ARCHIVE footage of the “Austerity Games” and the first year of the Queen’s reign will be screened alongside a film featuring local heroine Grace Darling next week at the Central Library in South Shields, South Tyneside.
Hosted as part of the Wednesday Heritage Club, the screening of archive newsreels promises a fascinating trip back in time, especially in the wake of this summer’s Olympic success and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The film collection was initially shown there in July to accompany a talk given by Margaret Dodds, volunteer heritage guide at Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, about the history and refurbishment of the newsreel cinema.
And the footage that Margaret brought to illustrate the phenomenon of News Theatres sweeping the country in the 1930s so fascinated her audience that she promised a repeat visit. She returns to the library on Wednesday with a selection of film clips assembled by the cinema’s technicians.
Audiences can see material of Her Majesty’s First Year from 1952, and scenes from the 1948 London Olympics, dubbed the Austerity Games because of the post-war economic situation of the time. In contrast to this year’s grand affair, this ruled out any new purpose-built venues or an Olympic Village.
The film about Grace Darling, meanwhile, comes from Newcastle Archives and dates from 1938, the 100th anniversary of the 22-year-old’s famous rescue – accompanied by her lighthouse keeper father – of nine people from the stricken SS Forfarshire, off Northumberland.
And, to add a contemporary edge, Margaret will be also including footage of flooding and seasonal snow scenes in Newcastle.
The Wednesday Heritage Club film show will take place in the Library Theatre of Central Library on December 12 from 2pm. Tickets, £1, are available from the library’s reference department. For information call 0191 424 7864.