Film: 5312

Road Transport | 1950 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Coaching holiday.
Posh 1950's white luxury coach. It journeys around English countryside including visits to Chatsworth, Stonehenge, Lake District, Stratford Upon Avon.
Opening atlas in the background of happy music. A sequence follows with coaches visiting various parts of the British Isles as the music continues. -
A red and white coach drives through pastoral countryside, then over bleak moor land.
A coach arrives at Lochalsh hotel in Scotland. It is driven on to the fancy for SKYE and parked behind a Hillman Husky.
A coach motors through Cheddar Gorge and pulls up at Cheese Cottage guest house.
The scene moves to the memorial in Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. An Eastern Counties Bus turns right towards Old Edinburgh. bus, marked HANTS AND DORSET crosses a pretty stream by bridge. As it motors on through the countryside the camera catches the cheery face of the driver at the wheel. He starts to speak as the picture changes to a row of travel books in library. For the rest of this film this mans' jolly Irish accent is giving the commentary as he describes a typical summer coaching holiday led by himself. The driver in a smart suit, it is winter time when he does his research. He takes a pile of books and consults them at a table in a public library.
The scene moves to a crowded bus station. The sun is shining and it is Edinburgh. Summer again - time for another holiday tour to set out. Passengers board the coach as our hero ticks their names off a list. The passengers are a mix of sexes and ages - two or three surprisingly young (? late twenties). Beside the bus they put hand luggage on racks and settle down. Outside the driver and another uniformed man load their bags into the boot. A representatives of the tour company TILLING COACH SERVICES, enters the coach and uniformes (?) the holiday makers. He leaves and the driver hands out passenger lists. The bus departs. The coach (drives) along an idyllic-looking country lane. The passengers begin to acknowledge each other. Most are English but one man comes from Australia and one from America. Two of the younger men (? competitively) smile at the prettiest young woman (who looks like a vampire!). An older couple called Stevens chat over a guide book. Man with large handlebar moustache. This bus stops in a village street and picks up another couple - Mr and Mrs Wingfield very late, they have trouble fitting in.
The trip takes them are lovely rolling country and Stonehenge appears. The party have become friendly - especially the young American and young Englishman - except for the Wingfields who still feel left out. The driver tries to cheer them along.
Everybody back in the coach the (party) leaves Stonehenge behind. Aboard the coach Stevens has appointed himself life and soul of the party - organising a raffle and sweepstake The man take tickets out of his hat. Interestingly he and other men smoke for much of the trip (1950's) - wouldn't do nowadays!
The Wingfields join in and like tickets but with a bad grace-they still look sour and left out.
The bus calls in at a beautiful English town - it turns out to the Stratford-upon-Avon. It draws up outside the White Swan Hotel and our jolly stricker (?) jumps out and open the boot. A hotel porter helps him unload luggage as the tourists troop contentedly inside.
Inside the hotel there are low-beamed narrow rooms. The tourists check in at reception. They scan a bill from the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre advertising performances of Hamlet. The Merchant of Venice, Love's Labours Lost and Othello.
The members of the tour sit down to dinner. Close-up of fish (Dover sole?) being served. They help themselves to vegetables
The tourists themselves without supervision! Mr and Mrs Wingfield stroll in a municipal garden full of gaudy bright flowers. Mr Stevens and another tourist, an Australian sheep farmer, play a leisurely game of Bowls. The famous view of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre from the Avon comes up. Another couple on the tour step out from its restaurant on the riverside veranda.
The camera tracks slowly down the last end of a Gothic church with spins and carriags of saints. I is LICHFIELD cathedral. Four of the holidaymakers gaze in admiration. There are the statue of bunched, luxurious man in Eighteenth Century clothing. It is Dr. Samuel Johnson, the renowned lexicographer and man of letters, who was born in Lichtfield. The tourgoes (?) admire andphotograph the statue. There is a personal side to running the tour, soup the guide Mr and Mrs Wingfield, still keeping apart, write post cards - "wish you were here." Another elderly passenger, a retired farmer called HARKER returns from a shopping trip with a new white hat and replace his tweed cap. The others rib him with good humour as he puts it on. A magificient country house stands behind a lawn and a pool with fountains.
It's CHATSWORTH, district home of the DUKES OF DEvONSHIRE out of the holidaymakers, a young engineer observes of the fountains with FRASER, the Australian sheep farmer. More water streams down a weirs of ornamental streams.
The coach is back on a pretty country tour. The people on tour have moved to different seats and genial and jolly - all except the Wingfields who remain isolated. The coach journey to the LAKE DISTRICT. Many still wear shorts! There is a lovely view of the distanta russet-yellowish light. A group of three rows into the middle of the lake. Another lot - the younger ones - stroll in a lane above the lake. As the boating ones come ashore, hat is seen floating on the water!
This bus bowls along more country lanes. In Yorkshire the Australian farmer, Fraser, remembers that he has relations living nearby. Learning the (dream) to go sightseeing, he walks downhill to a seaside village. He shows the way of two young woman in holiday year - shorts! He finds the cottage and knocks on the door. A female cousin greets him warmly - they have a happy chat and agree and meet again. The coach whizzes through more fields. Now the tour reaches LYNTON in DEVON. Mr and Mrs Wingsfield get seperated at the cable car station and she walks downhill with Bill, the ingineer. They get talking and the mood is broken - the Wingfields become human and join in the fun and bantar. Beautiful news of the North Devan coast as they descend the cliff.
The scene moves PLYMOUTH harbour. The party takes a motor-boat trip to view the impressive ships of the Navy. Bill, the ingineer, is an ex-Naval man and a whisty look comes into his eyes. Returning to stone, the group troops along and gaze at the MAYFLOWER monument. A player records the departure of the PILGRIM FATHERS and the founding of NEW ENGLAND. This is especially moving for a young American hipper called JOE. He stands alone to pay his vespers! "That man is standing where his nation was born" (Commentary)
The trip moves on. On the coach Mr Stevens wanders down the aisle to his sweepstake winner. It si Mrs Wingfield now smiling broadly.
The tour ends with a 'social affair' and the gropup dress up for a dinner dance. The driver dances very clumsily with our of the women. He prefer steering a coach, he says! Others form adhoc dancing couples. The music in Glenn Millerish staff. At the end of the evening they all join hands and sing "Auld Lang Syne".
Upstairs the group return to their various rooms. The driver takes a last-minute look around, smoking a cigar. He speaks wistfully of his own enjoyment of the tour and disappears upstairs.
In the final sequence the driver / guide is back in his local library taking out a pile of books. It is off season-time and prepare for the next coaching holiday.


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