From Laurel & Hardy and Big Bren to stotties and pease pudding - new film celebrates life by the Tyne

A film journey through time is set to reveal the people, places, industries, and events as well as our everyday lives which make Tyneside the place it is today.

Friday, 5th October 2018, 12:59 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th October 2018, 3:34 am
A trip to the seaside or a journey into space? An image from the North East Film Archive screening of Tyneside on Film. Pic: NEFA.

Tyneside on Film is an opportunity to look back over 90 years of amazing footage of people on both sides of the River Tyne at work, rest and play.

Two special screenings are to take place at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, on Wednesday, October 10, and Thursday, October 25.

The refrigerated cargo ship Katsina Palm is launched at Swan Hunter in 1957. Pic: North East Film Archive.

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The film shows the resilience of people in Gateshead during the Second World War, the ships that grew from the yards, a day at the races, The Hoppings, local TV news and much more – presented by the North East Film Archive team.

Then there’s some rare footage which shows that we’ve always been obsessed by celebrities - as global superstars Laurel and Hardy visit Tynemouth.

The programme is part of North East on Film, a project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund to ensure we preserve, digitise and show archive film collections made in or about communities across the region.

The Archive team have created a whole medley of new material for audiences to enjoy, with amateur and professional films, travelogues, animation and Tyne Tees TV clips never seen before on the big screen all brought together to tell the story of Tyneside communities.

A love-in at the famous Handyside Arcade in Newcastle during the summer of love in 1967. Pic: North East Film Archive.

North East Film Archive (NEFA) manager Graham Relton said: “In this Tyneside collection we want people to laugh, cry and be amazed at some of the things they can see onscreen and which happened right here on their doorstep over the decades.

“Our greatest challenge is what to leave out rather than what to include, but we’re confident we’ve curated a screening that has something for all - whether you’re a Geordie or not!”

Take a trip with Scott Dobson as he goes in search of Geordie - and some pease pudding - in his 1975 Tyne Tees TV documentary, and relive the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Blaydon Races in 1962.

Meet local characters like Sarah McGuire, who at 81 years of age makes a 3am start to bake the loaves and stotties at her bakery in North Shields, and join a young Brendan Foster for an early morning run from his Gateshead home.

Holli Keeble, Tyneside Cinema’s chief executive officer, said: “We had fabulous reactions to the North East Film Archive events over the last few years, with over 1,000 people coming to see the first Newcastle on Film screening.

“Much of what we do at Tyneside Cinema celebrates the rich history of film and the heritage of our building as a former newsreel theatre, so we’re delighted to welcome NEFA back for their new Tyneside on Film programme.

“Every time we share this material with the public it gets a great response - it’s a perfect opportunity to take part in a collective experience, share stories and take a trip down memory lane.”

The Tyne flows through the screening with a travelogue down the river narrated by South Shields-born actress Flora Robson, who takes us underground to the mines and riverside to the bustling Quayside Market.

Be mesmerised by the building of the iconic Tyne bridge, reflect on the far-out fashions of the swinging ‘60s as we reopen Newcastle’s famous Handyside Arcade, and see if you can spot anyone you know in the Great North Run in the 1980s.

The screenings take place at the Tyneside Cinema at 3.30pm and 6.10pm on October 10, with a special dementia-friendly screening at 1.30pm on October 25.