Film ID:
NEFA 20970



Visitor Tabs


Sponsored film by Turners Film Productions for the Washington Development Corporation (WDC) that highlights the design, benefits, and regeneration opportunities of the New Town development of Washington. Includes interviews with residents, an ex-coal miner's reminiscence of Washington's former mining industry, and Princess Anne opening "The Galleries" shopping centre.

The film opens with a map that shows Washington's location in relation to Newcastle and Sunderland.

Title: The Washington Way [over picture]

A sequence of shots of the housing, highways and "village" lay out, factory buildings and The Galleries shopping centre in Washington New Town follow, including the Woolco supermarket exterior.

An heraldic flag blows in the wind.

Princess Anne makes a speech at the opening of The Galleries shopping cente to a crowd of invited guests.  Close-up of some of the public in the crowd including a man taking a photograph.  Princess Anne unveils a large faux stone panel carved with "The Galleries" name.  Crowds outside wave and cheer.  Princess Anne leaves the reception area of The Galleries and goes on a walkabout, accompanied by the WDC Chairman, Sir James Steel, around the new town centre, talking to young children and adults in the crowds, including an older man in a flat cap.

The commentary explains the "villages" design concept of Washington New Town.

The last shift of mine workers exit the cage lift at the pit head and leave the Usworth Colliery, the last mine in Washington.

Billy Taylor, former miner and aged about 60, walks along a derelict Victorian terrace of houses. Interviewed on camera, he reminisces about Washington when the three pits were working.The next sequence includes shots of Bill's new house in Black Fell village, Bill with family and young children at a village fete, some playing a homemade game of Shove ha'penny, and some children in fancy dress including a "little devil" outfit.  He is then pictured back at his new home with his wife, folding up a copy of the Washington Echo and chatting, whilst she knits.

Interviewed on camera, he talks about being made redundant in 1968, and his new job in a metal tubing factory. He is pictured in a flat cap leaving for work from his new home. Footage of Billy Taylor working on macines at the tubing factory.

The commentary praises industrial development in Washington and the multiple industries there. Exterior shots of local modern factories include RCA records pressing factory, Stephensons, followed by Shield Packaging Unit interiors. Gramophones are pressed at RCA. Women are making and packing centrifugal pumps. Women are working on the manufacture of television parts. There are interior shots of the Molenschott industrial weighing machine plant.

Interview with Franz van Schaik, Technical Director for Molen, who talks about the growth of the business. There are shots of his wife at their home on the John F. Kennedy Estate in Washington Village, driving to the shops, shopping and other everyday activities. Franz van Schaik then talks about how she and the family are "settling in." Exterior and interior shots of the shopping mall. The Van Schaik family eat at their family home.

Interview with Paul Butler, teacher at Usworth Comprehensive School. There are shots of the classroom and of Butler teaching football to teams of schoolboys on the pitch. He talks about the design and sports facilities of the school, and the "social mix."

Dorothy Butler helps out at a playgroup at the Albany Village Hall. Exterior shots of Albany village centre follow. The commentary discusses the footpath network in town. An older persons' group meet for a "singalong" in the Hall.

The film concludes with shots of everyday life and leisure pursuits around Washington New Town, including shopping, gardening, hurdles race, swimming and scenes in the park.

The commentary throughout stresses the future possibilities and ideals embodied in the development of Washington, and discusses the "village" system of design incorporated in the town.

"Already Washington is providing a better heritage for future generations in housing, in landscaping and in social amenities. The Washington way is an exciting way in which to live."

Narration - Paul Vaughan
Production - John Grant
Direction - Peter Brown
Sound - George Mc Millan
Editors - David Middleton and Vic Neve
Turners Film Productions

Copyright. WDC 1975