Film ID:
NEFA 21912



Visitor Tabs


This amateur footage by Stephen Gray records two events in the 1980s: the first is a York Run that starts from the Knavesmire, and the second is the demolition in 1987 of tower blocks on the Nursery Farm Estate in Gateshead. The towers were commissioned by Felling UDC and completed in 1968. The consulting architect and engineer for this development was John Poulson. The compilation also includes brief footage of the film-maker's colleagues in the Environmental Health Department of Gateshead Council and on site at slum housing due for demolition.

In the first brief sequences, runners jog past a crowd of spectators at the Knavesmire, York. People mill around near a giant bouncy dragon inflatable for children set up on the grass, Terry's chocolate factory in the background. General view of the path leading to the Terry's factory.

Crowds line the road beside the Knavesmire, clapping the runners as they pass. A promotional red double decker bus advertising 'The Yorkshire Evening Press' stands next to the bouncy inflatable on The Knavesmire. More runners pass by, heading up Racecourse Road.

An overhead shot records the runners queuing up between barriers after completing the race.

The next sequences record the demolition of tower blocks on the Nursery Farm Estate, Balmoral Drive, Felling, in Gateshead as a media event. A man and a woman dressed in 70s culottes and high heels head towards the high rise tower blocks, probably walking up Split Crow Road. In nearby low rise council housing blocks, tenants are standing on their balconies, some taking pictures of the tower blocks.

More people start to gather for the demolition of the tower blocks, banners of demolition firm Ogden displayed at the top. Policemen in shirt sleeves are amongst the expectant crowd.

The first explosions occur and demolition begins, the blocks collapsing into huge clouds of dust and rubble. 

The crowds begin to disperse. A sign denoting 'Ogden Danger Zone. Do not enter' hangs from a pole bent over from the blast. Tyne Tees TV presenters and film crew with their cameras stand in a cordoned-off area. One woman is dressed in a very 80s striped top and has Farrah Fawcett style hair.

The huge piles of rubble from the demolished tower blocks look like a hill range.

[fade out]

A few brief shots follow of a man with middle age spread, busting out of his shirt, is seated in an office, probably Gateshead council offices where the film-maker Stephen Gray worked in the Environmental health department.

A young man puts on goggles. He is standing in a yard outside No. 19 of a condemned terrace of houses, wearing only a pair of skimpy boxer shorts (or running shorts). He then pulls on a sun hat, and puts on a pair of safety ear muffs.