrait of George Washington followed by a view of the Potomac river in Virginia. General views of an historic recreation of a plantation farm in America from the time George Washington. A man uses two oxen to pull a cart. Various illustrations follow of slaves working on a plantation, a two masted sailing ship and another ship arriving at a port.

Inside St Nicholas Church, Whitehaven, a book is laid on a plinth. A plaque on the wall is dedicated to the memory of Mildred Warner, grand-mother of George Washington who died at Whitehaven and is buried in the churchyard.  

General views around the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria including the market cross and cloisters. The Sands Appleby Grammar School can be seen in the distance. Shot of a painting of the school. General view of the door leading into the school above which is carved the date 1671. The film cuts back to a view of Mount Vernon and the Potomac river. A man in 18th century costume trims the lawn and a man leads two oxen pulling a cart. 

The film returns to Appleby-in-Westmorland and views of the town and the grammar school on the hill. Inside the school a man sits at a table reading a ledger for the schools library fund. The mans finger points out the names of Lawrence and Augustine Washington who also appear on the schools honour board hanging on a wall.

General views of a cedar grove and house with garden at Popes Creek in Virginia. Shot of a portrait of Lawrence Washington, educated at Appleby. General views of Mount Vernon. 

A map of Great Britain focuses on the south of England showing London and the market town of Tring in Hertfordshire. General views of the parish church of St Peter and St Paul, and the busy streets in the centre of Tring. A street sign reads 'Akeman Street'. and views of the street follow. General views around the exterior of the parish church.

Various shots record research activities inside the Hertfordshire Record Office where historical documents and registers for Tring Parish Church, which record the links beween the American and English Washington family are consulted.

The film cuts back to the map of England and a trail leading from Tring to Sulgrave in Northamptionshire. General views of the exterior of Sulgrave Manor with an American flag flying in its grounds. There is a close up of the Washington coat of arms, cut into the stone doorway above the main entrance to the hall.

Inside the manor a stained glass window includes the Washington coat of arms. A bust of George Washington is draped in the flag of his families coat of arms and the flag of the United States of America. His portrait hangs on a wall.

Standing in the dining room the Resident Director gives a group tour of the hall, visiting a bedroom with a four-poster bed, looking at George Washington's saddle bags, his oak liqueur chest, a lock of his hair, a number of his hand written letters hanging in frames, items relating to the hall that are on display inside a glass case. The sequence ends with a view of an ornate garden seen from an upstairs window.

The film cuts to show views around the village of Sulgrave including the parish church of St James the Less where the builder of Sulgrave Manor is buried. General views of a number of thatched cottages that form part of the old estate.

The map of Great Britain now indicates the connection between Sulgrave and Warton in Lancashire. General views of the village including the parish church of St Oswald's. Inside the church an American flag stands at the rear beside the Washington coat of arms carved into the stonework. Various views of the church follow. General view of Washington House, built on the site where the Washington family lived until 1823.

General view of Sizergh Castle in Cumbria. Inside a couple look at a large tapestry hanging on the wall, and groups of visitors tour around the castle. A man looks closely at a deed of a grant of land that is on display inside a glass case. The film cuts back outside for more exterior views of the castle.

Back to the map of Great Britain where the trail ends at Washington, Tyne and Wear. There are views of the exterior of Washington Old Hall with the statue of two American Eagles. A family walk into the hall. 

At a local school in Washington children walk along a corridor. In a classroom a teacher holds a discussion on the history of the Washington Old Hall and ist connections to America. Many of the children are wearing blazers which carry the Washington coat of arms.

Children play in a fountain near to The Gallaries shopping centre. Inside a small workshop a man works to shape a violin. General views outside the workshop of a crafts fair and people browsing.  Three flags fly from masts.

A large crowd, many waving American flags, wait for the arrival of President James 'Jimmy' Carter outside Washington Old Hall on the 6 May 1977. He gets out of his car and waves at the crowd before walking towards the hall with British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

A tracking shot records the interior of Washington Town Hall. Back outside, a young boy in a red jacket presents President Carter with a miners' lamp. The boy shakes hands with James Callaghan and President Carter. General view of the kitchen inside the Old Hall. President Carter presents a signed portrait of Mount Vernon to the boy and then gives a speech to the crowd.

President Carter and James Callaghan plant trees on Washington village green. Large crowds watch the ceremony.

More shots of a George Washington statue.

The Washington family connections are marked on a map of Britain. General views of the White House and the Capital Building in Washington D.C.. A portrait of the older George Washington hangs on a wall. General view of Mount Vernon and the crypt where George Washington is buried.

Credit: Acknowledgements. Appleby Grammar School, Foreign Press Centre, Washington D.C.., Hertfordshire Record Office, Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union, The National Trust, The Royal Oak Foundation, The Sulgrave Manor Board, Trinity College Cambridge, G.S.H.L. Washington F.S.A., Washington Development Corporation, Whitehaven Museum.

Credit: Written and Produced by John Grant

Credit: Film Editor Vic Neve. Graphic Design Peter Brock

Credit: Director of Photography Peter Brown

Credit: A film by Turners Film Productions, Newcastle upon Tyne - England

Credit: A Co-Production for The British Tourist Authority and Washington Development Corporation