Film ID:
NEFA 18540

SOUTH SHIELDS ROAD SAFETY

1952

Visitor Tabs

Description

An amateur film made by Harry Winship, Traffic Inspector for South Shields Borough Police, to highlight the dangers caused by people walking in between moving traffic to cross roads in South Shields. It was shot while driving around town in an Austin Somerset unmarked police car on a busy Saturday afternoon sometime after 1952. Locations include Market Place, Ocean Road and Kings Road. The first sequence is footage of Marsden Rock. 

The film opens with the logo for the Australian Road Safety Council.

The film cuts to Marsden Rock near South Shields as seen from the cliff. Sea birds are nesting on the rock and waves are breaking over the rock and beach below.

The film changes to show the front bumper of a car (Reg: CU 6053) [This sequence is out of focus].

Parked at the crossroads near to the New Crown Hotel on the corner of Mowbray Road and Coast Road in South Shields is the No 10 electric double-decker trolleybus (Reg: CU 5101) sporting an advertisement for 'Vaux Stout' with destination Tyne Dock. Other cars and pedestrians stand around near the bus. A car (Reg: DYS 464) drives past with a 'Learner Driver' sign attached to boot.

A young couple carrying a small child across a zebra crossing. Traffic comes to a stop at the crossing as two older women cross. General views follow of people crossing the busy Westoe Road in front of the car. Some are using the crossing, others simply walk between speeding traffic.

A red flat-bed lorry drives past (Reg: JR 296). The sign above the driver's cabin reads: 'John Slavin'. It drives past Dampneys independent wallpaper shop located at the top of Victoria Road and The Bridges.  More general views of pedestrians crossing the road. Many don't look where they are going and do not use the zebra crossing. A man in a flat cap and pin striped suit crosses the road between  traffic. Beyond him is Nelson Digby's builders' yard.

A woman in a smart 40s check pencil skirt suit with handbag crosses the road heading past advertising billboards for 'Ovaltine Cold' and 'Cadbury’s Chocolate'. Traffic comes to a stop as a group of pedestrians cross a zebra crossing. An older woman carrying a wicker basket runs across the road to avoid bicycles which speed past.

A woman and two young girls on bicycles stand at the junction of a road. Two women in long overcoats cross the road without checking for traffic as the woman and girls push their bikes across the zebra crossing in front of them.

Travelling shots from the filmmaker's car follow. A young man precariously rides a bike next to another pedestrian directly in front of the car. The car turns left into South Shields Market Place (stalls owned by Billy Johnson and open on Saturdays and Mondays) and drives slowly around the market past covered market stalls with pedestrians walking around the stalls and along the nearby pavement. As the car continues pedestrians cross the road in front of the car, many not checking for traffic. On the left was Barbour's shop, the beginning of the factory, the Market Hotel, heading towards J.D. Ainsley & Co Ltd shipping purveyor and St Hilda's Church. Two women push a pram across the road in front of the car oblivious to the dangers of the car nearly hitting them.

A young couple push a pram along a road. The vast brick wall behind them is Woolworths, newly built in King's Street after World War Two bombing. Vacant bomb sites still exist in the centre.

Ocean Road is very busy with pedestrians on both sides of the road. Turning into King Street, the car passes many shops including 'Liptons' and the Odeon Theatre on the left, the clock seen on the right on the building of Grants, the jewellers . Many pedestrians are standing or walking in the road while others cross all around without due care and attention. An Allens Department Store' delivery lorry from Laygate speeds past followed by a car and electric trolley bus.

On North Street, the filmmaker's car follows the trolley bus (Reg: CU 5089)  which is advertising 'Hall-mark Tea' on its rear bumper. It comes to a stop at a zebra crossing as pedestrians cross in front of it.

The film cuts to a smaller street where the car passes a woman standing on the pavement next to a pram and small girl. A small child sits up in the pram and looks at the car as it passes.

The car approaches the junction of King Street with Binns on the left and the post office on the right. A. J. Wares stands across from the junction on King Street. As the car gets closer to the junction the crowds of people increase; many crossing in front of the car without looking where they are going. A young man on a bicycle pedals past nearly hitting the car.

Back on the very busy King Street, the car travels under the bridge past Dunns on the left and the neon sign for Hardy's furniture shop on the right. A woman and a man with a pushchair crosses in front of the car which narrowly misses them. The man looks at the car as it travels past.

Coming up to the King Street junction with Fowler Street, a man in a black suit walks across the road, after a trolleybus had passed by. He's a 'point boy' for the trolleybus company.  A small group of people attempt to cross the road and narrowly miss a flat-bed lorry driving past. Along Fowler Street buildings include Thomas's the pork butcher, St. Thomas's Church, and Harton Dyeworks Ltd., Conways the Opticians. Pedestrians continue dodging traffic as they cross. 

Three trolleybuses are parked up outside Harton Dye-Works. The buses pull away and pedestrians are seen crossing the road in between the traffic that speed past. Closer (out of focus) shots record some of the people crossing the road at the bottom of Fowler Street. A young boy peers out from the road and runs back. A man holding the hand of a small girl in a red coat rushes across the road. The young boy has grabbed his smaller brother's hand and raced across the road, his brother losing a shoe. A man on a cycle with drop handle bars smoking a cigarette rides into the road. Other pedestrians amble across the road. An 'economic bus' in maroon and cream drives by. More people cross frequently ignoring the traffic.

Large numbers of pedestrians cross at a crossing at the intersection of Fowler Street and Ocean Road across from the 'Royal Hotel'. A car turns into the road while people are still crossing. On the left is The Criterian pub on the corner of Fowler Street and Ocean Road. A smartly dressed young woman hops off a  red double-decker diesel bus. The bus displays advertisements for both 'Typhoo Tea' and 'Shop at Binns'. People get off the bus and several people begin to cross the road in front of the filmmaker's car. Two electric trolleybuses pull up in front of the car one after the other with pedestrians onboard get off and cross the road in front traffic. A couple thread their way across the road, the Royal Hotel at the far side.

Back in the Market Place, a couple with a pushchair cross the road towards the busy market stalls, the Old Town Hall in the background. On the far side of the market is a large neon sign for 'Barbour's' hangs across the front of a building. The filmmaker's car moves off again and turns right facing St Hilda's Church. Two electric trolley double-decker buses are parked near to the church. One of them moves off and the car follows it around the market past Ocean Road towards the shop of J.D. Ainsley & Co Ltd. Pedestrians cross the road in front of the car between two parked electric trolley double-decker buses.

The film ends with the car turning left into Ocean Road and a man holding a newspaper in his hand crossing the road.