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Cympil

Bedlington Miners Picnic 1964

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nice find cym.

Marvelous piece of film that. There must have been thousands of people there that day.

Is that Cumberland Ave at the beginning? There seems to be an awful lot of trees there, it`s not like that now.

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Excellent footage there, Cympil. Such proud men and their families in a more social and innocent times, celebrating their workforce. Was that Atlee Park I saw there? The road leading to Bebside, down the bank?

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That was great, brings back so many memories of what Bedlington used to be like. I have fond memories of my childhood in the 70's loking forward to the Miners Picnic thinking it was the biggerst event in the world. Even into my teens we all looked forward to Picnic day. xx

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:D Thank you so much for sharing this. It's fabulous & brought back so many memories for me of growing up in Bedlington in the 1970's. Picnic Day & 'The Gala' trip to Whitley Bay were the highlights of the summer for us kids back then. Thanks Again.
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:D Thank you so much for sharing this. It's fabulous & brought back so many memories for me of growing up in Bedlington in the 1970's. Picnic Day & 'The Gala' trip to Whitley Bay were the highlights of the summer for us kids back then. Thanks Again.

Great video Cympil.

I wonder how many people in the crowds had travelled from Blyth / Ashington / Morpeth etc to be there.

It's a shame we don't have events like this anymore.

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Great video Cympil.

I wonder how many people in the crowds had travelled from Blyth / Ashington / Morpeth etc to be there.

It's a shame we don't have events like this anymore.

I think people may have travelled a lot further than that. From what I remember it was for miners from the whole of Northumberland.

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Here`s another photo from the Miner`s Picnic. It looks like the 70`s sometime judging by the haircuts :lol:

I`m pretty sure i recognise a couple of faces but can`t remember the names, maybe someone on here can fill some names in.

Also, we might guess the year as there`s Laws store behind them. What year did that change names, anybody know?

picnic.jpg

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This was when things were starting to go downhill, with multiple pit closures. The kids "Jazz Bands" were an attempt to pad things out to make up for all the many, by then missing, brass bands. I think there was an element of copying the American cheerleader phenomena. An interesting bit of research to see when the "Jazz Bands" started, who introduced them, and where the influence came from.

Something nobody has so far mentioned is the quaint name of the event. Why was it called a picnic, when in fact it was quite clearly a trade union movement political rally? The answer is that when it was first held in the 1860's such rallies were illegal, so it was dressed up as a day out for the family complete with brass band competition and sideshows. The banners behind which everyone marched weren't those of the trade union branches, but those of the associated colliery bands. But by reading some of the banners - at least by post WWII, and probably long before - a visitor could have been excused for thinking they'd taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the former Soviet Union.

By sheer coincidence I've just dredged up Ken Russel's nostalgia piece from 2005 with clips of the 1960 picnic in b&w. At nearly a gigabyte it's going to take some processing to make it streamable. He's included a bit of colour 8mm amateur footage from somewhere. It looks to me as though this was also taken in 1960.

The really exciting thing is that we have some 8mm colour that has never been seen in public. I've probably mentioned this before, so it's about time we got it digitised. It's late '50s, and I will probably be able to pin the year down exactly. This could be the earliest colour film of the picnic, though I doubt it. It's more likely to be simply the earliest 8mm colour film.

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Marvelous piece of film that. There must have been thousands of people there that day.

Is that Cumberland Ave at the beginning? There seems to be an awful lot of trees there, it`s not like that now.

Bigger than you can imagine, but not as big as in the 1950's - about 25 (real) bands then. Yes, the opening scene is shot in North Ridge, and they are sort-of coming out of there.

And.. I can confirm this is 1964 as there's something I put there in 1964 in one of the shots. smile.gif

The only person I immediately recognise is George Woodcock. He's the rather tall and distinguished white-haired guy marching near the front. http://en.wikipedia....trade_unionist) Other faces - mainly Bedlington folk - I do recognise but can't at the moment can't put names to them - always my problem, and an enduring embarassment! sad.gif

Excellent footage there, Cympil. Such proud men and their families in a more social and innocent times, celebrating their workforce. Was that Atlee Park I saw there? The road leading to Bebside, down the bank?

Yes again, but it jumps around a lot. Did you notice the black shroud on one of the banners. This signifies a fatal accident at that colliery in the previous year. This banner (with lettered steps on it) is I think the former Weetslade colliery, just north of Gosforth Park racecourse. Thing is I can't turn up any record of an accident in 1963/4. Were they really still mourning the 1951 disaster almost thirteen years later?

I think people may have travelled a lot further than that. From what I remember it was for miners from the whole of Northumberland.

True. You really are an ex Bedlingtonian then! cool.gif

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Not really, I think I may be what was once called a "Durham Pit Yacker" having been born in County Durham. Does living in Bedlington for nearly 30 years count?

While working at Lynemouth and Ellington collieries if you lived across the Wansbeck you were classed as 'from owa the watta'! Though I do not recall if we had a name for those who lived on the Ashington side? Oh yes I can 'Sheep Shaggas' :lol: Where men are men and sheep are nervous :lol: :lol:

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ref the video (for want of a better term) wonderful piece of social history which should be preserved. i attended them all and my father was always there in St. Johns uniform as a 'medic'. lthough i recall he said he used to be asked for salt tablets to enable the men to drink more!!!

on that note - is it worth listing which pubs each of the bands and banner groups met in - as i seem to recall each group had thei own pub?

Laws stores must have opened about 1970 as i worked there on Ssaturdays whilst still at school

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@Andy Millne - another failed attempt by me with the video (type avi) from the MEGA site . Uploaded Judging of the Bands but after I had uploaded the video I couldn't get it to play  All I get is a file that when selected Downloads back to my PC :D

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👍

 

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I know a Howarth from Manchester. It would quite amusing if they're related to Oliver here :D I've sent them the link.

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