Film ID:
NEFA 10024

US PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER’S VISIT TO NORTH EAST ENGLAND

1977

Visitor Tabs

Description

This Tyne Tees Television news special covers the visit of the President of the United States, James ‘Jimmy’ Carter, to the north east of England in May 1977, with commentary and interviews by Bill Steel. Footage includes the run-up to the arrival of the President by Air Force One at Newcastle Airport; a run through of the itinerary of the visit to Newcastle upon Tyne; interviews with representatives of the Corning Ltd glass works in Sunderland and the President’s visit to the factory escorted by British Prime Minister James Callaghan. Includes good footage of the traditional craft of making glass inside Corning.

Credit: Tyne Tees TV Colour logo [American national anthem plays over credits]

Controllers sit in the control room at Newcastle Airport at just after 9:30am on 6th May, awaiting the arrival of Air Force One and President Jimmy Carter.

Travelling shot on St Mary’s Place heading towards Newcastle Civic Centre at Barras Bridge, turning into the ‘ceremonial way’ in front of the Civic Centre, to pull up at the main door in front of the modern sculpture "River God Tyne" by David Wynne. Bill Steel gives the itinerary of the visit on voice-over.

Inside the Corning Ltd, Wear Glass Works in Sunderland (formerly Joblings), traditional glass makers are at work.

General views of Washington Village Green, near Washington Old Hall, where the President and British Prime Minister are due to plant a tulip poplar tree sapling from the grounds of Mt. Vernon, Virginia. General exterior view of Washington Old Hall.

Travelling shot along the front of the Corning factory in the Millfield area of the city. Portrait shot of a glass blower at work, his arms heavily tattooed, and further shots of glass workers follow, including a close-up of glass being heated.

Interview with Stanley Waring, Deputy Group Managing Director, Corning Limited, who explains the tradition of the US President presenting visiting Heads of State with a piece of Corning glass. A presentation will be made to Jimmy Carter.

A Corning employee, Andrew Thompson, works on a small glass animal, which we see in close-up as he applies heat. There are shots of workers handling molten glass on long punties (iron rods), a precision glass-blowing tool, use of furnaces, workers turning and puffing into blow pipes to shape glass, and the glass taking shape.

The interview continues with Stanley Waring, discussing how the process of traditional glass making will be explained to the US President and Prime Minister James Callaghan above the noise of production. General views inside the factory of a large glass production workshop, with individual employees at separate work benches.

The President’s motorcade travels south towards the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland, cheered by people lining the route. The streets are packed with people cheering near the Corning factory, many policemen controlling the crowd. A television cameraman is filming the arrival of the motorcade. Jimmy Carter gets out of the Daimler car, accompanied by Prime Minister Callaghan and Ernest Armstrong MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary, Department of Environment, along with American plain clothes FBI security agents. The President steps into the crowd to greet people. Photographers run alongside the President to grab pictures. The President is greeted by Charles Slater, Mayor of Sunderland, Fred Willey, MP for Sunderland North, Gordon Eagier, MP for Sunderland South, Stanley Waring and Floyd Hankey, Director of Corning, along with other distinguished guests. He is presented with an intricate glass sculpture of George and the Dragon, designed and made by Corning employee, Andrew Thompson, a 28-year-old lab worker at Sunderland, and holds it up for the crowd to see. The President talks to Andrew Thompson and shakes his hand.

Inside the factory, the President claps the skilled glass blowers as they demonstrate their skills in the heat of the workshop. Team leader Jimmy Vince shows off his skills at glass blowing for the President’s party, including James Callaghan, Stanley Waring and Floyd Hankey. Carter continues a walk around the blowing platform and shakes hands warmly with Jimmy Vince (now in a clean shirt).

Outside the factory again, Jimmy Carter strides forward quickly, and plunges into the gathered crowd to shake hands. He is greeted warmly. The FBI agents scan the crowd, obviously concerned. The motorcade then sets off for Washington.

Interview with Andy Thompson, who holds up the glass model he gave to Jimmy Carter.

Interview outside the factory with Floyd Hankey, Corning Director, and Stanley Waring, Deputy Group Managing Director, Corning Limited. The crowd has more or less dispersed.