Film ID:
NEFA 10909

A WORLD OF MY OWN: GEORGE SCOTT

1969

Visitor Tabs

Description

Incomplete Tyne Tees Television autobiographical documentary by George Scott, British author, television commentator, broadcaster, journalist and Liberal Party politician, born and raised in Middlesbrough. Scott guides us around the town and industries of Middlesbrough recalling his childhood memories and working life, and also explaining his move into politics. This programme was an edition of the series World of My Own, broadcast on 5 June, 1969.

The documentary opens with still pictures of Middlesbrough, including Scott's election campaign.

Speaking from the steps of Middlesbrough Town Hall, Scott says his early experiences of growing up in the town have done so much to mould his ideas and opinions. He talks about the history of Middlesbrough and remembers the early days of the Depression and how it affected people in the town. Cutaways of houses, children in the streets, dole queues, and derelict housing follow.

In the commentary, Scott says he was one of the lucky ones. His father was an insurance salesman and was never out of work. They lived in what had seemed quite an imposing house. General views show the house and children playing in the street outside, just as he did. A policeman moves the children away from the street. They go to play on "the reccy", the recreation ground, and then run away from the policeman.

Stills follow of Middlesbrough High School where Scott studied. Interview about the economic situation, which meant that many boys had to leave school early to help out at home.

Scott visits Ayresome Park and reminisces about the football matches against the 'glamorous' London clubs. There are cutaways to Middlesbrough match action.

General exterior views of the Northern Echo offices in Borough Road form the background to the commentary where he outlines his early career in journalism. He admits there was nothing to suggest he would pursue this career in his early days. He quotes from a poem he wrote at school called 'The School Field', the sum of his literary achievement at the time. Various general views of Middlesbrough. Scott piece to camera as he describes how a friend who was a reporter influenced his decision to try and get a reporting job himself in 1940. With most of the men in the Forces during World War Two, it was quite easy for him to get started. [He also worked on the Yorkshire Post.]

[End of part One 10 mins 10 secs]

[Part Two]

This section begins with  general views of the Transporter Bridge, interiors of the steel works, ICI site and the town centre. George Scott observes that after the war there was work available in the town.

Interior general views show the police court in Middlesbrough Town Hall where he spent much of his time as a junior reporter. He describes some of the crimes for which people were tried. It was a tough town. He remembers the crimes and the court procedure. He says he doesn't wish to paint a grim picture, however.

He reported on variety shows at the Empire Theatre. General views follow of the Empire. He also covered weddings and funerals for the paper. Scott piece to camera outside the entrance to Linthorpe Parish Church Parochial Buildings where, he explains, he used to ask for the lists of names attending a particular funeral. 

In his leisure time he used to play football on a Saturday afternoon and go to local dances, including those at St. Barnabas Parish Hall in St Barnabas Road, Linthorpe. He wanders through the parish hall until he enters the main assembly room where the dances took place. He also used to play piano in a small dance band. Scott gives a brief rendition of one of their tunes on the hall piano: 'You are My Sunshine'.

Stills of Oxford University. Scott describes how, after the war, he went to Oxford University and took a degree and he got into national journalism on Fleet Street, the Daily Express. Shots follow of the Daily Express newspaper and of the magazine, 'Truth', which he later edited. [Scott's deputy at the time was a young Bernard Levin]

In summing up his feelings about Middlesbrough, he talks over general views of the busy town centre, the library, streets and shoppers, including Newhouse Corner, a great cross-section of people including hippies. He doesn't see it as an ugly town, but it does represent industrial power and not 'the soft south'.

Scott goes on to talk about his autobiographical novel 'Time and Place', which put him into the 'Angry Young Man' category, because he criticized post-war society, the class system and so on. Scott says he has mellowed but had wanted to do something about it and so stood as a liberal MP for Middlesbrough East and Middlesbrough West in 1962. The documentary ends with shots of a park. The song 'You Are My Sunshine' plays out.